What Is Wanderlust?

Wanderlust is a strong desire to wander or travel and explore the world. Most of us experience the wish to visit faraway places once in a while, especially recently with lots of overseas trips being cancelled and replaced with staycations! This feeling is so familiar that we have a special word for it, Wanderlust, sometimes spelt Wunderlust. It represents that urge to break from everyday life and experience something new and unknown.

Origins Of The Word Wanderlust

The term originates from the German words Wandern (‘to hike’) and Lust (‘desire’). It translates as the enjoyment of hiking, but in modern times it has come to be the ‘enjoyment of roaming about, or wandering’.  According to Merriam-webster the first known use of the word wanderlust was in 1875.

Why Do Some People Feel Wanderlust And Others Don’t?

Wanderlust is a common desire, but not everyone experiences it. What makes some of us want to explore every corner of the world while others are happiest at home?

Scientists have come up with a theory that there could be a Wanderlust gene. They’ve identified a variant in a particular gene (DDRD4) that affects our sensitivity to dopamine, the neurotransmitter that helps us feel pleasure. People with this variant tend to be thrill-seekers and can act impulsively, so are more inclined to travel and seek out adventure.

The Advantages of Wanderlust

Travel has many benefits for your wellbeing:

  • It’s a chance to destress: Modern life tends to be busy and pressured with little time for yourself. Breaking from this routine helps you reset and relax
  • It makes you creative: Getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing new things means you have to adapt and be resourceful. This can improve your problem-solving skills and make you a creative thinker
  • It opens your mind: Experiencing different ways of life, cultures and views makes you more likely to show understanding and embrace new perspectives
  • It boosts your confidence: Going to a new place with an unfamiliar language improves your ability to communicate with strangers and pushes you to become more outgoing.


Wanderlust is not to be confused with Wonderlust – the stage in a relationship when you are not sure if you are lusting after or actually in love with someone!

So there you have it, our mini-guide to wanderlust. If you have the gene and have been dreaming our your next trip check out our unique personalised travel accessories here

Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash