Wanderlust: the word is older than it seems, first gaining prevalence in the 1900s, peaking in use near 1930. But the word has made a strong comeback, becoming much more prevalent than ever before in recent years. The word can be seen gracing social media bios, and all manner of millennial and 'zoomer' conversations. So what is wanderlust and why has it become such a widespread sensation?
Wanderlust means a strong desire to travel; to explore new frontiers, cultures, and experiences. But what is making the younger generations so eager to travel and explore? There are several underlying reasons, but none is more prominent than the internet, social media, and pop culture.
Nelson Mandela said, “there is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living”, and in today’s world, with many celebrities, influencers, travel and lifestyle bloggers, photographers and others taking to social media to share and earn, that better life has a very obvious form, and it seems more accessible than ever. With people on average gaining more and more disposable incomes, the cost of travel has become less of a barrier. Traveling to exotic or popular locations for a vacation is a big part of 'the high life', and the phenomenon of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is a big part of the appeal.
A shrinking world is another way the internet that has increased the number of travel plans; globalization has been accelerated in recent years due to global platforms which allow for networking across the world at unprecedented levels. This has resulted in the generation of interest towards other cultures and places, and rapid development of global tourism.
Most importantly, however, wanderlust is a result of natural human curiosity. As intelligent beings, we always want to learn more about the world around us, and the aspects of it that
we have yet to explore. In the end, the call of the unknown, especially when presented so lucratively through the medium of the internet, is too great to resist.
Arunanshu Deep Barnwal