Diving Into the See of Wanderlust

The term Wanderlust originates from the German words wandern (to hike) and Lust (desire). Today it’s mostly used in connection with traveling – however, Wanderlust can have much broader and deeper meanings, and it can even serve as a life philosophy. Here are some examples of what and how.

Upside Down artwork by Sibylla Walpen. The Bernese Alps in the background.
Photo: Helena /Abroadland

“Wanderlust is about walking in this world with wondering eyes and diving into adventures and yourself.


1. 🥾 CURIOSITY AND DISCOVERY. Wanderlust is about being interested in places, people and phenomena and exploring them deeper than the surface. Noticing the the beautiful and curious things. It’s also about self-discovery.

2. 🥾 THE CONNECTION WITH NATURE AND HERITAGE. When you go to places, your seek connection and unity with the environment. You appreciate the site with its inhabitants and culture.

3. 🥾 MOVEMENT LIKE WALKING. Sometimes it’s good to get out of the head and into the body. Walking can make our thoughts calmer and clearer, and new places can give us inspiration and perspective. For example, hiking high in the mountains always lifts my spirits. There is plenty of evidence on how exercise can ease the anxiety and depression. The solution may lie literally at our feet.

4. 🥾 JOY AND FUN. Also my mother tongue Finnish has a word, “lysti”, originating from this Germanic Lust and meaning amusement, joy and fun. Wanderlust involves seeing the humorous side of things, enjoying the unfolding experiences, and having fun (but never at the expense of other beings or places).

5. 🥾 ADVENTURE AND SURPRISE. Wanderlust leaves room for surprises and comes with ups and downs. Unexpected things happen when exploring things, and that’s what makes wanderlusting more interesting.

For example, the diver photo (below) was taken when I went for a hike in Thun (in Switzerland) and as I was walking by the lake, I noticed an outdoor art exhibition that featured artworks such as this brilliant sculpture by Sibylla Walpen.

“Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures.” – 

― Lovelle Drachman

6. 🥾FREEDOM. Wanderlust is about the freedom to go where we want (if not physically then at least in our minds), think and be who we are.

7. 🥾MYSTERY. Wanderlust is a term that slips out of hand when you try to define or package it too tightly. It can be a bit mysterious and interpreted in many ways.

I think all these diverse features of Wanderlust make it a viable candidate for a life philosophy. You can mold it to fit your values.

🥾⚠️ Are there some side effects about Wanderlust? Yes. Wanderlust can take you away from places and from yourself, sometimes so far that you don’t find your way back or know if you even want to. Wanderlust can leave you restless, always longing for new adventures, something new to explore. You may have difficulty settling down. The continuous self-discovery can also be tiring.

Fortunately, however, with most sides of Wanderlust, we get to decide whether we see them as a threat or an opportunity. And if you recognize wanderlusting tendencies, remember, you are not alone: there are many others with “itchy feet” out there!


There are many ways to “do Wanderlust”. It depends on your preferences, location, life situation, and the state of the world. In addition to (or instead of) traveling to other countries, here are a few more examples based on my experiences:

✨ Go outdoors every day if you can. Visit nearby places with the fresh eyes of a tourist. Photograph or draw the interesting things you see. Go to see airplanes or trains to get travel vibes.
✨ Take day trips once a week or when possible to places that fascinate you. For me it can be an old village, ruins, lookout tower, peninsula, mountain, lake or any other inspiring place, and I look for a suitable hiking route around the place.
✨ Get to know people from other countries and cultures.
✨ Try music, food and traditions of foreign cultures.
✨Plan and dream about travels and destinations.
✨Read and listed to books related to journeys, cultures and destinations.
✨Go through travel photos and souvenirs, and write about your travels. Share your memories with others if you like.
✨Create art inspired by Wanderlust.
✨Write and send postcards from where you are. Even from the place you live.

I wish you a fun day with a good dose of Wanderlust!

♡ Helena

© Text & photos and the quotes on photos: Helena /Abroadland
(No AI was used for creating this conten


I’ve created the “Happy Hiker’s Wanderlust Shoe” image for the love of nature, walking and wanderlust. It’s printed on useful products (such as the ones below) only on demand.

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more that what we could learn from books.”  

John Lubbock


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