The Wanderlust Syndrome

Ever heard about the Wanderlust Syndrome?

It’s a strong impulse to self-development through experiencing the unknown, facing unforeseen challenges, understanding different cultures, lifestyles and behaviors.

Wanderlust syndrome is much more than just wanting to go on vacation, though. We all have that. It’s more that desire that comes from a “need” to go beyond our comfort zone, a strong passion for discovery and travel.

The word “wanderlust” comes from the German words wandern (to hike) and lust (a strong desire).

These hardened travelers spend most of their time reading travel guides and looking for flights and hotels on the internet. They love watching documentaries about exotic or unknown places and spend a lot of their money on travel.

Haleakala – Maui – Luca Oliveri

Is Wanderlust Syndrome about genetics?

According to some experts, this adventurous spirit isn’t just a trend. It is said that it’s actually in our genes. Scientists have even pinned down a specific one: DRD4-7r, a receptor for dopamine, the pleasure hormone. Here it is: “the travel gene.”

David Dobbs, a researcher for National Geographic, thinks that this gene “makes people more likely to take risks, explore new places, ideas, foods, relationships; and generally embrace movement, change, and adventure.”

In addition to the frequent need to travel, people with this gene are also bold and creative. They are the kind of people who try to understand other cultures and lifestyles. They can do almost anything conducive to personal growth.

There’s a whole world waiting to be explored

We know what’s out there waiting to be discovered. We’ve read all the travel blogs, watched the nature shows, drooled over Instagram photos. The worst thing is to understand and to know that there is something out there we haven’t seen yet and not being able to explore it.

Stairway to Heaven – Oahu

Traveling is a necessary part of life

Traveling is a necessary part of life, and it is the best way to relax after a long day. It all comes down to having a diverse range of life experiences. Traveling is an excellent way to alleviate tiredness, anxiety, and depression. It also positively impacts one’s mental and physical health, most of all in this post covid period.

We don’t have a house full of things; instead, we have a passport to fill with stamps. Let’s use this to build memories all over the world

What’s Wanderlust Syndrome for me?

It’s the feeling of being alive. It’s to explore unique places near and far. I can’t stop searching for these magical, even unknown places around the world. Sometimes I have the eyes of a five-year-old kid, and this is impressive.

I’m inspired to travel by “a compromise”. What I mean is that we live frenetic lives with frantic schedules most of the time. This is a significant source of anxiety for me! So everyone should find a way to lower the bar and break the monotony: I discovered my way through travel.

Hunting of emotions

Traveling entails attempting to get ourselves outside of our comfort zones!

Think about spending seven days without the internet in the middle of the wilderness, facing such a narrow and dangerous road, only to arrive at the most beautiful beach on the planet, to spend New Year’s Eve around a fire with old and new friends.

Think about a trail of 3922 steps rising on the ridge of a mountain in the wilderness of Hawaiian mountains.

Think about being on a small island on a small lake in the middle of nowhere for 48 hours and living the essential moments of your life.

Think about the Namib desert and the chance to sleep there under a sky full of stars.

Think about the opportunity to live your own holiday, spending your time at your own pace.

These beautiful feelings should inspire us not to be fearful of new opportunities while also assisting us in finding a commitment that will undoubtedly surprise us in learning something new and unique about ourselves.

Travel Bucket list for summer 2021

There is no cure for wanderlust. However, no matter how many places you explore, there are always some experiences waiting for you.

Will the way of traveling change in the post-covid period?

The restrictions caused by the pandemic have created new expectations in people for summer 2021. Therefore, we will look for something out of the ordinary to face personal challenges and, also, to avoid crowds and to live life experiences. So which will be the bucket list for this summer?

Here’s my top 5 Summer 2021 travel bucket list

You don’t have to travel across the globe to experience a magical adventure. So now is the time to let loose and make sure you work on the little things that keep yourself happy.

1. Go on a road trip

From the safety and comfort of your own ride, you can see so many incredible places and experience your road trip at your own pace.

Whether you decide to take a trip across the United States by car, stopping in a motel stage by stage, or you prefer to drive a campervan and stop for the night only where your instincts tell you, a road trip will undoubtedly take you through incredible adventures.

I drove my vintage Volkswagen campervan out of the ordinary and found my personal gateway on the Algarve coast for one of the most romantic sunsets. And, at the end of your journey and discovery, it changes you!

Algarve – Vintage Camper – Siesta Campers

2. Go camping

Planning a camping trip begins with the desire to get outdoors. Pick a date, find the right place, prepare your gear and head out.

We’re more connected through the power of social networks than ever, also in this post pandemic period. No matter where you are, you can make a difference. Have you ever spent one or more days entirely in touch with Nature listening to its sounds? You should try this experience camping into the wilderness, enjoying life and its simple moments like building a tent spending the night under a sky full of stars.

Spitzkoppe – Namibia

3. Go hiking

Which has been your fearless challenge?

Hardergrat trail is not just a trail, it’s a thrilling journey where you will have mental ups and downs, especially when you see all that stretches out ahead of you. It looks impossible, but it’s not, it’s just very, very long. There, at first stop on the ridge, I rested with that amazing view over the mirror lake. Is there a better way to experience life in the post covid period?

Hiking is freedom, effort, conquest. Summer is undoubtedly the best time to enjoy the spectacle of nature by climbing mountain ridges, in the green, in the silence.

Hardergrat Trail

4. Sleep on the summit of a volcano

Do volcanic islands have an energetic imprint? At the summit of Haleakalā it’s easy to forget where you came from as you look out onto what feels like another world. At dawn, I was suspended in a soft sea of clouds in one of the most magical moments of my life, full of freedom and peace.

Sleeping on top of a volcano is not easy because it is freezing at night. I remember I was wearing 3 sweaters. But I also remember that the sky was flooded with glittering stars and the Milky Way gave meaning to the word “magic”.

Haleakala volcano – Maui

5. Freeze your time and go to experience a 48hours ”detox” on a private island

A small cabin on a small island in the middle of nowhere. Here is good to be alone and contemplate things and have time to think about life, choices and what you’re here for. It’s where the time is longer and life is deeper.

Think about being in the middle of nowhere with someone so precious for you. All this is so special and unforgettable! I experienced one of the best things of my life just here, in Sweden, and I miss these moments so much now. Freedom, Beauty, the Craziness of being alone in the wilderness…This is why I love life!

Kabin Sweden – 48 hours detox

Traveling in the post COVID period

The restrictions caused by the pandemic have created new expectations and new priorities in people for 2021. What does not change is the desire for holidays, for travel. The desire to leave never sets!

How we will travel

But will the way of traveling change?

Will we be looking for something more intimate and less crowded?

In this period of recovery, in the post covid, by booking their first vacation, people want something out of the ordinary to face personal challenges and, also, to avoid crowds and to live life experiences.

Here are the destinations to live unforgettable experiences

In my Instagram guides and in the blog we often speak about this new concept of travel:

It’s not only luxury hotels or trips of a thousand and one nights.

These types of “life experiences” I’m talking about are those that will be experienced once in a lifetime.

They will leave unforgettable moments and memories, though sometimes we need a little bit of spirit of adaptation.

We are talking about experiences that offer alternative tourism, such as living 48 hours with your partner in a cabin on a small otherwise deserted island in the middle of a lake in Sweden. Or sleeping in a tent under the starry sky of the Namibian desert or of the summit of Haleakala volcano on the island of Maui.

Or, again, face a dangerous multi-day trek in the virgin Kauai, to reach one of the wildest and most fascinating beaches in the world

Over the clouds – Haleakala summit

Post covid holidays: when the tourist becomes the protagonist of the trip

It no longer matters to choose a famous destination.

These experiences can be found everywhere, you just need to live them with your heart.

It is the intimate contact with nature or, sometimes, with ourselves, the protagonist of the travel.

For example, I had my most intense experience climbing the 3922 steps of the Haiku Stairs, on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. There I found that I did not climb the ridge to the summit just to enjoy the magnificent scenery, but gradually I saw myself reflected into nature and I experienced a great feeling of well-being.

Haiku Stairs – Stairway to Heaven

Traveling to rediscover yourself

A compromise inspires me to travel; what I mean is that we live frenetic lives with frantic schedules most of the time. This is a significant source of anxiety for me! Every one should find a way to lower the bar and break the monotony: I discovered my personal way through travel.

Traveling also means leaving your ‘comfort zone’!

Haiku Stairs

Stairway to Heaven – the most magical place on Earth

Stairway to Heaven

CHAPTER 1 – OCTOBER 2017

We arrived in front of the main gate.

Closed! Bolts and padlocks. Peremptory prohibition messages: ‘Private property. Government property. Don’t cross. Violators will be punished according to the law.’

Disappointed, we couldn’t understand.

Stairway to Heaven

CHAPTER 2

A gentleman in his seventies was watching us from afar. He parked slowly as if he wanted to slow down the time. He got out and approached with a stentorian step disguising his previous, apparent, clumsiness. He asked us what we were doing there.

The story of the Haiku Stairs began at that moment.

He didn’t know the real reason for the prohibitions. He only knew that it’s impossible to go through that gate. Nobody could go any further! Someone ignored the prohibitions and went on anyway. Someone else desisted. He couldn’t tell us if there was another way to overcome the ban. It was vague but, in our opinion, he knew it.

We walked back to the gate.

‘What do we do?’ The temptation was strong. After all, it’s only a trek. Why not to get past the gate? Someone does it. ‘

The temptation was strong, the temptation was very strong.

It was three o’clock in the afternoon and, all in all, we were still on time.

If it had taken two hours to reach the summit, we would have been at the top for sunset. The sky was clear and the light fantastic. No clouds in the Sky.

The sunset was surely beautiful up there.

Stairway to Heaven

CHAPTER 3

Sometimes, a myth born by chance, without having looked for it.

That first time, we went back to the hotel in silence, dazed. What was previously a stage of the journey, a tourist attraction, had now suddenly become the meaning of the whole journey.

The Haiku Stairs was the archetype of existence. Perhaps, in the world, there were other places that meant the same thing, the archetype of existence, to other people.

Haiku Stairs with Matt Kievlan

CHAPTER 4 – MAY 2018

“When I go, I am respectful and full of peace, completely immersed in the experience, perhaps because you are in it for 3922 times. The activity confuses the senses and opens the spirit. We rise from civilization to magic. At the top you can savor hot food and you can calmly reflect, letting all this become part of the memories before civilization erases the traces of this lived magic and makes us plunge back into the harsh reality. People think they go there for the epic view but, along the way, they recognize themselves reflected into Nature. They share a majestic energetic imprint with the Earth and appreciate it through their soul. They discover that they have climbed a mountain to discover themselves in a new light and the new dawn becomes the best part of their day. They always say ‘I didn’t think it was so beautiful’, sometimes smiling, other times in tears. Every time I walk along it I lose myself in him “

We thought these words were perfect.

Matt Kievlan

We met Matt one morning in early May. At that moment we didn’t know anything about him, but his words about Haiku Stairs, recorded in a travel blog, reflected our most intimate feelings. His description was vivid and full of color and sounds.

Again, a shock seemed to paralyze our bodies. There was someone in the world who had managed to climb the stairs.

We wrote him and, a few days later, we were friends. Being able to share our emotions made everything more real. Haiku really existed and Matt knew it well. It would help us make our dream come true.

Haiku Stairs by Luca Oliveri

CHAPTER 5 – AUGUST 2018

We skirt the road, ready to flee into the woods if Matt would have told us to do. Then, as we begin to climb up, Matt tells us to go into the forest and go up from there.

The ground is wet and slippery, we help ourselves with the bamboo and with the roots of the damp and viscous plants. Above us, the cars whiz by on the H3.

A few moments later we go around the fence.

Nature has ingenious methods for finding our weak spots when it forces us to live in the center of our magical Universe.

Suddenly it is as if we were naked and with the heart of a child walking the path of our life. We are happy.

The climb begins on the first of the 3922 steps that we will not count.

Matt understood that we feel what he himself has tried for more than two hundred and eighty times, so many times he has climbed. And he knows that we can no longer live without the stairs, like him.

Radio station on Haiku Stairs

CHAPTER 6

Shortly after, going up, we have emerged from the impalpable haze of the clouds and now we can see everything around us. It’s like getting rid of a burden and the show, even from here, is magnificent. Fatigue gives way to vigor.

At times the sky is leaden, at times is blue disappearing into the sea. You can hear the cackles of some birds and the Amakihi of Hawaii, and then nothing else except of us gasping with increasing fatigue when, again, the mountain rests.

When we are about to reach the top, we slow down. A few more meters and we will see the radio station which, in a few minutes, was shrouded in clouds, perhaps to move us away one last time, perhaps as a last, extreme attempt for protection.

We are close. We slow down again, in our hearts we would not want our climb to end so quickly. Without realizing it, the legs tremble, for the pain and for the fear of finding out what awaits us up there, the eyes turn and, closing, sigh. The neck’s muscles, tense, screech like ropes when the wind hits them. The chest also contracts just after inhaling, exhaling with the restlessness of repeated frictions the breathlessness loaded with fatigue. The light is now palpable and at times, however, rarefied.

Four hours are too few and at the same time interminable to finish everything.

We are on the verge of unreasonableness, so high up.

Radio Station on Stairway to Heaven

CHAPTER 7

We are at the horizontal walkway that precedes the radio station, here the iron boards are well positioned and well preserved by the nature of the mountain that has made them his own, as a part of himself that it can no longer do without. Here, we feel the strong call of God, free from everything. We see neither Kaneohe nor the horizon. We perceive with our senses every truth that surrounds us. The gods of Hawaii are everywhere.

Mana, the vital energy.

The stairs no longer belong to man, but, now, they are the mountain’s son.

For a moment, the Haiku Stairs is there only for us. Now, I understand why 300 days ago, in October, we went back to the hotel and desperately threw the backpack on the carpet. I understand everything now, and my eyesight is sharper than ever. Now, memories can finally merge and find peace. I will never be able to go home, ever again.

Mana, the life energy is everywhere and makes the heart explode with joy.

Maui and the Heart Chakra

What would you do if you had only 3 days to spend in Maui?

Secret Beach – @lucaoliveri90

ALOHA Mother Maui!

When I landed, it was the first time there and Mother Maui filled each part of my body and my soul, my heart and spirit, my lungs and fingers with her essence. The Beaches, the Winds, the Lush Trees and…something else that I couldn’t quite explain.

I think I read somewhere that the landing at Maui is a bumpy ride. But I guess I have been lucky, in my landing there I have not got a bumpy one. And from the initial descent to the final approach, you might have the opportunity to see 6 islands and a partially submerged volcanic cinder cone: Oahu, Moloka’i, Lana’i, Kaho’olawe, The Big Island of Hawai’i, Maui, and the Molokini Crater!

Aloha!

Black Beach – @lucaoliveri90

Which are the best life experiences you could live there?

There’s something special when you land in one of the Hawaian islands and each of them has its own particularity: Maui is the island of the Haleakala Volcano where it is told to pass the vortex of the Heart Chakra, that is our center of love, connectedness, and forgiveness. When out of balance we feel closed to love and hold grudges, when in balance we see the good in everyone.

Matt, our Hawaian friend and our Guru, reached us at the airport and lead us first to the “Down to Earth” market where we had lunch and bought an unforgettable sticker “The answer is Love” for the rear window of our car and then to the “Big Beach”. We had an amazing swim there and played with waves and snorkeled. As I laid there I felt a deep sense of relief, something like how you feel when you finally sit after having a marathon day and your body thanks you.  My body and heart took in a tremendous amount of love and Healing. 

Think about this: wake up early in the morning for the flight from Honolulu, a day completely full and…the best part of the day have not came yet. I was so excited!

The Haleakala summit was waiting!

First, there is no food, gas, or water sold in the park, so be sure to take anything you may need with you.

Second, if you would camp on the park, get the permit for the night some days in advance.

At the summit it’s easy to forget where you came from as you look out onto what feels like another world. At dawn, I was suspended in a soft sea of coulds in one of the most magical moment of my life, full of freedom and peace. Also if it sounds strange or foolish running out in the middle of the road and scream, for me it has been so liberating and rewarding.

My idea of the perfect experience included spending the night camping on the summit watching the stars twinkle, full immersed into the nature and, then, the day next, waiting for the sunrise over the Crater.

Sunset on the top – Haleakala summit

The night is full of stars and gives the most magnificent milky Way

I was not ready for the below-freezing temperatures but fortunately Matt had some sweaters for us.

The night gave us the most magnificent Milky Way I’ve ever seen. The magic was everywhere and the sunrise came soon at 5am.

I went up to highest point of Haleakala at 9740 ft (almost 3000 meters) over sea level. The view was 360 degree all around and most of all on the crater, as the sun rised and the rich colors of the mountain landscape took shape below me. All this beauty is the result of the spectacle that only millions of years of earth’s movement can provide. It is hard to describe in words.

After we had breakfast on the top we took the way down to the civilisation. On the the road back the feeling of deep freedom was everywhere and the energetic power of the volcano was blowing on the air. Another stunning moment.

Straight to Heaven

The road to Hana – explore, dream, discover

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in you sails and explore, dream, discover the world. This is what you will feel along the Road to Hana.

When driving the Hana Highway, the most attractive thing is the journey, not the destination. There are only few words to describe the beauty of this drive, because of its cliffs covered by green and lush valleys and because of its waterfalls. The curves embrace the coast and gaze at the ocean. Couple that with black, red, and white sand beaches, a multitude of trails, and beautiful gardens and you’ve discovered the highway to heaven itself.

You may find out that there are legendary stories associated with each spot where Gods have left their mark and historic battles have been fought.

One amazing spot is the “Black Beach”, also if the proper Hawaiian spelling is Wai’anapanapa which literally means “glistening water”. It’s nestled in a private cove where the pitch black granules glisten, dark and mysterious. It is not just a black beach, but also an important historical area for Hawaiians. Their heartbroken Queen once took refuge in a sea cave here, and the legend was born. Some would say that this is a sacred place.

“Would you like to have some adventure?” asked Matt

“Obviously!” we answered

You’ll enjoy the ride much more this way! So we suddenly turned left in a small unpaved road into the jungle and went so crazy and fast. Yes we had our adventure there and enjoyed so much the time we spent into the jungle. The Nature is so majestic in this place.

Black beach

The little cove inside a cinder cone of the “secret red beach” is great for swimming and cliff-jumping but has no official trail to reach it. Reaching the steep, slippery slope to the beach requires wandering through a field at the end of a road before finding a homemade sign pointing the way.

We arrived at sunset and the show of mother Nature was undescribable, pink and red colors everywhere and the crispy water on my feet.

“Maybe it happens, maybe the magic happens!”

Here it happened! It wasn’t supposed to spend the night at this beach but the beach captured us. Sleeping under the stars again, after the previous night under the Haleakala sky, and waking up and share the breakfast is one of the most inspiring life experiences, in the same world full of colors and emotions of the previous evening.

You will feel the energetic footprint of the Earth.

Secret Beach

Maui is Love and Sharing:

it’s a beautiful life out here and connected with nature we find its meaning and when we look at what’s around us we realize that this is so good and special.

When we get connected each other, as humans, we can appreciate the connection so deeply and understand that’s so special and the ecosystem of the universe around usi s so important.

When we drive into our consciousness and understand what truly means to Live, to Love and to Share, we can go deep and dive into what means to be togheter. Consider how our time together might affect the rest of life.