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I have a condition known to some as wanderlust.

It remains unrecognized by the CDC. Research and data are either completely lacking or wholly blemished. This is probably because one without at least a little wanderlust is completely incapable of understanding and knowing what to look for, while one with wanderlust has their head in the clouds.

Wanderlust is not to be confused with a human’s natural inclination to be curious about the unknown. The unknown takes many forms, as does curiosity, but wanderlust is specific to globe-trotting and travel. An airplane is a wanderluster’s wheelchair or crutch, while foreign street food is the IV.

There is no cure for wanderlust, only treatment. It comes in the form of cheap tickets and discovery of foreign lands.

The severity varies. A light case of wanderlust would manifest itself in dropping everything and taking a random impromptu walk in a nearby park. Laying in the grass and pointing out shapes in the clouds is a must. Someone with wanderlust would see clouds shaped like hot air balloons and vintage travel briefcases, not unlike how a woman with baby fever would see infants and bottles and rattles in the sky. A severe case, my case, will take someone to the ends of the earth, to the empty deserts, to isolated villages on isolated mountain tops, to strange, dangerous neighborhoods in strange, dangerous cities. Wanderlust took Neil Armstrong to the moon and back. Either way, there is nothing you can do about it except submit to your whim at any given moment.

If you somehow manage to stay put despite your globe-trotting ideations, seek professional help. There is something wrong with you.

Some of the unlucky ones grow out of it, and some, it sticks with them until they die. It is seldom the cause of death, unless your condition brings you to Somalia, but research shows it actually replenishes the soul and keeps it alive.

I’ve accepted my fate as belonging to the latter category, to the point where travel is so deeply woven into my character that it would be impossible to untangle this pathogen from my own strands of DNA.

I’m young, though. Too soon to tell?

Some things you just know.