July 4, 2013

I Think I Have A Problem

Zagreb Market

My problem (sort of) is this: wanderlust

Merriam-Webster defines wanderlust as a "strong longing for or impulse toward wandering." The Oxford dictionary defines it as "a strong desire to travel."

But that's not it exactly. Those definitions oversimplify what I feel.

I don't just want to travel to different places, I want to live in those places. I want to settle in, meet people, be part of the community, shop at the markets, discover the local eateries, get to know the neighborhoods, wander the streets.

I want to be a local.

Old Zagreb


Recently our friends returned from 3 months in Thailand and mentioned the fantastic night markets and great street food of Chiang Mai. I was online ASAP, researching the price of apartments, checking out the health system and reading blogs written by locals and expats.

The other night we watched Woody Allen's To Rome With Love. I can now tell you that the cost of living in Rome is probably to high for us, but cities like Verona or Ferrara would be perfect. I even started looking at Italian language classes.

A seaside cottage on the Ile de Ré, an apartment in Paris, a longère in the Loire Valley.
I want to live in all of these places.



No, wanderlust doesn't accurately describe it.

What do you call it? Itchy Feet Syndrome? The Grass Is Always Greener Disorder?
Am I going to have to move to a new place every year to satisfy it?

Yep, it could become a serious problem.

Spanish Cheese

Lucca Skyline

Pin It


The Wanderfull Traveler said...

Vicenza would also be a beautiful place to live in Northern Italy!
I am a dreamer when it comes to thinking about living in another country but I like Canada's health care too much and I live in a great place where sometimes it can feel like France, feel like Italy or even Napa.

But as a reader I would love for you to indulge your addiction lol!
Would you ever live elsewhere in France?


H.Peter said...

No guts, no glory! I started my Nomad life right after military and never looked back.
Things with a family became a bit trickier,but still managed to move them to Vegas, back to Canada and now half my family to France.

Good for now, but where to next. That will always be the question

Anonymous said...

Yes! I also have this problem. I've been fortunate to live in France, Belgium and Canada so far, but after almost 2 years in one place, my feet start getting itchy. Whenever we travel somewhere, I am always looking at it from the perspective of a potential resident. :)

Heidi said...

I am right there with you; people who don't understand think you are trying to escape or run away from something when in reality it is a curiosity and a drive to experience the different that pulls you somewhere. I've lived in Italy, Turkey and Bulgaria--- I love my life here in the States but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't yell "Hell yes!" if my husband ever suggested moving somewhere new.

Frank Jive said...

This post hit me right between the eyes because, oh, gosh, I've got the disease too! While I was reading your post I went straight to Wikipedia to see where Ile de Ré is. And I always do that, check demographics, weather, etc.

Most of my adult life I've lived all over (albeit in the U.S.) and it's ruined me financially! Why vacation when you can move there?!

And now I want to add France, Spain, Portugal, and more; the language is a nice deterrent that keeps me somewhat solvent!

Anne said...

Know the feeling well...I have wound up in New Zealand (am Canadian) and if I were younger...would be off to live in France in a flash...have had to make do with visits (also have visited London and India (even thought that a move to India would be lovely after spending time there...) Like you , a visit just makes me want to "live" there and experience the lifestyle...alas I am now too old ...but will keep on dreaming.
PS I think i'ts genetic as my grandparents moved to new countries and parents, several cities.....

CJ said...

Me, too! Me, too! The tourist life is not for me when traveling, I just want to BE there.

And your photos of France made my heartache to be there again.

I so look forward to and appreciate your posts in my inbox.

Veronica said...

Do what we do! The last three years we've spent 2-3 months in different parts of Spain (the Basque Country, Andalusia, the Costa Brava). Out of season you can get good prices on vacation rentals, and in our case as long as we have a decent Internet connection, we can work. If you can swing a home exchange it's even cheaper, but we've never yet found someone in a place we want to go who wants to swap for that long.

I'm like you, I don't want to be somewhere just a couple of weeks -- I like staying long enough to get to be a local and develop habits. We liked Begur so much we go back there occasionally, as it's close to home, and it's nice to be able to drop back into a place we know.

SE said...

A timely post- I just recently complained to a friend about my "itchy feet syndrome". I go back and forth between where to go, but your posts on France have put it at the top of the list.

fergie2200 said...

My Mother couldn't stay in one place longer than a couple of years. Usually at the one year mark she was starting to plan her next move and as she was a waitress, she had no trouble getting a job anywhere. There were periods when I was a kid that we moved every year, which made it pretty rough for friendships. She was Hungarian, so everyone blamed it on her gypsy blood, but to her it was a way to experience a new place. I picked up the habit and lived all over the western states until settling down - for now. Given the opportunity and the funds, I'd move to France at the drop of a hat, even though I'm now in my sixties - a real chip off the old block! :-)

Emm said...

The Greener Grass Syndrome, coupled with adventuresomeness (is that a word?) and a strong tendency to research demographics and read maps. Sometimes you can tamp it down just by a few months in one place, as Veronica says upthread.
I've never figured out if it's genetic or learned. But it's interesting, for sure.

S LLoyd said...

It is funny. I discovered your blog while searching for a restaurant with same name. But what was an accident turned out great for me: Love, love ur blog. regarding your post, it is normal, indeed, to sometimes have the feel of wanting to leave in places of ur discovery. It shows that you are a passionate person.

Anonymous said...

I understand this feeling. My mother recognized this feeling I've always had - to move on. She would ask me if I was feeling antsy. I've often wondered if it's a feeling of needing to see other places or more of a sense of not belonging wherever I am. Or maybe a combination of both.
I don't know. All I know is that it doesn't ever seem to go away.

Jennifer Greco said...

You do live in a spectacular place and I agree that it would be hard to leave there.
I would love to live in other regions of France. Since we've only been in Normandy for 18 months, I'm trying to quell my desire to move again...for a while at least. :)

H. Peter
I'm sure you have some amazing stories to share!

Jennifer Greco said...

I do that too!

My desire to live in other places has nothing to do with "escaping." I don't understand why people think that either.
I hope your adventures continue one day. :)

Jennifer Greco said...

I knew I wasn't the only one! :)
And I know what you mean about the finances. Moving is expensive.

I so want to visit New Zealand, but am afraid that when I will get there, I will want to stay!

Jennifer Greco said...

The tourist life isn't for me either! Once I'm there, I (usually) never want to leave.
Thanks for such a nice comment. :)

I absolutely love that idea and it's funny, but I never considered doing a home swap. Must look into that. Thanks!

Jennifer Greco said...

So, how soon until we see you here?

Being in your 60's shouldn't stop you from moving to France, if that's what you really want to do!

Jennifer Greco said...

I am constantly researching demographics and reading maps. It's like a disease! If nothing else, I'm always learning something.

S Lloyd
Welcome and thank you for taking the time to comment. Hope you stick around for a while. :)

Jennifer Greco said...

I always feel like I belong where I am, but am always wanting to discover more. It's both good and bad sometimes.

Emily D. said...

Like many of your other readers this post resonates with me. You so exactly described how I feel! I agree with another reader who said it was hereditary because I grew up with parents who moved all the time, and no, we weren't military. Before I turned 18 I had moved some 25 times. And now as an adult I get itchy if I've been anywhere more than 2 years, despite the fact that as a child I vowed I would marry and never move! I have now lived in two states with my husband as well as living for two months in Brazil, and while my husband would be content moving back to Brazil for good, as much as I loved it, I want to explore the rest of the world, France being at the top of my list. And so I live vicariously through others by reading your blog, searching the Internet, looking at photo books and relishing in the stories of those who have been or lived in other lands.
I love your blog in fact it has inspired me to start my own and my wish is that one day mine will be as informative, witty, and beautiful as yours

Anonymous said...

I have the same "problem" I've always dislike the definitions of wanderlust that I found (along with the ones for discipline). But I now call myself a world citizen because I don't want to just travel I want to immerse myself into other cultures.