Published on February 15th 2013
Wanderlust-Causes, Symptoms, Treatments and Prevention
What is wanderlust?
Wanderlust (also known as ‘itchy feet’) is a mental state of desperately wanting to travel. It has been described as similar to needing to pee, but there is no toilet nearby and the pee feels like it’s going to burst out of you.
It can develop if when you haven’t been travelling for a period of time. Wanderlust is most common in adults living in cold and wet climates but can affecting any working adult. Adults with long term commitments like partners who don’t feel the same about travel, children, pets, mortgages, gym contracts are also more like to feel wanderlust.
What causes wanderlust?
There are many triggers that can lead to wanderlust, however, extended periods of working and not having sufficient funds to go travelling are common causes. Some sufferers have reported that short breaks can increase the intensity of wanderlust symptoms while other experience wanderlust most when reading the National Geographic magazine.
What are the symptoms of wanderlust?
Mild symptoms of wanderlust include:
- Researching travel destinations and what to do there extensively
- Learning a language for fun
- Subscribing to travel blogs and living through the travel bloggers eyes
- Watching the conversion rates drop and rise on a daily basis
More severe symptoms of wanderlust include:
- Feeling down when looking at holiday photos posted on Facebook
- Frequantly rethinking careers, hoping to find a job that can makes long term travel financially viable
- Playing more games to keep mind off travel
- Reading more books to keep mind off travel
- Frantically saving money and budgeting everything
- Frequently checking Groupon getaways
- Vivid dreams and feeling disappointed when you wake up
- Feeling down about your current life
How is wanderlust diagnosed?
Wanderlust can usually be identified by other sufferers and does not usually require medical attention. But if it doesn’t go away after a few days, or if it appears to be getting worse, or if you start hating where you live, contact your travel agent right away.
What is the treatment for wanderlust?
Once you’ve caught the travel bug, you are infected for life. The only way to treat wanderlust is to relieve the symptoms when wanderlust is really really bad.
The best treatment for wanderlust is a 4-8 week course of travel.
Moving to a country where there is a better life work balance.
If this is not possible then you can:
Talk to other travellers who have the wanderlust-moaning and making plans that fall through can help you to feel like you’re doing something small to realise your travel dreams.
Find an employer that tolerates sabbaticals.
Find more streams of income to support your travel habits.
Avoid inspiring photographs, travel stories and good flight deals as they can irritate the wanderlust.
Extreme wanderlust if untreated can cause the death, of the soul. You may also start to lose any curiosity for the world and all the cultures in it and only care about what’s on the telly. Treat it in its early stages where possible.