The 5 Step Plan to Coping with Wanderlust

“So, where are you going next?” The inevitable question I get asked on a regular occurrence, more so now than the other commonly asked interrogation regarding my life long plans for mini mes.

Sometimes the question fills me with enthusiasm, that being when I have a clear idea of the trips in my calendar. But on those occasions where my future explorations are undecided, the unknown answer can be more daunting than exciting.

When your bucket list is the size of the Inca Trail (which happens to be on there too), picking which place to save for and tick off next can feel slightly unnerving. Should I just be concentrating on European long weekends? Should I focus on one big long trip to a far-off land? What if I don’t go now and then miss out later on in life because I’m wrinkly and tired with a toddler hanging off my ankle?

Not only that but you have to somehow remember this ever growing list of must see places whilst being constantly distracted by dreamy Instagram beaches and articles titled “101 destinations you have to see before you turn 30”. And that’s even before you even considering beginning to work out how long is enough in each destination, the flights, an approximate budget, which landmarks are worth the hour queue and where are those unique finds… boy it can be overwhelming.

So to make sure that I don’t turn into a batty old woman with a backpack sitting in Heathrow’s check in desk muttering ‘Ecuador, no India, no Sri Lanka!’, I’ve come up with an almost fool proof plan for coping with my incessant obsession. I call it the 5 step plan to coping with wanderlust.

The 5 Step Plan to Coping with Wanderlust

1 | Write it all down

If you’re anything like me, you’ll add about 38 places to your bucket list every time you just open Instagram. So the only way I stop myself from feeling completely overwhelmed is to write it all down in a very organised Excel Spreadsheet (other programs are available). I have a tab for London restaurants, bars, cafes, experiences, hotels and then of course restaurants and hotels across the globe. Each has an average of 60 places, detailed with the location and any notes to help me remember why I wrote it down in the first place. It might seem ridiculous but it’s the first place I go when I think, ‘ok, where shall I explore next?’

2 | Take a break from social media

If the influx of turquoise Maldivian waters and Icelandic waterfalls is getting a little bit too much, then stop. Put the phone away. Breathe. If you start hyperventilating every time you open Instagram then maybe it’s time for a break. Read a book about a murder, do a BuzzFeed quiz and find out what kind of potato you are or just stick on Netflix and relax.

Sometimes we all just need a time out.

3 | Window shopping

Can’t take a break from it? Well then go ahead and give into it. You know how sometimes you get a song stuck in your head and the only way to stop yourself going mad is to just play it and sing at the top of your lungs? Well sometimes the only way for me to stop fixating over an adventure is to window shop.

Example:

One mammoth trip taking up my bucket list is South America. Yeah, not even one country, a whole bloody continent. A month or so ago I could not get it out of my head. One of my friend’s had just announced her travels to said destination and after also watching David Attenborough’s series on the Galapagos, I was obsessed.

Not only did I look into flights in full meticulous detail, I also wrote myself an itinerary, worked out exactly where I wanted to go and what I wanted to see in each country. Seeing it written down and knowing approximately how much it would cost surprisingly left me feeling relieved. It suddenly wasn’t such a daunting task and I could finally relax knowing that when I’m ready, I know exactly how I’ll go about it.

4 | Remember that you’re not going to die tomorrow

The part of wanderlust that stresses me out the most is not just wanting to see everywhere…  it’s wanting to see it all right now. I’ve had many an adventurous meltdown with my fellow travel lovers who every time have calmed me down with a simple “Eppie, just plan one trip at a time”. As soon as I remember that I’m unlikely to just keel over tomorrow and can probably fit most of my bucket list into my hopefully lengthy lifetime, I stop hyperventilating.

Of course there will be life obstacles that might affect or delay my travels but hey I’ll work around it. Full time job? Long weekends it is. Got a pet? Come along for the ride. Motherhood? Let’s take the kids to the jungle.

5 | Take a staycation or a day trip

Sometimes, I just can’t scratch that itch. I’ve done all of the above and despite turning me back into a rational human being, it just hasn’t cured my need to see something new.

In these moments I have two choices; I can spend all my savings, quit my job and run away. Or I can take enjoyment in exploring the vastly striking UK, which I am lucky enough to call home. If I’m strapped for time or money, a simple day out in London to somewhere that I’ve never been can easily calm my travel bug. Otherwise a more spontaneous staycation to a quaint village or seaside town has me take a long deep breathe with a smile on my face as the wanderlust slowly retreats (maybe it’s not a desire to travel; maybe I just need to depollute my lungs every now and then).

How do you cope with your wanderlust? I’d love to hear your ideas and methods!

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17 Comments

  1. 5th August 2017 / 6:05 pm

    I’m sooooo loving the idea of spreadsheet in Excel, sounds like a super organised and efficient thing that only Germans or Japanese people will pull of. And having a day trip can do so much to your mind and creativity…we recently went to Brighton for a day ( we are from London ), had fantastic time there (with massive brunch portions and gigantic ice creams), came back home recharged and full of positive memories ready to tackle busy working week ahead. x

    • 8th August 2017 / 10:08 am

      Haha it really helps me keep track of stuff… also great to send to the boyfriend when he needs inspiration 😉
      That’s a great point, and I love Brighton! x

  2. 18th July 2017 / 3:11 pm

    I’ve got a serious case of wanderlust at the moment and being almost 7mth pregnant doesn’t help….need to travel somewhere the next year;)

    • 19th July 2017 / 3:32 pm

      Oh no, but also congratulations! Yes spend the time you can’t travel planning trips for next year!

  3. 18th July 2017 / 12:42 pm

    This is EXACTLY what I needed! I’m currently working full time and theres zero time to jet off anywhere so I’m craving it so much! I actually really want to start my own excel sheet now, it sounds like so much fun ahah

    http://www.yourealreadyinvited.com

    • 19th July 2017 / 3:33 pm

      You should! It’s so much fun popping new things in, even if it grows ridiculously long like mine 🙂

  4. 18th July 2017 / 11:58 am

    “The part of wanderlust that stresses me out the most is not just wanting to see everywhere… it’s wanting to see it all right now.” – girl, exactly my thoughts (or should I say, worst nightmare). I want to travel everywhere. Now! Sigh. Great tips though, I feel like IG is contributing A LOT to me feeling this greed to travel, so taking a break is always a great idea.

    • 19th July 2017 / 3:34 pm

      Isn’t it the worst! We need to be able to rewind time so we can go back again and again! Yeah I do have days where I just have to ignore social media because it just makes me feel the FOMO

  5. 18th July 2017 / 11:02 am

    Great tips – I definitely agree with the itinerary planning strategy as this is something I do all the time! It drives my boyfriend mad but I like to know how much different options cost when we’re thinking about where to go next 🙂

    • 19th July 2017 / 3:34 pm

      Exactly! Yeah mine’s like ‘wait what when are you going there?!’ I sound slightly mad when I say well not yet but I just want to plan it haha!

  6. 18th July 2017 / 9:57 am

    I have separate lists but I love the idea of getting it all down on one big spreadsheet!

    • 19th July 2017 / 3:35 pm

      Haha its great when I can just flick between tabs!

  7. 18th July 2017 / 9:23 am

    Great tips! I would love to have a peek at your Excel spreadsheet – it sounds pretty epic! I have a list of London restaurants and places I want to visit on the notes app on my phone too, but your system sounds WAY more organized haha! xx

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

    • 19th July 2017 / 3:35 pm

      I might put it up as a bucket list soon! I had to transfer it from notes because it was getting too long and I couldn’t remember what some of the places were!

  8. 18th July 2017 / 8:29 am

    I absolutely love your spreadsheet idea! I’ve got all these random screenshots on my phone of places I ‘might want to remember’ but that is a much better way to organise it.
    I totally understand your feeling of always wanting to have another trip planned. And the urgency, of I have to plan it now! However, I also like going back to places and I’m worried I’ll just end up going back to Paris, Berlin and Copenhagen over and over again as I love them so much and it’s now quite an easy holiday!
    Lisa x
    http://www.whatlisadidnext.com

    • 19th July 2017 / 3:37 pm

      Ah well if you love a place why not go back, especially when its somewhere like Paris and Berlin that are so big and have so much to see!

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