Health

At home in the world — making the case for wanderlust

Last week, when I was full of tacos and tequila, salsa dancing (ish) late one night in Mexico City, I was struck by a realization. I. Must. Move. Here. I felt a familiar pull to a brand new life in a brand new city, full of exploration and challenges and deep, deep breaths.

Masterfile

Last week, when I was full of tacos and tequila, salsa dancing (ish) late one night in Mexico City, I was struck by a realization. I. Must. Move. Here. I felt a familiar pull to a brand new life in a brand new city, full of exploration and challenges and deep, deep breaths. In a moment it all became clear to me: I really want to spend next winter in Mexico City, sitting on a stool and sipping mezcal while eating salty pumpkin seeds, practicing my Spanish and making eyes at the beautiful, beautiful Chilangos.

There was a time when being able to project a life for myself onto any given city used to frustrate me. I thought it was a sign of flakiness or an inability to commit to anything. So many of my friends and family seem so content and settled in the one place they’ve chosen as their home. Why can’t I just pick a place and get comfortable?

But I’ve since realized that my desire to wander, my lust for new — new places, new people, new languages, new foods — is one of my favourite things about myself. I come by it honestly — my mother is the same way. We’re both happiest in those rare moments where you realize that you’ve never done or seen anything like the moment you’re experiencing now. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love traditions and old friends and being with my family; it just means that I have a small but very forceful internal drive that insists I seek out something new.

And so I can’t help but walk through Manhattan’s East Village, the rough warehouse spaces converted into art galleries alongside charming cafes and Chinese bun shops, and decide that I’m going to transplant myself there for a month or two. I can’t give up on the idea that I will live in Paris — at least for a few months — to improve my French, take some guidance in the art of being chic, and gain at least five pounds in butter-related weight. And I refuse to believe there aren’t a million other possible homes for me in the world, many of which I have yet to see.

I know that there might come a time when I am less curious and more tired, when I want a permanent address or a school for some future kid or simply a place to stop and really get to know well. Or I could simply fall in love with a place that I could never imagine leaving, and so decide to stay forever and finally get some houseplants to fawn over. But until then, it makes me happiest to test out life in as many places as possible and thrive on the excitement of discovery.