I’ve thought about this several times, but lately I’ve been thinking about it a lot. Tonight, I spoke with an old friend from back home who will soon be entering college, and he recently met several people at a conference, one of whom just came back from a two-month hitchhiking trip across New Zealand (you can’t make this shit up.)
Sometimes I’d really like to do that: just take a break in life, uproot myself from everything I know, and do something without really making a plan. As I told him tonight, I really can if I want. There’s not much stopping me; Harvard would easily let me take a semester or two off if I asked, and if I made enough money in the coming months or year, I could potentially do it. The only thing stopping me is a fear — fear that I will fall out of my plan for life, fear that my parents will be unhappy, fear that I wouldn’t know what’s coming next. But it would be really nice just to come up for a breath of air.
But lately, I’ve been kind of feeling a thirst for that. There’s probably a name for this feeling — that burning desire to take flight, to depart. People always write about a sense of connection to their roots, but what about the desire to sever those connections, if only for a little while?
EDIT: I guess the closest term I could find while Googling was “wanderlust”, incidentally a German word. It still does not adequately describe the innate desire to sever connections, though.