Not all those who wander are lost

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When announcing my plan to embark on a year of full time travel in 2014, I recently wrote in my first Ebook that I was

“leaving for all the right reasons, and leaving all the wrong ones behind”.

This was something I felt needed to be said, given that the response I most commonly incurred was that I was “running away” from something, anything, or perhaps even everything. For the record, I am. I’m running away from everything the ‘real world’ emphasises as ‘normality’ and creating my own. I’m launching myself into something I have always wanted to do – explore the world indefinitely, without a time frame, and without an expiry date. I’m becoming a global citizen and my home is everywhere.


However I certainly cannot agree with many people’s opinion that I am somehow “lost” because I have chosen to do so.


In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been so sure of anything in my life.


But what am I sure of?


I’m sure that this is the right thing for me, sure that this is the right time, and absolutely sure that whenever it is that I do decide to settle and call one place home that I will do so, and not be too proud to call an end to my travels.


Prior to announcing my 2014 ‘year of adventure’ that doesn’t necessarily have an expiry date, many and most people I encounter view my decision to travel as a good one. They view travel as a valuable asset, a way to grow as a person, and a way to appreciate and understand the world around us.

Yet when I made the announcement to my family and friends that I would be travelling indefinitely having just completed my University Degree, almost all of their reactions were negative… or apprehensive at best.


But why?


Why is there such a stigma surrounding long-term travel that people view it as somehow less valuable than short stints abroad? Why do people immediately conclude that my decision to travel for a long period is me somehow voicing that I am “lost”?


I’ve just finished my University Degree…


Having slaved away over law text books for 2.5 years, I decided I didn’t want to practice law at the completion of my degree, as it wasn’t for me. With that in mind, I decided to complete my degree in International Relations (I was studying a double degree) and finish university this year so that I could start travelling full time as soon as I had finished my degree.


If I had it my way, I wouldn’t have completed university at all… but I’m also kind of glad that my parents encouraged me to do so, as I feel I have a minor accomplishment under my belt before I go off and travel the world full time.


But when I made the announcement to friends and family that I would not be applying for a full time graduate position at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or starting my career as a budding journalist, they were baffled to hear my plans to travel the world for at least a year.

Their common concern was that I was somehow “lost”, “unsure”, or lacking a sense of direction.

Truth be told, I have never been quite as sure and certain of anything in my life!


…But I’m too creative for a 9-5


Instead of working a 9-5 job that pays my bills and keeps me tied down to my mundane office job for the next 50 years, I’m going to be out there seeing the world and soaking it up while I can. I won’t be tied down to a job, lifestyle, or idea of reality, but I will be creating my own. I have a clear sense of direction – I want to travel, explore, and experience as much as I can. But that doesn’t necessarily in search of anything, least of all myself.


Many of us get lulled into thinking there is a specific ‘order’ to life. Society reinforces that we should be educated, work our asses off, save our asses off, and if there’s anything left at the end of it we can enjoy our life’s work in retirement.




How on earth did we get here?


How did we end up deciding we aren’t allowed to enjoy ourselves until we have somehow earned it?

But what is stopping us from changing this trend?




Nothing but ourselves and others around us who reinforce this as what is acceptable.


So before you go ahead and question why someone enjoys their life as they live it, consider the fact that not all those who wander are lost.


If this post resonates with you, you might enjoy The World of Wanderlust Story, a book about my journey from travelling for enjoyment to beginning a career as a travel blogger and enthusiast. The book is priced at just $14.99, with a portion going directly to my chosen charity, Destiny Rescue.

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    Brittany Justham
    January 14, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    I LOVE this Brooke!! Being a young adult these days creates so many expectations that are ridiculous. For some reason, the trend started that we need to go to university and then get a stable job AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Why? I’m not sure, because so many people are unhappy with this lifestyle counting the seconds down until they can go home and counting the days until the weekend. Why are we sucked into this false perception of what is right when no one is happy doing it?

  • And I Don’t Really Care If Nobody Else Believes |
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    Pragya Sharma
    May 27, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Hey Brooke!
    I’m so glad i stumbled upon your blog. What’s more! It totally resonated with what I feel too! I am 2o years old and am going to get graduated in a year . The only thing which has inspired me to do well in life is so that i can spend lavishly on travelling and shopping. The 9-5 grind is really not my thing. Thank you so much for your blog. Its really inspiring and encouraging and is a proof that you can be happy even if you do something different. After all , its all about what makes you happy. Not all those who wander are lost 🙂
    Thank you !

    September 21, 2014 at 4:31 am

    I could’t agree more with you in everything!!! I haven’t started my travel journey yet, and I’m not going to do a year long travel any time soon, all though I will one day. I am going to be a teacher so I plan on traveling in the summers. But my heart aches bc I have to wait still. I agree with all of your reasons, I want to see the world, life is too short, I don’t just want to work and have kids and to the same stuff everyone else does, I want to explore and grow and all for the RIGHT reasons. It’s weird to read how discouraging people can be, but it kind of happened to me the other day. I had my little sister lecture me on “your travel plans are great, but you need to save money blah blah blah” and although she meant well, her life- she has a house, and a husband, I don’t, is far from the life I want right now, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with the life I want.

    Letitia - The Fashion Editor
    May 28, 2014 at 2:52 am

    Couldn’t have said it better! So glad I came across your blog this week. I am in love. I must have blogged about this exact same thing like 10 times haha. Can’t wait to read more. xx

    May 27, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Thank you so much for saying this!

    April 10, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Thats awesome. I think the biggest thing is money and people don’t understand spending so much on travel… even though if you’re smart you really don’t spend THAT much. I’m teaching english for a year and going to use that money to fund traveling for as long at will last me. I think honestly the ability to travel for a year and to stay in contact with family is so new to the world that many people have not gotten used to it yet.

    Ann-Sophie Ovile
    April 9, 2014 at 7:44 am

    I really enjoyed reading this. I really like the fact that you are doing what makes you happy rather than what is “safe’. Keep doing what you do. I will be buying your book before my trip to India. A good reading on the plane is all i will need. Besides starting to work on my own book 🙂
    Cheers to the young travellers

    Roxy Sirghi
    April 8, 2014 at 2:11 am

    Hi Brooke,
    I am so happy I stumbled upon your blog. You are full of inspiration and your views on life are almost identical to mine.
    Love reading each post and I respect you for going for your dream!
    “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough”
    Roxy 🙂

    February 14, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Great articles & when reading it you reminded me of myself & my thoughts. Solo travel is such a liberating experience & an extremely satisfying. I’m loving your pictures & updates. I’m sure I’ll add a lot of places to my must see list by following you. Be safe 🙂

    January 18, 2014 at 12:05 am

    This is exactly how i feel right now. i have just decided to embark on a travel journey of my own and no one understands why and i keep getting asked “what are you running from”. as you said, i have never been so sure of anything in my whole life. i have never been so excited or so happy when thinking of my future and i really can not wait to get started!
    I am so happy i found your blog, and look forward to devouring all the information within! <3

    • worldofwanderlust
      January 18, 2014 at 12:20 am

      Aww thank you Kaitlyn! really appreciate it 🙂 I’m so excited for this year to just travel without a return date and really enjoy the world! Couldn’t be more happy about it 🙂 xx

    The Irie Explorer
    December 20, 2013 at 9:31 am

    I graduated from Uni four years ago and still haven’t done anything noteworthy with my education. I’m turning 25 in five days and I still don’t have a career, or a house, or any of those other milestones that come along with “growing up”. Sometimes I wonder whether I’m falling behind my peers – a lot of whom have “real jobs”, houses they own, and are getting married and starting to have kids. But then I look at my parents generation… and I see a whole generation of people who have worked their asses off in a job they hate for their entire lives, and I think “What’s the rush?”
    I’m happy. Every day I do what I love – travel and write. And that’s a lot more than I can say for most of them.
    Anytime you do something alternative to “the norm” or the status quo, you’re going to get a lot of flack for it.
    … Do it anyway.
    All the best on your journey in the new year, Brooke.
    Liane xx

    December 18, 2013 at 4:10 am

    I often think the negative reactions stems from envy. That you are doing something they have wanted but never dared. And so they try to make you feel guilty for pursuing your dreams. That is my experience at least!