1 February, 2014|journalism, travel

As seen in Cub 550. 

1) A strong desire or impulse to travel, or wander.

Even if you didn’t know the term, it’s likely you know the feeling.

Whether you thought it was ‘itchy feet,’ youthful impulse or just boredom, wanderlust is a plague upon many, so why should we not give in to it?

Often the seemingly endless conveyor belt of University deadlines, monotonous lectures or dull part-time work can leave you feeling lost and stuck, but maybe we ought to all embrace our urges to leave behind the everyday for a short while.

Unlike any generation before us, we have a shrinking globe and the wonderfully discount-ridden haven of the internet. At the risk of sounding like an offensively cheesy travel advert; the world is there for the taking. We’re living in an age of interrail and coach travel, of youth hostels and last minute deals. As your parents (or any other older relative or acquaintance) have probably chided you; you’re only young once, so make the most of it now. And they’re right.

Being a student not only entails spending obscene amounts of money to endure stress-filled nights in the library and cheap red beer. For most of us, this is the time in our life where we have the fewest time commitments, the most flexible schedules and numerous friends in similar positions.

This is the time of life where we can adventure and explore, a time that we really ought to at least try to travel. Maybe, like me, you weren’t able to take a life-affirming gap year to see the world and “find yourself.” Maybe you did, and you’re now bitten by the travel bug. Whatever your circumstance; you should embrace your wanderlust, and be ready to pack at a moment’s notice for a spontaneous adventure.

And we’re in the best position to do it. In Zone 1 alone, there are more than 20 stations providing National Rail services to nearly anywhere you can imagine in the UK; Brighton is less than an hour away by rail and offers seaside and exciting nightlife. You also probably have friends in far off Universities with floors you can sleep on if you want to escape the city for a new scene and cheaper drinks, just for a night.

If your wanderlust leads you further afield, we’re also blessed with our London location. We are only half an hour’s tube journey from St. Pancras, which connects you with Paris and Brussels with Eurostar, or out to Gatwick where literally an entire world of possibilities awaits.

So why not put aside anxieties and mental restrictions and jump in at the deep end? With 3 hours left on a desirable Groupon trip, that’s just what I did. With a month’s notice, and a vague notion of Christmas markets, myself and a friend decided to go to Hamburg; a city we’d never been to in a country we didn’t regularly think of.

There’s a delicious excitement in not planning a trip. A thrill in getting to an airport and having a full English at 3 in the morning. Even the panic of not knowing where your hotel actually is until you’ve gotten lost, has a romanticised edge of ecstasy to it.

And if you think money constraints will hold you back; think again. A two night stay in Hamburg in the peak December period – breakfast and flights included – was £115. If you have one less coffee and lunch at Ground per week (approx £6) and put that money aside, you could have £200 towards an adventure, just in time for the end of the exams period. And if you’ve got a part-time job it could be even sooner.

This is a time in your life you ought to cast aside your worries and responsibilities. Spontaneous travel can give you a freedom you probably won’t quite experience again; so what’s stopping you?

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  1. Pingback: Journalism – A HANNAH IN THE WORKS

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