Wanderlust: the intense desire to travel. 

Personally, when I think of that word, I immediately begin planning my next exploration trip. My creative brain begins to engage, and I start researching places to go. From the time I was little, I always liked to be on the go. I loved new experiences, activities, and wandering.

Throughout the years, my wanderlust has ranged from spontaneous trips to the beach, local hikes, and foreign countries. I have always valued exploration, but now as an adult, it has become an essential component to my daily life.

Recently, I read an article in HuffPost that discussed the scientific benefits that traveling has on the human body.

  • Psychologically: traveling is a gift to the body: research shows that vacationing can have a positive affect on blood pressure, heart disease, and the immune system. Simply planning a trip can also cause happiness to increase.
  • It gives the brain a rush of hormones: exploring a new place increases dopamine in your brain. When exploring a new, complex, or difficult place, your brain literally reacts. Your brain reacts by being even more engaged, heightening the senses and processing on a deeper level.
  • Creativity increases: being exposed to different experiences expands your ability to think differently and allows you to be more curious.
  • Travel is an emotional win: many of us travel or explore with people. This often connects us more deeply to our friends and family and contributes to our overall sense of happiness.

In my experience, wandering allows me to find beauty in the small things. Whether I go on a hike or am sitting at a café in Peru, I find that I am engaging all of my senses. The air feels fresher, the trees seem greener, and I can feel the beauty of nature even more.

Part of exploring is becoming more mindful and aware of my surroundings, rather than rushing through my everyday routine without taking the time to experience the intricacies of the world. Writing this blog makes me want to plan my next exploration.

I encourage everyone to nurture their sense of curiosity and experience the many benefits that exploration has to offer.


Chelsey Beauchamp, LAPC