Is this Wanderlust or sheer Escapism?

Peek-a-boo...

Peek-a-boo…

I’ve been in London this past week, shacked up in the historic Savoy Hotel, visiting family and friends in the suburbs and countryside, and generally reminiscing LIFE as I knew it some two years ago now, when I shuttled between London, New York and Singapore (and other places further in between) and generally WANDERED, so to speak, from one month to another; one home to another; one “family” to another.

I loved that nomadic lifestyle.  There was an exhilaration to it; an unbridled liberty – and I was voracious, experiencing all that I could, even as I wondered what the hell I was doing.

In the past year and a half, I’ve been creating the illusion of constant wandering, even as I’ve been irrevocably anchored in one place (Singapore).  I’ve attributed this to WANDERLUST – which is defined by Wikipedia as “a strong impulse or desire to wander or travel or explore the world.”

That’s all well and good, but this definition doesn’t explain the psychology BEHIND this “strong impulse or desire to wander or travel or explore the world.”

Because there is, of course, a psychology to it.  There is a psychology to everything.

And so I’ve been asking myself this question: is my wanderlust due truly to a pure and simple curiosity about the world and its histories?  Or, is this really just sheer ESCAPISM?  In other words, am I just desperately trying to recreate a life of wandering, in order to feel less bad about being stuck in one place?  Are my sojourns each month in a grand and luxurious (colonial) hotel – my whole GRAND TOUR – really just a means of making myself forget about my less than ideal (read: sedentary) situation in Singapore?

Sobering thoughts for a Tuesday evening. But thoughts that have nonetheless, crossed my mind even as I return from an idyll in the English countryside (and Grand Hotel) to “real life” in Singapore.

Perhaps my constant Grand Tour-ing is a bid to turn “real life” inside out; to convince myself that “real life” IS actually this constant wandering in and sweeping through great cities and Grand Hotels; and the staying-in-one-place (read: Singapore) is the dream.  A numbing, stultifying, Valium-laced dream.

Bah!  Whatever.  Let’s just go with a pure and simple curiosity about the world and its histories.

I’m having so much fun anyway.  Why jinx it by over-analyzing?  =)

The garden at Charleston - the countryside retreat of choice of the Bloomsbury Group (Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Clive Bell, Virginia Woolf, etc)

The garden at Charleston – the countryside retreat of choice of the Bloomsbury Group (Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Clive Bell, Virginia Woolf, etc)

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About Kennie Ting

I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Cities & Regions, Culture & Lifestyle, Sociology & Urban Studies, Travel & Mobility and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Is this Wanderlust or sheer Escapism?

  1. Why does it have to be one or the other? Why can’t it be wanderlust laced with a tinge of escapism? After all, we humans are complex creatures 😉

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