Image description: Image 01 From left to right – 01: A landscape image. Fay stands to the right of the frame. Fay is wearing grey trousers, black hiking shoes, a bright red raincoat and a Millican Core collection 20l pack in Sunset. The hills around are dramatic with rocky craggs and the sky is a heavy, dark blue. 02: A landscape image. A scene of hills and mountains, in the foreground are rocky craggs. The colours of the moss around are reds and browns. The sky is a deep blue – it looks stormy and dark.
This article is sponsored by Millican– all opinions are our own.We chose to partner with Millican for this article because we love the whole ethos of their brand. They are all about the everyday adventures we find ourselves on, connection and defying convention – all pillars close to our hearts and at the centre of This Expansive Adventure. Made from recycled and vegan materials, their backpacks are sustainably made. This is mirrored throughout the spirit and actions of their business – for example, their Care & Repair scheme means that their products are made for life. Fay chose the Core collection 20l pack in Sunset and particularly liked the bright colour and comfortable fit. Matt chose ‘The Mavericks’ Smith the Roll 15l pack in Tarn and liked the range of pockets both internal and external and especially the padded internal pockets that kept his small items safe and secure. We loved the build quality of the backpacks and the well thought out design that somehow manages to be both contemporary yet still referencing classical hiking packs.
Wanderlust is a phrase that has become synonymous with the modern traveller. You only have to spend a few minutes looking through relevant hashtags on Instagram to find millions and millions of beautiful images from every corner of the globe that show people experiencing and exploring our world in a multitude of different ways. It isn’t hard to come up with a long list of why, as humans, we love to explore. It’s that sense of wonder you get from seeing something for the first time. It is the evocation of that ‘pioneer’ spirit when you discover something that you weren’t expecting. It’s that sense of intrigue, mystery and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and moving far away from our incessant need to know what might come next. It is that sense of connecting to the world around you. It’s that feeling of experiencing rather than being a passerby. It’s learning. It’s how that impacts you in your day-to-day life long after the event.
As human beings, our sense of freedom is incredibly important to us – it is one of our most important human rights. So, given the context of the events of 2020 and 2021 so far, it isn’t hard to understand how that complex set of elated emotions and sensory experience cravings have been lacking and how you may have been feeling like you’ve lost (or misplaced for now) a sense of your identity. What we do is so intertwined with who we see ourselves as.
So, what does wanderlust mean anyway, and how can you bring a sense of wanderlust back into your life?
“Wanderlust” is lust (or “desire”) for wandering. The word comes from German, in which wandernmeans“to wander,” and Lustmeans“desire.”
Quite simply put, wanderlust means ‘a desire to wander’. It’s about feeling hungry for the world around you, having itchy feet. It’s about getting as excited about the world around you as you might get about your favourite TV show or meal. Wanderlust (or more so travel and exploration) has even been cited as an incredibly important part of self-development.Psychologically and sociologically,wanderlust can help you learn about yourself, the world, and your sense of place within it.
Image description: From left to right – 01: A landscape image. The scene is minimal with a dark cloudy sky and rocks in the foreground. Matt is caught mid action as he jumps from rock to rock. He wears black trousers, a black coat and a Millican ‘The Mavericks’ Smith the Roll 15l pack in Tarn. 02: A landscape image. Matt crouches down with his Millican ‘The Mavericks’ Smith the Roll 15l pack in Tarn. He lifts a titanium water bottle from the side pouch. He smiles. The background is mountainous with browns, greens and oranges in the surrounding hills.
Wanderlust grew asa popular word in the 19th-Century German romantic movement which celebrates an appreciation and love of nature that developed from an interest in exploring Central Europe’s landscapes.There is even a German term that explains the ‘ache’ many of us have felt during the pandemic when it comes to exploration –‘fernweh’which roughly translates as ‘far woe’. When we can’t do the things we have done in the past that we know will give us that sense of satisfaction, it’s about becoming flexible with how you can start to add this to your life in a way that makes sense to you now. It’s about questioning what exactly it is that you love and finding ways to add that in on a more frequent basis.
Image description: A landscape image. A flat lay on a dark wood floor shows the items kept in a day pack for exploring. A Millican ‘The Mavericks’ Smith the Roll 15l pack in Tarn sits in the centre. To the left is a bright yellow puffy jacket with grey baseball cap on top. Above the pack is a pair of black sunglasses and a black head torch. To the right is a camera, a tube of yellow sun cream and a battery charger. Below, a yellow food jar, a black smart watch, a silver form, an energy bar and at the bottom a titanium water bottle.
Focusing on what you don’t have right now, in whatever way that affects you will likely lead to you feeling a sense of longing and missing – so focusing on what we can do, explore or experience right now can be a great technique for bringing a lot more of those happy feelings we get from a sense of exploration and travel. Exploration experiments are a great way of really identifying what lights you up. For us, we’ve spent a lot of our time over recent weeks exploring and discovering in much different ways to what we ever have before and we’ve been concentrating on what makes us feel a certain way. We’ve taken to a map and pin-pointed an area that, in the past, we just wouldn’t have had time to explore as we’d be travelling out of the country so frequently. This has allowed us to explore and find so many areas that have truly given us that sense of wanderlust. We were able to identify that the emotions travel and exploring evoke for us is a sense of wander, a sense of not having everything planned and a want to explore spaces in a carefree way. So finding new places we’ve never even thought of before and really just allowing ourselves to be in those environments and explore, with a sense of child like wonder and without agenda has really helped us mentally feel much more fulfilled.
Image description: From left to right – 01: A portrait image. Fay stands with black to camera but with head twisted so we see the right-hand side. Fay wears grey trousers, a bright red raincoat, and a Millican Core Roll 20l pack in Sunset. In the foreground are out of focus rocks and some orange/yellow flowers. The sky is dark without much detail. 02: A landscape image. A detail of Fay putting on a Millican Core Roll 20l pack in Sunset. We see Fay’s arms and shoulders and is wearing a bright red raincoat. In the background is a grassy hull with a cloudy blue sky.
It is so easy to find ourselves comparing our experience and what that looks like to the highlight reels we see on social media. We get into this feeling that travel, adventure and exploration should look a certain way. We’ve felt in the past that a number of places we’ve been to or experiences we’ve had haven’t felt right to us, and later realized that we weren’t actually taking into consideration our wants, needs and the things that make us individually feel happy. The truth is, what makes you feel good when you’re exploring is likely going to be different to the next person. In some cases, this may be tiny, but this can make all the difference to how this experience impacts you in a positive way afterwards. So, getting clear on what it is that you really enjoy, and claiming that unapologetically as you start exploring is going to allow you to have a much more connected and fulfilling experience.
If you’ve enjoyed the scenery in this article, you might also enjoy our article on the best hikes in the Peak District
Image description: From left to right – 01: A landscape image. Matt is sat on a rock in the centre of the frame. Around him are mosses and shrubs in browns and purples. In the background are hills and the sky is overcast and cloudy. He wears black trousers, black coat and a Millican ‘The Mavericks’ Smith the Roll 15l pack in Tarn. 02: A landscape image. Rocks in the foreground make up the interest of the scene, and around are shrubs and hill side flowers. In the background, there are hills. The sky is a blue hue with clouds in the bottom.
A sense of wanderlust is about the feelings it evokes – and probably why it is such a powerfully used way to describe how many people feel about travel and exploring. Whilst we may not have quite the same access right now to all the freedoms we used to, we still have an enormous opportunity here to readjust the way we think about things. Our ability to explore and reframe what this means to us right now can truly allow us to bring a sense of what makes us happy about the feelings we experience from wanderlust, into our lives right now. It gives us an opportunity to rewrite what we want from our experiences and live into them so that when our sense of freedom is fully restored, we can add to that with a sense of intentionality, connection, inspiration and compassion for this world in a way that we perhaps didn’t have before.
Image description: Clockwise – 01: Fay is in the centre of the image and is holding a rock for support. Fay wears black hiking shoes, grey trousers, a bright red raincoat, and a Millican Core Roll 20l pack in Sunset. Rocks surround Fay and in the background are hills in this mountainous scene. The sky, taking over a small section of the image is blue with white clouds. 02: A landscape image. A detail of lichen on rock. The lichen is white with green edges. The rock in the background has a purple hue. 03: A landscape image. A detail of flowers. These are pink with greens scattered in. There are only a few in focus as this is a shallow depth of field shot.
Action points to help you readjust and explore your sense of wanderlust:
Identify The Feelings
Everything comes down to feelings – and wanderlust is no different. Ask yourself the question ‘what is it I love about travel and exploration?’ and write down your answers. Once you have them, start to think about the feelings each of those things evokes. This will be your guide for how you can tailor the experiences you have now to fit the needs and emotions you are longing to experience.
Look At What Is Possible
Sure, you might not be able to do many of the things around the world right now that you’d like to do. So how can you frame this as an opportunity to look at and explore other ideas? Go on what feels intuitively good here. If day adventures are the option that best suits you here – can you explore new areas you may never have thought of before? Part of our sense of wanderlust comes from the planning, so make this an exciting part of heading out for an adventure.
Explore Your Senses
One of the reasons we love travel so much is because of the different sensory experiences that it allows us to have – and this is something that we can bring into our experience anywhere. Allow yourself the ability to explore in a slower, more inquisitive way. Take note of how different things make you feel and use these things as a guide for how you build on your exploration.
Image description: From left to right – 01: A detail od Matt holding the straps of a Millican ‘The Mavericks’ Smith the Roll 15l pack in Tarn. He looks out to the right and is wearing a black coat. 02: A portrait image. A close-up detail of a strap mechanism on a Millican ‘The Mavericks’ Smith the Roll 15l pack in Tarn. Matt uses his finger to hook the fastener into the strap of the bag.