Not all who Wander are lost..but get lost on purpose

Wanderlust. It’s something I was born with, inherited, like so many other things, from my parents who are natural wanderers themselves. It’s always been a part of me, a part of my life (military family and all), but in the fall of 2010 it really took hold. That’s the year I moved to York, Pennsylvania for school. It didn’t take long before I was off in my little blue car, looking for new places to get lost. Windows down, warm air blowing my hair, music blaring (anything from ABBA and Simon & Garfunkel to the Counting Crows and Barenaked Ladies, which I of course sang to—loudly), I was off! I wasn’t content knowing only the grounds on which my new college resided, I wanted to see what else was out there to be found, accidently stumbled upon and discovered. So, I would just go. Sometimes I would bring a friend or two, but more often than not I was alone, with only my own thoughts and memories. As I was free to wander, so was my mind, and wander it did (driving around the backroads of York was often a great source of inspiration for me and it was there that a lot of the concepts for my work were discovered). For five years I wandered, sometimes following a few favored paths, other times diverging, turning onto new and unfamiliar roads to get lost on. I love the country, the way the summer sun turns corn fields to gold; the slow, lethargic movements of cows as they stroll across large, sloping fields; the way roads just seem to go forever, inviting me to wander further, farther. For me, it is a place of true contentment, a place where I feel I exist in the fullest.
For the last five years I have wandered. Every spring, as winter releases her tight grasp and the warming air inspires new life to find its way to the surface, I find myself back in my littler blue car, ready to wander again. This year though, as I found myself a new graduate, a twenty-two year old suddenly released out into the world, the pull of wanderlust was stronger, more intoxicating. I found myself wandering more and further than I ever had. I rediscovered roads I had not seen for years and drove down paths I had never knew existed. And so, it was only natural that this was the year I would document my wandering. It has become something of a game to me, taking these small, spontaneous (sometimes surprisingly strenuous) pictures on my phone. From new roads to familiar paths, I am always ready and prepared for a new “wanderlust moment”. I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I have gotten strange looks for parking on the sides of small off roads and hanging out of the passenger-side window, phone in hand, or walking along obscure and obviously untraveled trails, paper waving around in my hand as I try to snap what seems like a strange shot. In a way, these small, spur-of-the-moment snap shots capture what wanderlust has gifted me in the last few years. With each photo, I try to define what wanderlust is (at least for myself). I don’t know where they are going, or what the “final product” of all of this driving around and picture taking will be, but damn is it fun!
Ps. For those of you wondering about what I am taking the pictures of, it’s just a piece of white card stock that I cut the word wanderlust out of. And yes, it is getting very beat up and the corners are bent, and there is dirt on it. We shall see how much longer this little sheet will last. To continue to watch the adventures of wanderlust unfold, check out my Instagram, there’s a link to it on my home page.