The Reason You Should Start Embracing Your Wanderlust
By Manuela Domingos
If you’re thinking about packing your belongings and going somewhere foreign, do it.
Whether you’re going somewhere new for vacation outside of the country, or wanting to live somewhere different for a year, I guarantee you that it’s possibly one of the best decisions that you will ever make.
As someone who lived in different countries, I can testify to the fact that seeing different places in my life has allowed to broaden my perspective.
I was born in Luanda, Angola in 1995. My father had a job that allowed us to travel often. At the time, “starting” over in different places was quite difficult. But now, in hindsight, I wouldn’t change my experience.
I recall abruptly, one day my father came home and told us that we were to pack our belongings and move to Capetown, South Africa. There were no hesitations. At the time, a younger me could not really wrap my head around the reason for the sudden move. I just knew that my dream of living in a place where people spoke English was finally coming true. I could finally learn how to speak the language. Before then, my siblings and I would often times play games outside and pretend to speak different languages. English was one of them.
So, we left. The process of traveling was quite a blur. I recall my years in kindergarten quite well. My teachers would often send me home with letters to my mom about how bright of a student I was, and the fact that my charming smile could brighten up a classroom.
This boosted my confidence in so many levels. I recall drawing a picture one day for one of my teachers. It was a picture of a girl in a dress with confetti falling all around her. Perhaps this was a subconscious representation of my state during that time, I don’t really know, but for some reason this moment always stood out to me. I was proud that my teacher decided to put this particular picture up. It was probably one of the happiest moments of my childhood life.
Flashback a few years later, we made the move to Windhoek, Namibia. Days there were filled with playing in the sun with the neighborhood kids and attending a private Christian school. This is where I met my first best friend, Stuti. Fifteen years later, I tried to find her on Facebook, but my attempts were unsuccessful. I learned from a former colleague that she had moved back to Nepal with her family. At times I wonder if she ever thinks of me as I do of her.
We then moved to Congo, Brazzaville, my mother’s birth country. I went to school there, where I learned to speak French. Years spent there were probably the most recent memories that stick out the most.
In 2006, we moved to the U.S. This is where I’ve spent the majority of my life. I’m thankful for all the friends I’ve made here and all the experiences I’ve had. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I always wonder to myself where the next step will be. If you’re like me, constantly in a “wanderlust” for seeing different places and experiencing new things, I guarantee you that you should not stifle that calling. Rather, listen to it and feed it.
You may not necessarily have the same upbringing as I did, but if you have the opportunity to travel at least once, do it.
You won’t regret a thing.
The places I’ve been and the people I’ve met have shaped me to who I am today.
Keep up with Manuela on Instagram, @_manuelad!