You are a traveler and you ‘suffer’ from wanderlust. You’ve already seen half the globe and aim for the whole thing before you are forty. Or thirty. You speak at least two languages and you know how to make small talk in at least three more. Your Facebook friends include people from every continent and there is a big chance that you don’t even remember how you met half of them, but you know it happened while conquering the world. You are sure that even if you don’t really remember their story they are great people – after all, they are travelers as well.

You crave adventure like a person in the desert craves water, and you suffer from post-travel depression every time you come back home. That is, if you actually have a place to call home. Maybe, like me, you can’t identify yourself with any specific spot in the world. Right now, there is no place on Earth that I can call home besides my parents’ house, but even that is just a place I grew up in and have no intention of coming back to permanently. My stuff is dumped in their basement as well as at a few of my friends’ houses around the globe, and if I had to collect all of it now I would have to make a trip of a few thousand kilometers for sure.

Do you have eternal traveler syndrome, Joanna Kowalewska |

If the above sounds familiar to you, like me you probably suffer from Eternal Traveler Syndrome, perfectly described by Lucia and Ruben from Algo Que Recordar:

“The eternal traveler syndrome is this feeling you get of not being comfortable anywhere you go because you always want to be somewhere else. It’s the feeling that you will never be happy in just one place. It’s the anxiety that comes when thinking you’re missing out on something…”

Good or bad?

You may say that this wanderlust is actually all beautiful and nice; that it’s all about living life to the fullest and going with the flow; about being open to new adventures and not letting the routine kill you; discovering new lands, languages, cultures, and so on. I agree, but what about the anxiety part? When you really stop for a while and think about it – what if this is the type of hunger that can never be satisfied? What do you do with this feeling of constantly missing out on something? Having to make hard choices again and again? What about the family that you never see, friends that keep complaining that you are far away, and lack of any kind of stability in your life? What about enjoying the moment without constantly planning for the future?

I think I’ve been going through some sort of traveler crisis lately because I’ve been giving this a lot of thought in the past few months. The other day, the radio was playing Rihanna’s song, ”I need a doctor, call me a doctor…” and suddenly I thought about myself. Do I need a doctor? Do I need a cure for my syndrome? Lately, I haven’t been feeling quite right and I even told a friend of mine that I was tired of the person I was. After saying it out loud, I realized that it has something to do with me being tired of constantly wanting to be somewhere else. When I was in Israel I wanted to go to Spain, when I went to Spain I already wanted to be in Asia, when I was in Asia I wanted to be in New Zealand, and now I’m in the kiwi land and I already want to be somewhere else. I constantly feel as though there are things that I’m not experiencing because I’m right here, right now, because I can’t be in two places at once. Events I’m missing out on, people I can’t hang out with, or places that I haven’t seen yet. Think about it, being in a constant wanderlust can drive you a bit crazy.

Do you have eternal traveler syndrome, Joanna Kowalewska |

It has nothing to do with me not wanting to be a traveler anymore. It has nothing to do with feeling ready to settle down or having one destination I want to go. I’m not tired of constant changes because I just keep adjusting faster and faster to new circumstances and new roles, but for God’s sake, why do I feel this anxiety all the time?! I started to wonder how other travelers deal with it. When suffering from Eternal Traveler Syndrome, is there a way to stop planning and dreaming about beautiful beaches, high mountains and amazing people that are still waiting to be discovered? I can’t quite find an answer to that question. Although I’ve been doing a lot of yoga and meditation lately, I still feel that my brain is taking over and destroying the peace that I’m trying to build every day.

Do you have eternal traveler syndrome, Joanna Kowalewska |

What I crave is the unknown. I wait impatiently for some new adventure. I dream about stepping on undiscovered land and listening to a language I’ve never heard before. I can’t wait to eat dishes that I’ve never tasted and watch the sunrise in the most remote places on Earth. When people ask me why I can’t just sit still in one place, the only answer I have for them is to ask how they can sit still when the world is so big and so full of incredible things waiting for them. The world is calling me and I can’t say no to it, it’s way too tempting and too exciting.

There are days that I’m really tired of my “syndrome”, but I’m sure that I’m not the only one out there who feels this way from time to time. Sometimes, I think that I do need a doctor to cure the wanderlust anxiety, but then I realize that even if my head gets a little bit insane constantly planning my next adventure and making “to go to” lists, I really love the life of a traveler and I would never exchange it for a peaceful and cozy life in one place. It doesn’t matter if I was born this way or I became like this after tasting that first, Spanish sunbeam, what matters is that right now I’m a girl with Eternal Traveler Syndrome who denies seeing a doctor that could possibly fix her soul and mind of a gypsy. Well, at least for now.

Do you have eternal traveler syndrome, Joanna Kowalewska |

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This guest post was written by Joanna Kowalewska who shares her travel stories over at This World Is Calling Me.
All photos by Joanna Kowalewska.