From Adventure to Wanderlust: The Beauty of a Word

Have you ever been struck by the absolute beauty of a word?


The English language is beautiful, but sometimes it takes other languages to beautifully capture a feeling that English cannot capture in one single word. For my own traveling soul, my language would begin with Adventure and end with Wanderlust, but there is so much more that the English language cannot adequately capture. "Wanderlust" just simply does not fit all the emotions that adventurers experience throughout their travels (and once they are home).



Do you ever catch yourself staring off into nothingness? The Japenese have a beautiful term for this known as Boketto. In English we might think of this as daydreaming, but with boketto one is not thinking of anything at all. It might be more adequately described as "spacing".




Through the Italian word Commuovere we find a word to capture one of the most vulnerable feelings. Those touching and emotional feelings you have, those that hit you with the most inexplicable, unexpected, and undeniably human ways.




Culture shock does not seem to do the feeling justice of excitement as you step foot into a new place. Dépaysement is the French word to describe all the feelings you have when being some place new. Though some do not appreciate this feeling, there are some who thrive on it. It is shocking, yet exciting.



The term dérive quite literally means to drift. It is an unplanned journey that is driven by curiosity, often times done in a group conversing as they wander.

A dérive is an unplanned journey through a landscape, usually urban, on which the subtle aesthetic contours of the surrounding architecture and geography subconsciously direct the travelers, with the ultimate goal of encountering an entirely new and authentic experience.



Though we all have moments of homesickness, English has not developed an adequate term for "far sickness". The Germans have an excellent term for this, Fernweh. Fern (far) Weh (woe), can be translated to mean longing for distant places.





Fika is a state of mind and an important part of the Swedish culture. This is a ritual and not simply a coffee break at your desk by yourself. Instead Fika is a moment of quality time to savor with friends and family.




The definition of "stroll" for this French term does not seem to do flâneur justice, instead you should think of it as someone who is an observant wanderer. Someone who takes in everything and seeks experiences that will fuel a creative mindset.




Hiraeth is that longing feeling for home. The Welsh have indicated that Hiraeth cannot adequately be defined, but it is described as the bittersweet memory of missing something or someone, while being grateful of their existence.





Though there are many words to describe the love of travel, none do it quite like hodophile. Roads are the lifelines that connect us to each destination and hodophile is the lover of roads.




The Swedish word Livsnjutare is a reminder to appreciate life and live it to its fullest.




When one lives a nomadic lifestyle they cannot stay in one place for long. As a peripatetic the Greek view this lifestyle as one who is prone to wandering and in a more literal sense, walking while thinking.



Resfeber is that restless feeling the night before traveling. Have you ever failed to fall asleep the night before a trip, or been unable to sit still right before a trip? You have probably experienced resfeber. The Swedish word perfectly fits the pre-travel jitters.



We have heard of a solo traveler, but the Latin word Solivagant strikes more feeling for the phrase. A solitary wanderer is someone who seek out wandering alone, preferably to far off places that they have not been before.





Have you ever had a "lucky find", a chance happenstance, or simply "stumbled" upon something. This is what the French describe as Trouvaille. The word has such beauty to it that I do not believe it can be used for the mundane but instead held onto for those special moments, those special finds.




I believe that there is no better way to end than with the Latin word Vagary. These unpredictable experiences that show up on a whim are often times the best ones. Sometimes simply wandering without a plan helps you to find yourself in beautiful situations.


This list could simply go on forever, there is no shortage of beautiful words in the world. Whether you follow your heart around the world or you long for an adventure, there is always a word to describe your feelings that the English language cannot adequately describe for you.




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Hello! I'm so happy you stopped by

My name is Sebastiana, but most just call me SB, and I am an adventurer. I've had a wandering spirit ever since I was a little girl and now that I am a mother I get to share that spirit with my tiny humans.  ​