And Teacher of the Year award goes to…social media? I think we can all agree that as a conglomerate, these websites work together to achieve two very distinct goals: 1) Act as the Internet version of a vampire cult (Facebook is to social media as Edward is to vampires. Both make for equally unhealthy obsessions), and 2) Shed enormous amounts of light on topics and ideas that would have otherwise remained obsolete. Since I’m not much of a Cullen fan, I’m going to focus on the latter of the aforementioned.
Take, for instance, the percentage of women who have boyfriends, husbands, what have you, whose Prince Charming qualities are unmatched. Were it not for Facebook, how would we be able to calculate the amount of times each of these couples women force their husbands to watch Say Yes to the Dress, cook a romantic dinner for two together, or spoon-feed each other whilst sitting on a cloud of pink, heart-shaped pillows that the rest of us aren’t lucky enough to own? I cannot fathom the idea of not knowing the details of strangers’ relationships, can you? The same goes for Twitter. Living in a world devoid of trivial complaints, the terms “ratchet,” “YOLO,” and “#,” and grammatically incorrect sentences under 140 characters, would truly be hell on Earth. And Instagram? Don’t even get me started. I live for the Tuesday afternoon boredom of scrolling through images of the same dark, stormy clouds that I’m staring at outside of my living room window, followed by an assortment of random meals. It’s my kryptonite.
I think I’ve made my point; but truthfully, social media has expanded our viewpoints and pointed us in directions we never would have looked towards had it not become readily available at our fingertips. Casually perusing these websites (yes, I’m guilty of it too) brings me to the conclusion that everyone, everywhere would much rather be anywhere than where they are. Sounds complicated, but it’s really very simple.
The way I see it, social media websites glorify the idea of travel. And why wouldn’t they? We log onto our Tumblrs and are instantly pulled toward the universal idea of escapism; journeying to foreign destinations filled with rich languages and revamped customs that blow our American lifestyles out of the water. We see them all the time—the Jack Kerouac quotes pleading with us, “Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.” Vivid images of Australian sunsets, Hawaiian waves, Irish pubs, Italian romance—all so intoxicating that we can’t help but wonder what it would be like to leave it all behind and run away. We’re constantly being convinced, if not urged, to step out of our comfort zones and into the shoes of a traveller who isn’t afraid to test unknown waters. Not only has social media encouraged our desire to escape from normalcy and routine, but it has singlehandedly facilitated them. In the aftermath, we’re left feeling unsatisfied by mundane activities like going to the movies on a Friday night, or refusing menus at Applebees because we already know what we’re going to order (appetizer sampler, anyone?). We’re curious about places we’ve never seen or heard about, wanting to dive into the unknown to fulfill the legacy of the quotes we’re so influenced by. We’re left in a perpetual state of wanderlust.
As a 23-year-old writer turned administrative junkie, I’ve transformed into a wanderluster. I daydream, I save money, all in the hopes that one day I’ll be able to plan a temporary get-away. Gain some exposure, learn about Roman architecture, dine under a Brazilian, moon-lit sky, get lost in a French city—why not? Lately, the following excursions have crossed my mind more than a few times, starting with…
The White House
From NBA stars to Hollywood celebrities, the White House has been the “it” spot for the past four years. While Sophia Bush and Jayonce (just go with it) are busy breaking bread and shaking hands with Obama and Co., us normal folk are subjected to the harsh realization that we will probably, most likely, never be able to do that. For now, all we can do is hope, pray, and rest easy with visions of Sasha and Malia dancing in our heads.
Cliché or not, I could really use a weekend devoted to live music, California sun-kissed skin, and premeditated irresponsibility. With headliners like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Modest Mouse, and The Lumineers—as well as A-list celebs roaming around disguised as Brooklyn hipsters—who could resist? If only my landlord wasn’t such a stickler for rent payments…
In A Ryan Gosling Rom Com
If Rachel McAdams and Emma Stone can play the part of damsel in comedic distress, so can I. Isn’t it every twentysomething’s dream to co-star opposite Ryan Gosling—the man who tossed Girl Scout cookies out of his car window and saved a woman from being trampled in NYC? Am I the only one who would like to share a passionate kiss in the rain and/or watch him pull the ultimate Dirty Dancing move shirt-less, and ab-full? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Lauren Conrad’s Closet
Love triangle drama and frenemy feuds aside, you’ve gotta admit, the girl’s got style. By making the grown-up choice to leave MTV reality shows behind her (Laguna Beach is still a guilty pleasure of mine), LC catapulted her credibility and landed a real career for herself. Specializing in health, fitness and DIY crafts, her website dabbles in just about everything. Personally, it’s her closet that entices me (her clothes are too adorable!); a touch of femininity mixed with Boho chic. Too bad my chest and hips make it impossible to squeeze into her size 0-2 bod.
Skiing in Vermont
If I must endure the impromptu snowstorms and frigid temperatures that accompany the post-holiday winter season, I’d much rather do it on a mountain, learning how to ski or snowboard. And when I fall (notice the use of “when” instead of “if”), I’ll return to my Vermont lodgings and ease the pain with liquor-stocked cabinets and an outdoor hot tub. Perfection refined.
Anyone interested in an impromptu trip to Belgium for the annual Tomorrowland music festival? Enticing, I know. Known for its trendsetting artist lineup (featuring everything from House to Dubstep), the show ranks as one of the highest-rated musical experiences to date. Picture it: Three-day weekend. Europe. Live performance. Europe. Frequent flyer miles would be golden right about now.
This is a wanderluster’s life: creating impossibly far-fetched scenarios that have very little chance of happening…unless we take charge. Rather than dream about the Eiffel Tower and Italian gelato, we have to make it our selfish duty to experience these rarities for ourselves. Save up your extra vacation days instead of “calling out sick” because you’re suffering from a hard case of the sniffles and you’d rather curl up in bed with the new GQ (am I the only chick that prefers men’s magazines over Cosmopolitan?). Buy a jar from the dollar store and fill it with loose change (keep the quarters; those are crucial for laundry Sundays). Skip past the display window on Madison Ave and wave goodbye to the waxed jeans that will make your ass look phenomenal (damn it I want a pair). Do what you can to save money and don’t feel guilty about how you choose to indulge yourself. Some people are content with a weekend at the shore, and that’s great for them (and their wallets). But you’re a wanderluster, and that demands a different set of standards. This is a wanderluster’s life; sure you’re up for the challenge?