The Road to Wanderlust: Chasing Community to See the World

These three Wanderlust junkies share the reason behind their festival love, and how they use these events to satisfy a never-ending thirst for adventure.

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Wind whips through your hair, allowing it to take flight and tangle with the DJ Drez beats that emanate from the car speakers. A mundane highway grows smaller in your rear view mirror as you begin careening through mountains, the excitement building with each winding turn.

A schedule is mapped out on the seat next to you. Though even with all of the planning and preparation, there’s a deep feeling of unknown. What surprises await you? Who will you meet? How will you be transformed? So much possibility lies ahead. This is the road to Wanderlust.

Girl hula hooping with three hoops in the water.
Photo by Melissa Gayle

The word wanderlust means “a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about”. Why would a yoga and music festival adopt a name that involves such lust for travel? Hint: Take a look at the event calendar and you’ll find out. With annual locations scattered across North America—and inaugural events permeating the globe—a healthy dose of wanderlust is required to attend any events not held in your own backyard.

Wanderlust has become an exciting way to see the world.

Some festival-goers are born travelers; the roaming required to attend events is ingrained in the pads of their nomadic feet. There is also a growing group of folks that use these festivals as a reason to clock out (and cash in) on vacation time. For others, Wanderlust has become an exciting way to see the world.

I caught up with three serial attendees who let me in on what the road to Wanderlust means to them. I’d like to note that these people aren’t vagabonds, van-dwellers or digital nomads. So if you’re working your nine-to-five job, thinking you can’t relate, read on.

Addicted to Adventurous Spontaneity 

Alyson is no stranger to travel. As a scientist with research projects in Antarctica, her “work life” requires a readily available passport and a desire to roam the world. We can all agree she’s a bit spoiled, since Tahoe happens to be close, very close, to her Truckee home. That being said, she doesn’t let the distance get her down, and has chased Wanderlust Festivals Tremblant and O’ahu.

For Alyson, these far-flung locations encourage an adventurous spontaneity. When lulls in her workload arise, she looks to the event schedule. If a festival overlaps, out the door she goes. It’s easy to put off adventures that aren’t time-sensitive. But you can’t ignore great timing—or a spur-of-the-moment trip across the continent. Yep, she’s done that too!

Guy on the side of the road with his car.
Photo by Jordi Ganduxe

Finding a Haven in the Disconnection 

Jeff shares a similar, date-specific urgency. As the Creative Director of a telecommunications company, he’s in project-mode year round. Vacation time could easily fall by the wayside, rarely redeemed. Luckily, as a moonlighting yoga instructor, Jeff has a love affair with Wanderlust. And this love gets him out of the office, onto planes, and into the world. Squaw Valley and O’ahu are Jeff’s “usuals”, and he’s since added Wellspring the list.

For Jeff, these excursions are so much more than a vacation. Festivals provide for him an invaluable combination of recreation, relaxing and learning. And the road itself offers its own appeal. The 2500 miles over the Pacific, when en route to Oahu, is disconnect haven— no wifi, no exterior chaos. Life, as you know it, has been left behind. Doesn’t this sound like the first few minutes of a yoga class? Arrive, drop in and prepare for the experience ahead.

“Wanderlust people are my people.” 

Alyssa is a travel-savvy Marketer and Data Analyst who works with tech startups. From traveling up to Tahoe and Whistler, and over to Stratton and Snowshoe, she identifies with being an adventurer and has put some (very mountainous) miles on her yoga mat, alongside Wanderlust Festivals. The opening visual—winding into Lake Tahoe  and the buoyant feeling of the unknown—was inspired by Alyssa’s voyages. We can all relate to this feeling of excitement when embarking on a vacation.

But after four days of rubbing shoulders and sharing smiles, stories,  partner poses, and hugs with friends who were strangers only days before, you’re aware that these are the very people on the road with you.

Though what really stuck with me were Alyssa’s feelings on the road home from Wanderlust.  The traffic exiting Squaw Valley can be arduous. But after four days of rubbing shoulders and sharing smiles, stories,  partner poses, and hugs with friends who were strangers only days before, you’re aware that these are the very people on the road with you. They aren’t outsiders, in separate cars, in bumper-to-bumper traffic. They are your people. And here you are, traveling home together. Each taking with you the transformative experiences you co-created—as well as the hearts of the entire Wanderlust community. This is the road to Wanderlust.

scrolling words passport over topo map

Kacey Janeen Waxler is a California-based yoga instructor and writer on the hunt for adventure and good stories. Her words can be located amongst noteworthy brands including Corona Extra, Athleta, and Darling Magazine, and in the flesh she can be found reading unapologetically from the glow of a headlamp, geeking out over sequencing, or neck deep in a deliciously hot bath. Follow her adventures at @kaceyjaneen or