Wanderlust and Fernweh

Words are a beautiful thing. And there are so many wonderful words in many, many languages. One of my favourite words has to be wanderlust.

wanderlust [noun]: the wish to travel far away and to many different places

The word derives from the German word of the same name Wanderlust. The German Wanderlust means die Lust oder Freude am Wandern meaning the passion or joy of hiking/wandering. The German Lust has another meaning besides passion, namely wish. So Wanderlust could also mean the wish to wander.

When it comes to travelling and describing your feelings of wanting to travel somewhere there cannot be another word that describes the feeling better, or can there be one?

Personally, I prefer the German translation for wanderlust or even travel bug for that matter: Fernweh. The German dictionary Duden describes Fernweh as the longing for a faraway place. The literate translation for Fernweh would be to ache for a faraway place as the -weh in Fernweh means aching or ache. Fern would be the faraway place or distance. The opposite of Fernweh is Heimweh which is the same in English, homesick.

Fernweh [noun]: an aching/longing of a faraway place

So for me Fernweh is just a little bit more poetic as it describes this feeling I have inside better that wanderlust does. I’m really curious if there are words in other languages that are translated to wanderlust yet mean something a little bit different. If you know some of these please let me know in the comments.

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