I am a Millennial. That weird little group of people who are made out to be whinny, needy, and unsure of what they want. We are the generation rewriting Hemingway’s anthem of “Lost boys and girls” and whether we are succeeding or failing miserably is yet to be seen. We are a generation defined by wanderlust and a desire to do more, see more, experience more. We want more. We may not know what we want in life or where to settle down, but we know what we don’t want. And isn’t that half the battle?
I don’t know the history of the world wanderlust but I think its safe to say that my generation has taken it to heart. And I recently wondered where did my personal wanderlust start? What gave birth to this desire to travel that burns through my body like a shot of Jack on a cold night? We may be the generation of internet communication (as I type this on my laptop…) but we are also a generation of family vacations and summer break trips to grandma’s.
Our parents grew up reaaaaally embracing the RV across America style family vacation. They planned yearly trips with state lines and truck stops that ended at the Grand Canyon or the Hoover Dam. And like any good generation does, they passed that on to us. We weren’t as much the RV family vacation as we were the road trip family vacation. We didn’t stay at campgrounds all the time, we stopped at hotels and motels and cute little beach side inns.
That nostalgia, paired with our desire to be more conscious and aware, is what I think fuels the Wanderlusting Millennials. We backpack across Europe because we want to see where The Sun Also Rises takes place. We live in vans because we are redefining our goals as we march to the Beats of our own Dre. It all starts with the summer memories we made as a family.
For me, that means yearly trips to Gatlinburg, Tennessee staying at the Rainbow Inn and driving though Cade’s Cove gave birth to my wanderlust. It matured as trips to South America became the norm in high school to visit my grand parents. And it settled in my soul, deeply rooting itself in who I am with Study Abroad trips in college. I say my wanderlust has grown with me. It use to go to bars and enjoy the night life when I was younger. Now it has a penchant for rugs, exquisite teas and spices, and museums. But one thing is for certain: my parents created my wanderlust in one way or another.