On wanderlust and restlessness

On wanderlust and restlessness

Last month I found myself wandering alone up an Issaquah trail through mud and drizzle because I was convinced that if I spent just one more minute inside I was going to lose my mind. Before leaving her house, I told my grandmother “I need dirt” as means of explanation.

Did I sound a bit crazy? Definitely. Was it better than staying inside with that restless feeling? You bet.

I think that feelings of wanderlust and restlessness are easy to confuse. On the one hand, wanderlust is a strong impulse to travel, to see and experience new things and new people. On the other, restlessness is a sense of unease, a craving to be in a different place, situation or mindset. For me, and perhaps for other travelers too, I think maybe the second drives the first.

Those who know me know that I get bored easily. I lose interest in projects, books, men, and movies too fast. I’m desperate to move after a year or two in the same place. I’m bad at sitting still – there’s too much running through my mind, too much on the to-do list, too much left to experience; I’m always on to the next thing.

I’m left wondering if the reason I love to be on the road isn’t so much because I love the experience itself, but because I dread staying in the same place for too long.


  1. Hi Kate, I am really not sure how I stumbled upon your lovely blog, I adore your photographs too. I can totally relate to your wandering tendencies , as a touring musician I spend a significant part of the year away from home. On return it can be difficult to settle and do the “normal” things, I spent a lot of energy trying to be the ordinary guy and it never worked, now I embrace the gypsy within me and all is well in the world, best wishes B

    • Thanks Barry! I’m not going to be trying to settle in to normalcy for another six months, but I can already understand how difficult it will likely be. I’m glad that you’ve embraced your wandering self and made it work – gives me hope 🙂 Cheers!

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