One of the hardest things any traveler will have to deal with is what I like to call “wanderenvy.” It’s like wanderlust, but perhaps even more dangerous (well, maybe not on your bank account) and with social media today, it’s impossible to escape. You keep seeing all of these trips your friends and family are taking and sharing on sites like Facebook and Instagram, and you start to realize that your stomach is starting to boil in anger.
I am having a major case of wanderenvy right now as I spend my last few days in Florence before I head back the States for a few months. I had a final trip to Rome, which was fantastic, but it doesn’t seem to be enough as a few of my friends head to China and others to Costa Rica. You are happy for them, but at the same time there’s this nagging urge to pack your bags and buy a plane ticket to meet them in Africa.
I wish I had some great tips on how to beat this green-eyed monster, but I’m so susceptible that all I can do is really empathize with those feeling the same. Traveling is a drug, and when we are riding high, it’s almost impossible not to plan our next getaway or backpacking expedition. When we come back down, we might have to face a few realities—like we might have to save a little before we can book our next flight. We might begrudgingly smile when a friend tells us they are off to Thailand next week and try not to dwell on the fact that we have yet to check off Bangkok as one of the cities we’ve been to. Jealousy is a terrible animal because it tends to bring out the worst in us.
But guess what? You, as a traveler have already been a source of wanderenvy for someone else. I had a friend contact me the other day and ask me how I was. “I’m so jealous of your lifestyle right now!” he wrote. And he’s right. I am incredibly lucky to have had the journeys I have had—and to know that there are more coming up in the future. I may make it to Bangkok, or I might go somewhere else, but wherever that is, there is someone who would trade places with me in a moment. Learning to accept the feelings of wanderenvy as temporary might be the best way to go—and to be happy for those who are about to embark on their own journeys, as well.
Image courtesy of kansasphoto.