And I found the cure!
Wander, «move around without a definite purpose or plan»; lust, indicates passion, strong wish or desire; therefore: wanderlust, «strong desire to wander or travel and explore the world».
Such an interesting word!
It actually originates from the German, where wandern does not mean to travel but to hike, in fact in modern German the use of the word wanderlust as desire to travel is not that common, it is very normal instead for all the travelers around the world.
In psychology the wanderlust is defined as an urge to experience the unknown and in sociology as a motivating force that brings to the engagement with different cultural experiences; don’t you think both are true?
Well, for me they really are: as said in the presentation of myself, my curiosity takes me to dream about seeing places that are different from those I commonly see at home, learning about cultures that are new to me and discovering tastes that my palate never tried before.
Someone says that this desire is an actual disease and you know how they say: “admitting is the first step to healing” so I did it, I admitted to myself that the only cure was stop dreaming and just doing it.
When I was a kid, my parents often took me and my brothers somewhere: we traveled quite much in Italy by car or motor home and dad drove us also to Barcelona with that same motor home; we were in Malta, Stockholm and the last trip all together the seven of us was to Lisbon. In the adolescence, I waited for my 18th birthday for the big “adulthood trip”! At the beginning my friend Fabrizia and I were dreaming about a month in Australia but… we ended up in Zakynthos, Greece, for ten days with all our friends. It was fine; I mean, we had a lot of fun – beach, water of beautiful colors, excursions on the boat and clubs every night – but it was not Australia (which still is the biggest dream on my bucket list and I am working on it, but this is another story).
The first time I really understood how much I enjoy traveling was “Beijing 2011”; I was studying Chinese at the university of Naples L’Orientale and everybody knows how important it is to live the language in order to learn it, so (I think we were at the 3rd year course already) Debora and I applied for a three month language course at the Beijing Language and Culture University. Our adventure – believe me, it really was an adventure – started in September: we stayed at the hotel right behind the campus for the first ten days while we were looking for an apartment and trying our best to speak and understand Chinese; we cried… but we also laughed a lot. It was fun and interesting; we met people from other countries and with all kind of background and I made friends that somehow still are in my life today. During the “Golden week” (note: in China they have a week off for the 1st of October to commemorate the establishment of the People’s Republic of China) we went to Shanghai with Ilay and Elad, our Israeli friends, and from there we all went to Suzhou for a haircut…
Joking! Obviously we had a day trip to visit the city but after we saw all we had to, it still was too early for our train back to Shanghai so Debora and Ilay decided to cut their hair; I tell you, trying to explain how they wanted their hair to those hairdressers, using our limited Chinese skills, was a great challenge!
Time to go back home was coming but we did not want to leave China without visiting the Terracotta Warriors: we studied this amazing and impressive army a year before for the exam of “Chinese archaeology and history of art” and I really wanted to see it with my eyes but we did not have many days left in China, so on December 1st we took a night train from one of the stations of Beijing (don’t remember which one) and we slept in a cabin with a smelly-feet-stranger before waking up the second morning in Xi’An city, where we took a crowed bus to finally get to the Mausoleum of Qin Shihuang, the first Emperor of China (note: in 2011 the entrance ticket costed us 55 CNY).
If history remembers Mr.Qin is also because, among many remarkable things, he made build an entire terracotta army to protect him after death; soldiers, chariots and horses all different to each other; the funerary piece of art was declared World Heritage by the UNESCO and I honesty think it’s fascinating so I suggest you to add it to the list if you ever have the chance to visit China.
As already said we didn’t have many days left, therefore once visited the site we went straight back to the station for our night train back to Beijing where we woke up on the morning of December 3rd – yes, basically a hit and run just to visit the Terracotta Warriors… this says it all.
Few days later, I was back to Italy conscious that something in me had changed; I knew that the short time in China was only the beginning of my disease: after my bachelor degree I left again, this time to another continent, but I will be telling you more about it in my next post…Vamos!
Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the page…
I’ll read ya!