There are thousands of spoken languages that exist in the world today, each of which contains unique words that cannot be found in another language. Many languages contain words pertaining to travel that are distinct — they may even define the way that you have felt about your travels, or how travel has affected your life, in a way words in your mother tongue can not. If you are interested in expanding your horizons regarding travel through language, check out out the five words below.


Fernweh (fern·weh)

Origin: Germany

Fernweh (n): An aching desire to travel that is so profound that it makes you feel a sense of “homesickness” for a far off place.

While some may believe that fernweh is the equivalent of the English term “wanderlust,” many describe this word as having a much stronger connotation. While wanderlust is meant to communicate a strong desire to travel, “fernweh” is best used for a desire to travel that is so deep that it is all encompassing. Fernweh also has a unique dimension of meaning that is thought of as “farsickness” (the opposite of the English word “homesick”).


Resfeber (res·fe·ber)

Origin: Sweden

Resfeber (n): The restless race of a traveler’s heart before their journey begins, when anxiety and anticipation are tangled together.

Any travel lover knows the feeling of being up all night before their next roadtrip, or the flutter that you feel as you are making your way through the airport — it is a unique feeling that is laced with both an uncontainable excitement and nervousness. If you’ve never had a concise way to define this feeling before, the Swedish term “resfeber” is perfect for you.


Solivagant (so·liv·a·gant)

Origin: Latin

Solivagant (n): A solitary wanderer.

Traveling alone is a distinct experience. There is an indescribable feeling that arises as you travel to your destination alone and roam through city streets by yourself or explore the countryside in solitude. Although some may believe the English term “solo traveler” could be used to encompass the experience of wandering alone, it is simply not the equivalent of the Latin term “solivagant”.


Peripatetic (peri·pa·tet·ic)

Origin: Greece

Peripatetic (n): A person who spends their time wandering.

There are many different types of travelers. Some enjoy arriving to their destination and spending most of their time relaxing at their accommodation, some like to have meticulous plans for their trip, while others like to explore by roaming aimlessly. If you are the latter, you are what the Greek call a “peripatetic.”


Friluftsliv (fri·lufts·liv)

Origin: Norway

Friluftsliv (n): An open air life.

Friluftsliv is often described as a Norwegian philosophy in which someone spends time outside and enjoys the outdoors. Translated to “an open air life,” “friluftsliv” is the perfect word for avid travelers who are also outdoor enthusiasts.


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