10 Travel Words That Will Inspire Some Serious Wanderlust!

Nancy B. Varghese

Travel Writer

Petrichor (noun): a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather

You only had to read the word once to close your eyes and immediately be transformed into a wide meadow under a sky full of brooding grey clouds; the rain pouring down from the heavens, and the scent of the earth filling your senses with all things beautiful and happy. Quite the picture, isn’t it?

Words have the power to evoke powerful feelings, and their ability to transport us to worlds unexplored is the sole reason bookworms yearn to pick up their next favourite fantasy novel! So, here's a beautiful list of words from around the world that are definitely going to inspire the wanderer in you.

1. Fernweh

Origin: German

Meaning: An ache to get away and travel to a distant place; a feeling stronger than wanderlust. It’s also known as what would be the opposite of homesickness - sounds like an enchanting incantation for a spell, don’t you think?

1 travel words - fernweh

2. Nefelibata

Origin: Portuguese

Meaning: One who lives in the clouds of their own imagination, or one who does not obey the conventions of society, literature, or art. Also, in the literal sense, known as a ‘cloud walker’.

3. Querencia

Origin: Spanish

Meaning: A place where one feels safe, or, a place from which one’s strength of character is drawn. A lot like home, you could say, but not necessarily the one you reside in, but the one where you feel at your best and your strongest.

4. Psithurism

Origin: Greek

Meaning: The sound of the wind in the trees and the rustling of leaves. It’s what Grandmother Willow wanted Pocahontas to listen to so that she could follow her heart!

4 travel words - psithurism

5. Apricity

Origin: Latin

Meaning: The warmth of the sun in winter. Guess now we all have a word to describe our favourite thing about winters, don’t we?

6. Selcouth

Origin: English

Meaning: Unfamiliar, strange, rare, but marvellous; kind of like that one solo trip you definitely want to take some time in your life, that could possibly turn out even better than you imagined!

7. Sophrosyne

Origin: Greek

Meaning: A healthy state of mind, characterised by self-control, moderation and a deep awareness of one’s true self, resulting in true happiness. Achieving the ultimate level of zen!

7 travel words - sophrosyne

8. Eleutheromania

Origin: Greek

Meaning: A mania, or a frantic zeal for freedom, almost to the point of obsession. Remember the time you couldn’t help but imagine breaking the shackles of routine, and taking the first flight out of the city to freedom? Now you have a word for it!

9. Hiraeth

Origin: Welsh

Meaning: A homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief, for the lost places of your past.

10. Yūgen

Origin: Japanese

Meaning: An awareness of the universe that triggers emotional responses too deep and mysterious for words. As Japanese actor Zeami Motokiyo put it, it’s the feeling you get when you  “stand upon the shore and gaze after a boat that disappears behind distant islands”, or when you “contemplate the flight of wild geese seen and lost among the clouds”. Dreamy, isn’t it?

10 travel words - yugen

So which of these words are you going to be inspired by today?

Images: Pexels, Giphy

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Published on Feb 18, 2018
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