I have talked to many people about wanderlust over the years. A great many of them seem to be unable to determine just where they got such a joy of travel.

Not me. I grew up in Western Pennsylvania, and after moving away from Pittsburgh and its surrounding satellites, I found myself in the deep farmland of Butler county. It was here that I learned that it was imperative that I be somewhere else. That initial desire to be elsewhere, has led to a lifelong desire to see new and different things, in new and different places.

I have explored a great amount of the the United States in my youth, and now find myself in the process of exploring beyond the borders, not just of the United States, but of North America.

The difficult here is that travel does require both a fair amount of money as well as a fair amount of energy. One cannot just pick up and leave at a moments notice if there’s no money in the bank account, or if one has responsibilities that keep in cemented into one area of the country. Instead travel must be planned, and in a weird sense, invested in. Going into a new area without some context of where one is going to, one risks missing what makes a that area amazing.

In my mind, it’s not enough to say “I’ve been to New York” or “I have visited Paris”. To me it’s important to know why these places are worth visiting in the first place. This makes me want to read up on the area, not just listing out the places to visit (which I do), but also reading up on the history of the area.

This makes me a bit of pain in the ass to those who travel with me. I can become the annoying friend who not only offers interesting bits of trivia on a regular basis, but I also end up correcting other peoples misconceptions about the places we’re visiting. I’m trying to correct this aspect of myself. After all, what makes me happy does not mean it appeals to other folk’s purpose of travel. But I still slip up from time to time.

Now with that being said, I still love what has evolved into “the process”. This is what makes my wanderlust bring such bliss. Because it’s not only about the being of somewhere else. It’s about finding the tools that provide my level of understanding.

This, to me, is what travel is all about.