Wanderlust: Travel Stories, an interactive anthology of travel fiction, is embarking on its jet-set journey today. With Witcher, Hitman, and Dying Light writers at the helm, it’s a rare sort of travelogue. One where you’ve also got to consider those unique irritations that come with adventure – stress, fatigue and steadily dwindling funds.
Oh, Wanderlust. You know I don’t need to leave the flat to panic about that.
Jay embarked on a demo voyage into Wanderlust back in July, stepping into the shoes of fashion student Martine for a brief jaunt into Thailand. Now, I’m sure there are plenty of lovely students named Martine out there, but what seemed to follow was an entirely predictable gap-year quest for the “authentic”, barking Namaste at fellow nomads while giving local Thai folk the cold shoulder.
If that’s a deliberate choice, one markedly commented on by the game proper, then great! But if the above trailer is any hint, Wanderlust frames travel through a notably Instagram-style lens. It’s a rite of passage, one where other (read: poorer) cultures are just a means to enlighten yourself. Now, that’s a mode of travel very particular to a very specific class of person, monied and with the free time to bugger off across the world on a whim.
Look, I get it. My own wee post-school jaunt might’ve been limited to northern Europe, but I’ve absolutely been the wank who larked about in hostels with international strangers, burning the midnight oil to a terrible bottle of €5 wine, pretending we’re all just oh-so profound. It was still, probably, the most interesting shit I did with my teens.
But it’s rare enough that I did it at all, and I somehow doubt Wanderlust is going to tackle the painful reality for thousands of travellers across the world. One where relocation is a terribly unwanted necessity and every border is a potentially violent dead-end. It looks like Wanderlust may at least touch on things like climate change, so who knows. I’m ready to be proven wrong.