I am a nomad, a sea gypsy on a sailboat, without a proper address. I’ve spent time in the strangest of places, like a country that doesn’t exist, and a desolate island in the Arctic. But does it always have to be that drastic?
To me following my wanderlust means living a life of deliberate and constant exploration. Both in travelling and, even more importantly, in exploring what lies within. It implies going inside with the same curiosity and joy as I bring with me on the road. The two complement each other, but I don’t think it is for everyone to travel far and wide. It’s not for everyone to sail across the sea or reach the highest summits. Paradoxically enough, I love travelling to faraway places, but I want to share how wanderlust can thrive through embarking on the tiniest of expeditions too. The great adventurer Alastair Humphreys call them microadventures. Just like with the big journeys, it’s all about getting out of the comfort zone and going somewhere completely new.
Some people wonder what travellers are fleeing from. Some people think they are are cowards, trying to escape themselves. My response and personal experience is that travel brings you face to face with yourself in ways you couldn’t even imagine. It brings out things you might feel a lot more comfortable not facing by going through the motions of a regular life, but it also makes you get to know wonderful sides of yourself you might never discover unless you actually step out of the comfort zone and into uncertainty.
One of the best things I’ve ever done in that respect is to take up surfing – in my mid thirties, no less. Because when you’ve reached thirty you don’t have to worry about being a natural talent and excelling immediately at everything you try. Here’s a secret tip: You don’t actually have to worry about that ever. Joy of living isn’t measured in achievements. Sure, mastering something feels great. That’s not what I’m saying, either. The art lies in exploring and enjoying the process and the practice, not just some imagined end result. The fear of failure is the main culprit that keeps us from living vibrant, full lives. What if you just decided to give zero fucks about what other people think, and go for what you wanted to do anyway? That’s what I did with surfing. I’m still super clumsy and falling off the board all the time and I get super exhausted and beaten up by the waves. These moments are amazing – because they are humbling and allow me to watch the stirrings of the ego while calibrating the balance between ease and effort.
I am passionate about sharing my adventures, both big and tiny, and I’m going sailing along the coast of Norway this summer. I’ll stop on some excellent surf spots, and teach yoga there too … If you want to get a taste of wanderlust and of meeting yourself all over, I’d love it if you joined me. Or join in for the big adventure this autumn, the Support Nepal Yoga Trek! Just drop me a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.