'The Wanderlust'

 

wan·der·lust

/ˈwändərˌləst/

Noun

a strong desire to travel

“consumed by wanderlust”

As a young child, I would look at photographs in my parent’s magazines and dream of all the places and spaces those images represented. In my mind, even if they were images of something close by and familiar, there was a lingering and mysterious story inside that I so desperately wanted to discover.

My parents used to say I had a case of ‘The Wanderlust.’ Yes, they used the term like it was a disease of some sort, preferencing ‘The’ as if it was too complicated to keep to a single word phrase. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized they weren’t calling me ‘The Wanderlust’ because they feared I would wander off in a crowd of people or adventure into the forest in search of wildflowers while vacationing in Northern Michigan, but because of my undeniable desire to travel. I didn’t see it then but as young as six years old I was planning my journey away from the Midwest much to the shagreen of my very grounded and rooted parents.

Traveling is a desire for many people, however it can take on several different meanings. For some it’s the idea of a specific place, like revisiting the same beautiful lodge cabin your family vacationed at for years or revisiting the tropical island where you spent your honeymoon. It’s simply a place that’s differs from our day to day lives and lifestyles. You spend a couple nights or perhaps a week and then return with memories that last a lifetime.

For others including myself, it’s an unknown and untapped destination just waiting to be discovered.  To me, the definition of travel is to not be in the same place for very long. It’s the desire to move freely about the earth. In his book, Travels with a Donkey, author Robert Louis Stevenson says it best; ‘Travels not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for the travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.’ Those of us with true Wanderlust are not necessarily in need of going to any certain place but just simply not staying in the same place too long.

‘The Wanderlust’ title my parents gave me has proven true throughout the years. I have lived several different places from growing up in the suburbs of Chicago to moving into the city for school and work at 18 years old.  Of course, that did not last long and soon I was living in Taos, New Mexico. My journey continued with a move to Seattle then onto New Orleans where my desire to travel was put on hold in exchange for a new desire to grow my family. After eight our family settled on the beautiful beaches of Northwest Florida where we have been now for 14 years.

‘The Wanderlust’ within me is still very present especially when I’m working with clients from all over the world that come to vacation on the beautiful gulf coast beaches I call home. However, now that my children have grown into young adults themselves I feel that itch for travel begin to grow.

This desire to wander holds a deeper and more soulful meaning for me as I see it all through the lens of my camera.  It feeds me and enriches my art, as I hope I enrich those people and families that I am fortunate enough to document along the way.

Much Love,

Lesley ~ ‘The Wanderlust’