Wanderlust Through Middle-Aged Eyes

Wanderlust is defined as a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world. Of course, it’s derivation is from German and is a combination of the word wondern (to hike) and lust (desire to). The German people have long had the cultural institution of hiking and understandably so with their native land’s beauty.

Here in America there seems to be a huge interest in adventure travel, even some that could justifiably be billed as expeditions. I recently stumbled across a few (and there are quite a few) cruise lines that specialize in travel and adventures to many locations difficult to access by your normal tourist.

Have a desire to see and actually have a range of adventures in Antarctica? Try National Geographic’s touring partner Lindblad Cruise Lines.

Want something even more physical try Austin-Lehman Adventure Vacations.

That’s just a few randomly picked outfits.

I’ve found over the years that my interest and desire to travel has increased. The wife and I are fortunate in that for many years we had the means to extensively travel, unfortunately it will be the work of a number of years (a lot actually..LOL) before we’ll be able to return to that lust for remote locations. Where does this lust come from? I know my biological father was a fanatic about travel and in spite of his extensive physical disabilities, he was able to find adventure. It’s perfectly OK for folks to be stay at home types and for a the last few years we’ve been in that category out of necessity, but that hasn’t diminished my desire to return to traveling.

I think man’s evolution is a direct result of his desire for adventure and especially risk-taking. This facet of our humanity let’s us be unafraid to try ‘new’ things that might be dangerous, yet immensely satisfying to say ‘we did it’. Travel across the Atlantic in ridiculous little wooden boats, sure we’re up for that and thousands followed. Settle Early America, sure we’ll do that too and migrate west for more. Take financial risk for a chance to make a profit, absolutely. Experiment with medical advances, we’ll do that too, and keep taking the risk. Investment risk in new technology, sign us up, we could be setting up another MicroSoft. Self-Government is perhaps one of the greatest risks we’ve taken as humans. For millenia we were content to live under dictators, tyrants, kings and queens all putatively smarter and better than the people at taking care and protecting their subjects, which worked out well for the kings, but not so much for the people. Why would we even try in a country that was barely on it’s feet? Why would we shed blood and treasure to even have a chance to take that chance of self-governance? We were up for the freedom that comes from self-governance. It’s all Wanderlust in different forms.

We can certainly have Wanderlust without leaving home, by any number of venues, such as blogging, gaming or social networking. But we need to address the outside world, get up and stir around a bit. A walkabout for lack of another term. But comes the recent era where many, many people became preoccupied with safety, hoping to find a longer life-span by eating and drinking certain things, while avoiding others. We became fixated on eliminating any and all danger in our lives and demanded the government, legislate these things, so stupid people would be forced to do the right thing. We wanted every conceivable danger banished by government edict. This idea is in direct conflict with our desire to ‘see the other side of the mountain’, I actually think that these ‘safety-peeps’ might have a mental illness. If our kids never scrape a knee, break an arm, get bonked by a baseball or any of those million and one kid injuries they will experience. We MUST learn things by experiencing physical pain (hopefully minor) in stretching our horizons.

That sense of wanderlust is still there, healthy and important to our humanity regardless our age or abilities.

For me personally, it’s of extreme importance. I’ve always loved the ocean, and aboard a ship at sea I find that serenity, so hard to locate on dry land, the extreme peace of watching the sun set on an ocean seemingly all your own. I think love of the ocean lies within most of us. Maybe the old saw about ‘saltwater in the blood’ has some truth to it. If we can’t get to the sea proper, we can always set sail on the Ocean Of Blacktop to satisfy that Wanderlust doing the ‘Road-Trip’ thing. I can remember from early age my dad’s enthusiasm for ‘Car Rides’, that great American past-time. Austin-Lehman in the above link, has a lot of domestics tours and adventures, for those unable or willing to travel the oceans ‘getting there’.

Look at this for example:


That civilians can actually go to and experience things like this, just intrigues my skivvies off. Yeah, I can feel the evening of life coming, but there are quite a few places I need to go yet and middle-aged or not, I’m gonna do them. That’s my mid-life crisis, how to afford and find the time to travel. It’s a challenge for damned sure, but well worth the effort.

How about you? Where does your Wanderlust want to take you? Forget money, time off, kiddie care for the moment and just think about it.

You need to get somewhere and see that “Green Flash” or the Southern Cross and a million other things of beauty in our world.

-Carry On


  1. 1
    Just Another Random Nut growls and barks:

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been thinking this for a long time – when did we as a society become such a big bunch of chickenshits? I truly think that we’ve become a smaller people for the obsession with safety and absolute aversion to any risk at all. Guess what – life is 100% fatal. You’ll never get out of it alive. Quit worrying and live; it’s the only way you’ll ever be remembered.

    Where would I like to go? I want to see Russia, Eastern Europe, the Balkans.

  2. 2
    LC Jackboot IC/A growls and barks:

    Just Another Random Nut says:

    I want to see Russia, Eastern Europe, the Balkans.

    Here’s an offering for ya’ with the agency I use. They offer massively discounted rates from what you would get from a local travel agency.


    Here’s the quickest link I could find there along the specs you want. FastDeal

  3. 3

    I want to go back to Pilsen Czech Republic. in late 1990 On one of my travels to Europe as a military contractor we took a day trip over to Czechoslovakia. The border hadn’t been opened for too long and the stark contrast between the beauty of Bavaria and the greyness of a newly free Russian satellite state was shocking. In Pilsen, I remember this guy who ran a brand new little record shop, his entire inventory was displayed in his front window and amounted to about 20 records. I went in and he knew enough english that I had a pretty good musical conversation with him. He was so proud of his little store and so proud to be a new capitalist pig.

    20 years on, I’d like to go back there and see how it’s changed now that the country has had two decades of freedom.

  4. 4
    LC Light29ID growls and barks:

    20+ years of the military and being stuck in the DC shithole has killed any vanderlust I might have had. The only wandering I want to do is from the house to the barn to saddle the horses that I’ll ride with my Granddaughters to check the fence line around my little ranch somewhere out West.

  5. 5
    Slightly to the right of Gingis Khan growls and barks:

    My wonderlust coincides with places I want to photograph. On the list is Angkor Wat, Nepal, the ruins of South America…..etc. I probably will no see all of them in this lifetime, house payments and children are more important. But I’ll see what I can.

  6. 6
    LC HJ Caveman82952 growls and barks:

    I am very fortunate in that I have been able to travel when I was young. A dozen countries on five continents. Canada and Australia my favorites. Some like Pakistan were shitholes.
    I’d rather stay domestic now….with one notable exception. But having set foot in twenty-five states in this beautiful country of ours, all of them having their charms and beauties……it would be hard.
    Not being so young I tend to remain home…….
    Although I will never forget the wildflowers of Kansas…….
    The moon might be nice though…………

  7. 7
    LC Gladiator growls and barks:

    Although it will never happen, If i could escape this wheelchair I would Love to walk on the MOON

  8. 8
    Lc ORWN engine builder for Rottie Racing growls and barks:

    I am a simple man, I have already been to about 20 of our 57 states, and other countries really dont get my juices flowing…I just want to make it to a Texas Rott-Fest. :em01:

  9. 9
    Just Another Random Nut growls and barks:

    LC Jackboot IC/A @ #:

    Here’s an offering for ya’ with the agency I use. They offer massively discounted rates from what you would get from a local travel agency.

    I would positively love to. Gonna be a long time before I go anywhere, though. Man is buying a house now a pain in the ass, not to mention expensive – I go to settlement Friday, where I am about to become very poor.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Secondmouse growls and barks:

    Thanks Jackboot. I have been preoccupied lately with seeing as much of this beautiful nation of ours as I can – I am most of the way to all 50 (by my count, anyway – Coloyoming not included) states. After that, it’s Ireland, Italy, New Zealand and a few places in Asia left on the bucket list.

    I appreciate your observation on the consequences we accept when we try to eliminate risk from our lives and the lives of those we love. I think we have made some very bad choices as a nation in this regard. Many people today are leading lives that are much less fulfilling than those who came before us and had much less to lose. It is the low moments in life that make it possible for us to truly appreciate the greatest ones, and the great ones come often from choosing to accept a challenge, or do something that is outside our comfort zone. In this regard, our nation’s great wealth has become an impediment to living a life of real quality – imagine how many lives are being lived in excruciatingly ordinary ways today for a lack of a need to do something different.

  12. 12
    Bones growls and barks:

    After 20 years in the Navy, one would think I’d had enough of the sea, yet, I could never imagine bieng away from it. I miss being on the open water. I wnat to sail all around the polynesian islands, and I’m truly afraid that I would never be seen back on the mainland again, by choice!

  13. 13

    I’ve gotta take Mrs. M west. She’s seen literally none of the country between Fort Worth and Seattle. She needs to see real mountains, gasp at the wonder of the Grand Canyon, walk on a supervolcano before it blows again, marvel at the magnificent desolation of the Jornado del Muerto in New Mexico and the Salt Flats at Bonneville.

  14. 14
    LC Draco growls and barks:

    When The Traveling Aggies asked how many places you have been, I had to stop at 33 countries. My passport looks like someone spilled ink in it!!! I am one of the few that have a stamp from the Falkland Islands!! (I do not recommend it unless it’s on an itinerary!! Worst fish and chips I have ever had!!)

  15. 15
    LC Draco growls and barks:

    And BTW…next year we hit Dubai, India and Indonesia !!!

  16. 16
    LC Jackboot IC/A growls and barks:

    LC Sir M – Imperial Tobacconist™, K.o.E. says:

    She needs to see real mountains,

    Ya’ got that right Bro !! A gander at the Rockies in wintertime is something to see, makes you wonder why you hadn’t been there sooner. Same if not MORE for the Grand Canyon….now that’s a spiritual sight if you’ve ever seen one.

  17. 17
    LC Draco growls and barks:

    LC Jackboot IC/A @ #:

    I must concur…words can not describe them!!

  18. 18
    Igor, Imperial Booby growls and barks:

    Now that Mrs. Igor and I are “empty nesters” we would like to visit New Zealand, and go on an Alaskan Cruise. Both she and I are Air Force Brats, and have been all over the world – her in SE Asia, me in Europe (as kids). Seen probably 25 of the 50 states (I don’t keep count), plan to visit a few more. The Good Ol’ USA has just about everything GOD can offer as far as beauty and availability, yet going to foreign lands (and actually living there for more than a month!) makes us realize there’s no place like America. No. Place.

    Traveling is fun, though. :em01:

  19. 19
    tweell growls and barks:

    I too have seen much of the world, courtesy of Uncle Sam, and came to the conclusion that I preferred the USA. My wife and I planned to do some travelling and see the other half of the states, but since she’s gone I’ve lost interest. It’s much more fun to travel with someone.

  20. 20

    I also wanna visit the Isle of Man, it’s where my most traceable direct ancestors came from. It also gets me close to England and Ireland where the rest of my heritage is.

    Oh, and Gettysburg…..always Gettysburg, there’s a spiritual connection there for me. Not sure what it is, maybe that I’ve read so much about it or something, but I’m always drawn there.

    Nothing beats the USA though, so much to see and so many miles to travel…..The Europeans just don’t understand that.

    Did I also mention my future retirement spot on the Maui North Shore? I didn’t???? hmmm…must closer to retirement than I thought. :em01:

  21. 21
    LC Spare Parts growls and barks:

    LC Draco @ #:
    A squaddie friend of mine told me they only change the oil every other year down there. After running the Argies out, they couldn’t wait to get back on board ship.

  22. 22
    LC Spare Parts growls and barks:

    one commentator on today’s AmSpecblog wants Brain Bleach. I sent him here. Now I’m off to H&B.

  23. 23
    LC Xystus growls and barks:

    I’d like to travel the Alaska Highway. The Mediterranean contains some places that interest me, & I might be up for sailing farther in the right company. Patagonia also fascinates.

  24. 24
    LC Draco growls and barks:

    LC Xystus @ #:

    If you go to the Med… Santorini is MUST visit!!!

    The wife’s favorite city is Istanbul, but I like Santorini better!!!

  25. 25
    LC Ogrrre growls and barks:

    LC Sir M – Imperial Tobacconist™, K.o.E. @ #: 13
    The Whitesands National Monument is interesting. It’s also amusing in the summertime. It may be 110 in the shade (when you can find it), but you will see cars with plates from Michigan, Minnisota, Maine, Vermont, etc. going around curves in the road very slowly like they were driving on ice.
    Take her also to Yosemite Nat’l Park and the Mariposa Big Grove. Those places, if you have any spiritual sense whatsoever, are awe inspiring, and makes one feel very small.
    I’d also like to see Meteor Crater, Devil’s Postpile Nat’l Monument, and the Grand Tetons. I’d also like to return to Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park.
    And finally on the list is a summer cruise to Alaska. I’d like to see it, but wouldn’t want to live there in winter.

  26. 26
    LC Draco growls and barks:

    LC Ogrrre @ #:

    White Sands is AWESOME and kinda freaky!!! You are driving up a road and all of a sudden there is WHITE sand!! Also one of the only natural places that can be recognized from space!!

    But HERE is another reason to go watch or visit. I have my certificate on my “I love me wall’!