Eleutheromania – Wanderlust
By Emma Burgess
Is your spirit unsettled? Does your restlessness leave you useless or neurotic? Or have you ever wondered how your friend says they have no money but continues to travel to exotic places every break? Our self-appointed, definitely qualified Lot’s MD is here to support your hypochondria. Hunny, y’all got some Wanderlust.
Eleutheromania, or wanderlust, is an increasingly common, life-threatening virus infecting free spirits and dreamy souls.
People usually become infected with the virus during or after travelling, especially internationally.
Wanderlust is not hereditary, however bringing up your children reading books and discussing adventures, or raising them with wild imaginations, can make them more prone to infection.
Wanderlust can be incredibly contagious, and is particularly volatile in young adults aged from 18-30. However, there are many cases of wanderlust developing in earlier or later stages of life.
The virus renders patients restless or fearful when they have not done anything or gone anywhere for some time. The amount of time may be variable; depending on the severity of your restlessness, your stage of life, and the state of your bank account.
Signs and symptoms:
How do you know it’s wanderlust? Typical symptoms include:
- Anxiety of life being monotonous,
- Feeling as though life is being wasted away,
- Stomach ache at the idea of permanence,
- Exploring as a means of “self-care”,
- Deep desire to experience new sensory titillation,
- Passion for the world and everything it beholds,
- Heightened wonder and curiosity,
- Is probably a writer, artist, photographer, filmmaker, musician, student that works several jobs or goes real hard at one, stargazer, sunset-watcher, plant-lover, beach-walker, bargain-hunter, sale-snatcher and/or dreamer,
- Taking holidays very seriously,
- Freedom and feeling of being yourself while travelling,
- Acquiring great inspiration and motivation while travelling or exploring new places.
Wanderlust manifests itself differently in some people. Some reasons for this include astrological signs, upbringing, general discomfort with making decisions or committing to things, and being a dreamer. Consult your soul or local healer/ psychic if you are seeking guidance.
Un-‘diagnosed’ and ignored wanderlust can lead to complications, both in daily life and in who you are as a person. The following are some common life-long complications that may persist from wanderlust:
- Erratic behaviour,
- Wild spontaneity when life is overloaded,
- Disregard for general life responsibilities, or needing to be responsible in the first case,
- Fear of commitment to ANYTHING – relationships, jobs, places to live, personal aesthetic, coffee orders, exercise routines, etc.,
- Tends to go through phases of extreme distance in mood or thought. Could last several days in many cases. This tends to affect productivity in everyday life,
- Keeping oneself so busy to satisfy the need to move around. May disregard friendships at times because of this extreme restlessness,
- Burnout from above.
Because of the personal aspect of wanderlust, treatments will vary from person to person. Some tried and tested treatments* for wanderlust include:
- Living near or among nature. Acquire houseplants or colourful fish to force responsibility onto oneself and to fake nature in your home,
- Find outdoor activities to enjoy: walking, running, hiking, white water rafting – pick your poison,
- Get involved in your community,
- ACTUALLY go do stuff where you live. You don’t need to go far to go to new and different places,
- Alternatively, empty your bank account once, twice (always) to travel overseas or around the country on tours and hiring cars because honestly, nothing is quite like getting the absolute fuck out of here,
- Maybe Ritalin. Results vary. (Please seek further professional advice before prescribing yourself drugs xx).
Can you cure wanderlust?
Although there is not a confirmed cure for wanderlust, these options look like they could be incredibly effective (unless they make the virus worse. In which case, sorry not sorry):
- Acquire one of those dreamy looking jobs where you are a travel writer-photographer-filmmaker-influencer-makeyoujealousofmyinsta-iworkfornationalgeographic-igetpaidtoeatandflyplaces-ilooklikeihavesomuchmoney type person,
- Be rich AF. This can be arranged by suppressing your wanderlust for years, perhaps causing bouts of depression so you can work a career and earn enough money to travel everywhere you’ve ever wanted, except now you should probs have kids and buy a house and oops now you’re 50 and full of regrets and spend the inheritance on a motorhome you and your partner use once and then lock away in a garage until you both die after the dog has, leaving it to your three kids who sell it for less than you would have because wanderlust isn’t genetic and you were careful not to let them experience the world in ways that would allow them to catch this. Alternatively, be born rich, marry rich, or wait for inheritance,
- Be clever with your time and money and life, and create this lovely concept of ‘balance’ where you save for holidays and travel when you can while working a job that keeps you on your toes and can allow you to go places and work anywhere in the world if you really wanted. This way you get restless enough to enjoy breaks and trips, but not so restless you begin crushing your dreams and the dreams of those around you.
How to help someone who has caught wanderlust:
If you come into contact with an infected patient, stay calm. Get closer to them. They probably need some genuine human connection. You probably cannot help them, so it is recommended you catch it too.
*DISCLAIMER: Treatments may not subdue wanderlust and can increase severity. Lot’s MD cannot be held accountable for the results of self-diagnosis and treatments. You’ve been encouraged…I mean, warned.