Nov 3, 2009
It’s a German word but it translates pretty well. It’s the itch to go somewhere new, somewhere different than you’ve been before. You can try to explain human migration through the ages as the need to find food and shelter. But ask yourselves, who was it that struck out there into the unknown? It wasn’t the homebodies. It was the adventurers.
I have spent eighteen of the last fifty five hours in a car, traveling with two of my Japanese co-workers. Japanese pop music as a back drop for nearly the whole trip. We did have a brief respite with a Beatles CD. (Thank you, loveable, mop top Liverpool boys for your world-wide appeal.)
I amused myself by playing with my new phone, doing some Sudoku puzzles and a little bit of reading. But the majority of my time was spent staring out the window. We drove through several states that I rarely visit. Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Your mind sharpens when you see and experience new things. You try to take in all the details. So many questions pop into your head.
During her recent visit I teased my cousin Scarlett for taking a dozen or so pictures of Canadian Geese. They are so commonplace in my world that I just don’t register how beautiful and unique they are. As a resident of the Sunshine state, Scarlett rarely has seen autumn leaves. She asked me in what order the colors change. I hesitated. Not only had I never thought about it, I wasn’t able to answer because I had paid so little attention to something witnessed every year of my life that I honestly couldn’t say for sure. (It’s yellow/red to orange/brown by the way.)
I think wanderlust is ingrained in the American mentality. Don’t most of us come from a long line of wanderers? Whether it was the Native Americans crossing that long ago land bridge or the immigrants that started coming hundreds of years ago and continue to come to this day. We aren’t afraid to wander into the unknown and see what’s what.