Wanderlust is defined as a strong desire to wander or travel. Whatever it is, I can assure you I don't have it. Not to say I'm not on the move a lot, jetting back and forth bi-monthly between Ontario and Quebec. But that's quite different. I'm usually running into the familiar arms of my Ma or Pa, or seeing friends that I've known for so long they might as well be my blood relations.
Personally, I'm saving up all my real wanderlust for when I'm 40, so that if anything happens to me while I'm out being "adventurous", I'll at least be veering towards middle age.
Being a bit of a neurotic about safety as it is, you can imagine how I felt a few months back when my boyfriend announced to me that he'd be spending four nights alone in a tent observing the stars (with about 700 other star enthusiasts sharing the camp site) in a place that may or may not get cellphone reception. Okay, so I should have been slightly comforted by the fact that hundreds of other people participate in the Ontario-based Starfest (Aug. 8-11). But in my mind I was like, "What if a bear wanders on to the campground and decides you look the most appetizing of all the astronerds?" or "What if one of the other star-dudes likes your telescope better than his and tries to engage you in a duel?"
The what-ifs were consuming my thoughts leading up to his departure last week. I felt like a mom sending her kid off to camp for the first time. I squeezed his cheeks and made sure he had all of the emergency numbers. I gave him a little metal trinket in the shape of a stone that was inscribed "I love you", but warned him not to flash it around during a lightning storm. He indulged me in my safety tips, but it was clear that he was excited to get out of the city and begin his "some kind of wanderlust" trip, shooting the shit with fellow amateur astronomers, drinking cold beers while contemplating the universe and what have you.
Since I'm the more extroverted one in our relationship, it was a bit odd being left behind at home (especially since I'm usually running off to some social engagement or other while he basks in the glow of his video games). But I soon got adjusted to it, trying not to panic when I'd send him an unanswered text. I had to remind myself that he was probably having too much fun to constantly be checking his phone. I did get one voicemail from him, but it didn't exactly comfort me. It was him cutting in and out saying something to the effect of having almost been sucked up by a small tornado on the way there, and that he was psyched to have caught the whole thing on video. I went to bed that night happy that he survived his brush with fate but dreaming of demonic cyclones.
I can attest to the fact that he's made it back safe and sound today, although a piece of his heart I think is still reclining underneath a canopy of stars. I'm not sure if seven years ago (when we first met) he would have had the gusto to plan such a trip. I myself am pretty jazzed that he's found something that really inspires him.
His whole solo-trip made me think a little about something I once read in a book about healthy unions being the ones in which each person is just a catalyst for growth in the other. You can't go on every journey together, but you can aim to be supportive and trusting when the person you care about is away. Who knows, maybe I'll book a yoga retreat some day soon...maybe even before I turn 40.
P.S. Check out some of Jer's photos below that he took with his DSLR camera and telescope. All images are copyrighted, of course.