Is Wanderlust Just A Form Of Separation Anxiety?

6:00 AM


I recently read an article about separation anxiety and with my background in psychology helping to put it in perspective, well, it made the experiences I am having, with my relationship and with places I've been, all too real.


Without getting too personal because this is my travel blog, if you'd like to get a little bit more personal you can read about my relationship troubles and other woes at Radium Girl, but I am in a long distance relationship. I've never been in one before, this is my first. I plan on moving closer but for right now driving 4.5 hours and 288.9 miles every other month (we trade off traveling to see each other) is all we've got.

I was researching about long distance relationships and how to make them work, how to get over the hard stuff and obstacles and whatnot when I found the previously mentioned article about separation anxiety. Having read that article, I related it immediately to my depression over not being able to travel and missing friends and the road the same way I miss my significant other.

Here's how I broke it down: 

At home you have a resting state where you are just doing your normal routine, we will call this the base or normal levels of chemicals. When you visit some place and have a good time it releases chemicals in the brain, call these your peaks. When you return home to your job or whatever you were doing before you traveled you return to your base or normal level of chemicals. Reflecting back on the happier times or times where your levels went above your base triggers your brain to notice the difference between the peak and your base and knowing how to get back to those peaks could actually be harming you.

Wanderlust, wherein you crave traveling is your brain missing those peaks and going through withdrawals. Sometimes it can cause you get severally depressed over not being able to stretch the bills or what have you to be able to afford to go out and back pack through Europe again. We can call those the valley's if you'd like.

The problem is, like with any drug and yes I would link traveling to a drug because it is addicting, you want to keep going and going. There are tons of articles on how to help you realize your travel dreams so I won't go on and on about that.

However, if you're feeling depressed because you went to Paris 3 months ago and you have nothing on the horizon, just know that it is normal and you will level out. Take this time to find new or create adventures in your own hometown, while you make plans for your next destination of course! ;)
  
Do you think you can have separation anxiety for places like you do for people?

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