Adult Onset Wanderlust – an Illness Plaguing the Younger Generations

I was recently diagnosed with one of the world’s least studied psychological illnesses – Adult Onset Wanderlust (AOW). What is AOW, you may ask?

AOW is an illness that causes people to stray outside of societal norms of what it means to be a “responsible” adult. People with AOW tend to study abroad extensively while in college, travel at any chance they get and challenge “traditional” career paths.

The growing interconnectedness of the world means that Adult Onset Wanderlust is spreading fastest among tech-savvy Millennials and Gen Xers.

If you are between the ages of 18 to 125, you may be suffering from AOW if you have exhibited any of the following behavior:

  • Extraordinary ability to adapt to unfamiliar situations
  • A subscription to a travel-based email newsletter
  • Idolization of the digital nomad lifestyle
  • Ability to see perspectives that transcend your cultural upbringing
  • Desire for international experiences

Left untreated, AOW carriers can experience:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Frustration
  • Unrealized potential

The very nature of AOW changes the fabric of the carrier’s identity and dreams and therefore cannot be formally cured. However, AOW carriers can still live happy, healthy lives as functioning members of formal society – with proper care. The best treatments for AOW include:

  • Satisfying wanderlust by seeking opportunities abroad
  • Connections to an international community
  • Solidarity with others with AOW

Do you too suffer from AOW? If so, what remedies are working for you?

Photo by Eunice Lituañas on Unsplash


The Myth of the “Real” World

We are taught at a young age that there is a “natural” course to life.

You are born, you go to school, you graduate, you get a “real” job, you get married,
you buy a house, you have kids, you get old, you retire and then you die.

We are left with this rigid map of how we should live our lives.

And as a result, we may feel lost or looked down on if we aren’t doing the things
we are “supposed to” be doing at the correct moment.

When are you going to get a “real” job? When are you going to get married? When are you going to have kids?

But there is no such thing as the “real” world.

In fact, that exact map we are given at birth is incomplete and can lead us astray from what we actually want for ourselves.

You see, the “real” world is whatever you want to make real.

Your real world could very well be the one outlined above. Mine happens to be to less planned and involves many a trips abroad.

Neither is better than the other.

Instead, think about what drives the passion within you.

Or, if you don’t have anything you are passionate about just yet, that’s an even better excuse to get out there and explore.

Embrace the beauty around you. Explore the possibilities.

You can live your life planning every move.

Or you can take a deep breath,
Put down the map,
And embrace the limitless possibilities of the universe.