I solemnly looked at the side mirror of the tow truck to see my beloved van strapped to the back of the truck. When you live the wanderlust lifestyle, you find that transportation is a key element for traveling. For the vanlife, your car is essential.
The tow truck driver started up a conversation for the long drive back down the mountain, and I realized that my love for travel seemed strange. While many settle where they are and feel completely at home, I have a hard time feeling at home staying in one place.
I feel more at home with people, traveling to different places, and behind the dashboard of my beloved minivan on the open road. While my freedom on wheels was strapped to the back of a tow truck, I reflected on the key factors of living the wanderlust lifestyle.
In each season of my life, there comes different understanding of living with no borders, no confinements, and no permanent home. Living on the road is far different than living overseas for a time, yet there are fundamental factors that exist within each season.
Live With Risk
Living with risk is an essential part of a wanderlust lifestyle, in fact, it is impossible to live without it. If you life the vanlife, you know that anytime your car could break down in the middle of nowhere, get stuck in the mud, or be sideswiped by an inattentive driver.
If you are a backpacker, then you know the hostel you booked could be shut down, your stuff could be stolen while out getting dinner, or the possibility of rain suddenly soaking all of your belongings. We learn to live with risk, and laugh it off as it comes, then adapt as needed.
Living with chronic health problems has forced me to put my health at risk in order to live the wanderlust lifestyle. I take risks with food, hiking up mountains that may cause days worth of recovery, and driving miles away from any medical facility.
Yet, no matter the risk, I know my heart continues to yearn to see more places across the globe.
Risk is a part of living the life you choose, and that comes with learning in the process. For every time you put yourself in front of risk, you learn how to weather any storm, any circumstance, and any food poisoning that may come your way.
Learn To Adapt and Count Your Blessings
Learning to count your blessings can come in many forms, but at the most basic level, counting your blessings is having access to clean water, a place of safe shelter for the night, and having food to eat. The more I travel, the more I come to appreciate the simple things, like running water or a hot cup of tea.
When you live on the road, water is the miracle of hydration and washing up. Not all terrain will offer good water, but with the modern world the way it is, there is usually access to water. Many places you may have to spend a couple bucks just to use the restroom, but the miracle of running water has the ability to calm even the weariest of travelers.
Living with wanderlust also means you sleep in new or strange places. The first time I slept on the side of a road, I was beyond nervous about it. Yet, when traveling deals a new hand, I learn to adapt accordingly. Whether it is sleeping on a bamboo floor in a remote village, a noisy hostel, or in a van beside the road, I have learned to adapt and adjust to my changing surroundings.
Follow the Spirit of Wanderlust
Wherever your heart takes you in the world, follow the spirit of wanderlust. No matter your form of travel, the key in truly living a wanderlust lifestyle is to follow what your heart speaks to you. With any form of lifestyle, there comes sacrifice, hard work, and lessons along the way.
Those who follow the spirit of wanderlust know the challenges of the open road, but also know how to thrive on risk and continue to count their blessings in every circumstance. Minimalists and wanderers alike learn to have little, to experience more.
With every step into a new experience, my heart leads with an exhilaration of a newfound life. One that is vastly different than what most experience, but is beyond worth the risk. Traveling teaches you what you need, how to survive in an uncertain world, and to appreciate the very basic of human needs.
As I drove the van away from the mechanic, I knew that whatever risk I may take in the future, I know I can count on the goodness of humanity, the beauty of the open road, and the grand opportunity to travel across the globe to see more, to be more, and to be a better person for this world.