Why do we go on Adventures?

Something that has crossed my mind often recently: why do we seek adventure. As a species, we should be happy tucked away inside four walls, close to those that we love, well fed, safe. So, what is it that evokes that sense of wanderlust, that makes us want to leave our happy homes and explore places near or far that may not be the most comfortable or the most safe?

I have a fondness for words from other languages that cannot be directly translated into English. Words that the feeling that they evoke is so quintessentially not British that we don't have our own words for them and struggle to imagine how they would be used in everyday life. Fika, Hygge, Mysa: Scandinavian words that showcase how much more important relaxation is to the Nordic nations.

I stumbled across a German word recently which resounded with me: fernweh. One of my favourite words in the English language is wanderlust. If wanderlust is a desire to travel and see new places, then fernweh is a need. It is the opposite of homesickness, an overwhelming ache to explore, adventure and see new places. It is this feeling of fernweh that causes people to shrug off responsibility and practicality and go out to see the world.

Whether you set off climbing a hill an hour away from your house or purchase a one-way ticket to a far off land, adventure is subjective. One person's adventure may be another's day-to-day existence. It is what you, yourself consider to be an adventure that is important. You don't have to jet across the world with only the pack on your back to have an adventure. If you are more of a homebody and love the comfort of city dwelling, then venturing out for a day's hike in the wilderness can be a great adventure for you. But why go?

The answer is simple: the wanderlust, the fernweh. These are deep feelings that aren't easy to shift. If your feet are getting itchy and you're climbing the walls, it is because you know deep down that you were made to explore. You want to get out there, you want to see new things. The same four walls keep pulling in and you know there is a way to escape that suffocating feeling. 

Listen to that feeling, that tugging at your heart strings. Step out of your comfort zone, experience something new, see somewhere you have never seen before. These moments, these adventures; they are the ones that will stay with you. 

Photos: Whitney Justesen