What is Saudades, and Why am I Trying to Find it?

A Portuguese term that describes the feeling of yearning, melancholy, or nostalgia towards something or someone.

In this case, travel!

If you’re like me, the mundane nine-to-five lifestyle fills every square-inch of your body with dread. People can go their entire lives doing the same things over and over again like a broken record before one day waking up to reality and realizing that they wasted it all doing something they didn’t even like doing.

We try to escape this reality though, even if for a moment. For some, this means watching your favourite sports team, or going on a date with that girl you’ve always liked. It means learning to play the guitar, or bingeing a new show on Netflix. For far too many it means buying a whole bunch of useless things to try and fill the void in your life with stuff.

Travelling is a great method by which a lot of us choose to escape, including myself. Not only are you mentally removed from the stress of life, but you are often literal oceans and continents away. Nothing beats exploring the ancient city streets of Rome, or wandering through medieval castles in the English countryside. Seeing the lights of Tokyo gleaming down on you like Blade Runner, or laying on the white sandy beaches in the hot beating sun of Thailand. There is something wondrous and freeing about being in total control of what you do, where you go, and how you choose to schedule your day.

The problem is that no matter how much we try to escape, or compensate for the discontent in our lives, the reminder of our reality is always there lurking in the background. You still have to be back at work on Monday, you still have those bills to pay, and you still need to get the oil changed in the car.

When you’re back in the mundane nine-to-five nature of life, you might find yourself daydreaming, longing, or yearning for those brief moments of escape, repeatedly playing them back like a movie in your head, wishing that you could live in them forever.

That feeling of longingyearning, and nostalgia is Saudades.

A word only found in the Portuguese language, Saudades can best be captured by Fado music, which is known for its melancholic and expressive nature. Musicians will often sing about struggles, loss, and the helplessness in facing the seemingly uncontrollable nature of life.

While emotional, Fado music isn’t necessarily meant to be sad, and can in fact be inspiring. It is about accepting the hand you were dealt, the events that have transpired, acknowledging the realities of life, and making the effort to better yourself and your situation.

Seeking Saudades is the quest to make those brief moments of escape a permanent fixture in your life. Yearning for new adventures, new experiences, and new places waiting to be explored. Seeking Saudades is about breaking out of the mold and pursuing your passions and taking control of the one and only life you have to live.

So, what are you waiting for?

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Yearning for Adventure

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