Wanderlust Made Me Do It: The Craziest Thing I’ve Done For Travel
We’ve all read the stories about wanderlust-ers that have been so keen to get their travel fix that they’ve sold everything they own, giving up material possessions that took years to earn. Some might say these people are crazy/brave/stupid. I don’t. I completely get it, and I’m one of them.
You see, to an outsider, selling your house is equal to abandoning your financial security. To leave yourself without a car is the equivalent of removing your access to independence. Cashing in items like bikes, jewellery, or clothes in favour of backpacks and hiking gear is confusing. For those of us consumed by wanderlust though, these are perfectly sound decisions.
More than that though, wanderlust can lead us to do things we never thought possible of ourselves. It might be to fund a trip, improve the experience on the road, or to travel for longer, but there are certain actions we’ll take that can only be driven by that craving to go out and see the world.
The craziest thing wanderlust has ever made me do? Have laser eye surgery.
In 2011, after I’d made my first flight booking with STA Travel for the eight-month round-the-world trip I’d take the following year, I also attended my first laser eye surgery consultation. I’d been short-sighted since I was a teenager, and had grown up wearing contact lenses daily.
The thing is, wearing contact lenses meant I couldn’t swim without losing one. It also meant I’d have to carry a serious amount of lenses and contact lens solution to be stocked for the entire trip. Let’s not forget the risk of infection from washing my hands in potentially unhygienic sinks and then needing to stick my fingers near my eyes. No, overall, having bad eyesight was an inconvenience to my travel plans.
So, although I’d never before considered it, I decided laser eye surgery was the only option.
In that first consultation, I listened to the very graphic breakdown of exactly how the surgery worked, and how the lens of my eye would be slit and a laser burned into my retina (sorry, too much information). At this point, you’re probably wondering why I didn’t walk away.
To me though, whether to go through with the procedure, and get the end result of perfect sight, was decided from the minute that I booked that first flight. I didn’t want to spend my travels worrying about dry eyes, or refraining from an activity because I might lose a lens.
Just three months after the consultation I had the surgery, which by the way was nowhere near as terrible as it sounds, and all those concerns about managing my sight whilst on the road evaporated. If you’re in the UK and wondering which provider to use for the surgery, I definitely recommend Optical Express.
Now, six years later, I’ve spent years able to unreservedly swim in oceans, pools, and underneath waterfalls around the world, throw myself off of canyons, or simply get up in the morning and see the face of the person in the bunk opposite me. I can confidently say that having laser eye surgery is the best thing wanderlust has made me do… so far.
Your turn! What’s the craziest thing wanderlust has made you do? Share it in the comments below! Plus, if you enjoyed this post consider signing up for travel updates when new posts go live.