What is it, where did it come from and do you have it? I know I do…
When I was a wee slip of a girl, I knew I had wanderlust without even knowing what it truly meant. I liked to roam wild and had an insatiable Iggy Pop-style lust for life. As an adult, the actual definition — a “strong desire for or impulse to travel and explore the world” — still rings true. And now, after hearing the findings of a new study published in the journal Nature, I’m convinced this is the word that fully explains my desire to lovetrek: research suggests that prehistoric cavewomen also had the travel bug — but that they roamed the world in order to hunt for mates. Coincidence?
OK, so how does one come to this kind of conclusion millions of years after the fact? Paleontologists determined that the mineral variation among the fossils of our African ancestors indicated that it was women who left home to scout around the world for men, while the males stayed put and waited to be found. Oh, I do so love the thought of a ‘kept’ man.
Unfortunately, the women of our past weren’t as romantic or progressive as the term ‘wanderlust’ implies. These gals flew the coop to find guys in order to avoid incestuous inbreeding; they were basically looking to sleep with any dude who wasn’t a relative. When you think about it, this is a pretty good explanation for why we’re so picky about who we choose to love nowadays: we’re making up for the monstrous mistakes of the women who came before us!
It’s fairly amazing to me that two terms (I made up one of them, but so what?) that I believed to be entirely unrelated actually have the same meaning. OK, so love and sex technically aren’t the same thing — our ancestresses were nomads out of the actual need to not sleep with their family members (and so they wouldn’t have screwed up, googly-eyed babies) — and I am hoofing it around the globe in the pursuit of l-o-v-e. But it all boils down to the same common denominator: a quest for the right man.
You know what this means, ladies. I’m about to go into one of my empowering ‘don’t-settle-for-less’ rants. Tough. If you don’t like it, deal with it. Maybe our predecessors didn’t have the option of choice, but we do. So why do we date men that we know won’t be good for us in the long run? Why do we let the ones who are blatantly not ‘the one’ worm their way into our hearts? Why do we put up with bullshit day in and day out? Why do we let them make us cry or give us the ‘mean reds’, to quote Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany‘s.
If you break it down, wanderlust indicates that we’re following our who-has and not our hearts — which might be, in fact, true. But if you’re really searching for love, really want it, then don’t waste your time on the wrong guy just because he happens to be in your vicinity. Go. Wander. Seek the real deal – because where it goes, lust will follow. Who doesn’t want the best of both worlds?