Last Updated on 24th July 2020 by Sophie Nadeau
We’ve all been there before, daydreaming in the office, college, school, wishing we were elsewhere and envisaging of far-off lands, brand-new foods and exciting new people. Sometimes I really struggle to put these ideas into words. Luckily, the right words are actually out there. Everyone from the intrepid traveler to the local explorer should have these travel buzzwords in their vocabulary. After all, these unusual travel words are perfect for when you’re not sure what to say!
#1 Wanderlust (wŏn′dər-lŭst′), German
Okay, let’s just get this one out of the way first! Although, a bit of an obvious one it also seems like the place to start… Did you know that it actually comes from a misinterpretation of the word ‘Wandern’ in German? ‘Wandern’ is a false friend because it actually means ‘to hike’ rather than ‘to wander’. However, like most new words, the new word was accepted as meaning ‘a love of wandering’ and has stuck with us to this day.
#2 Fernweh (Fẹrn·weh), German
Fernweh is probably my favourite of all the travel buzzwords on the list and the one that appeals to me the most. It quite literally means ‘far sickness’. The kind of pull you feel to go on adventures and longing to see places you have never seen/ heard of before. Want more beautiful German words? Here are a number of Wanderlust German words you’ll wish we had in English!
#3 Exploratrice (ɛksplɔʀatʀis ), French
It would appear that French is not just the language of love but also that of the female adventuress. Exploratrice is a feminine word reserved exclusively for female voyagers, which is perfect if you love solo female travel, or simply if you want a new word to describe yourself. Headed to l’Hexagon soon? Here are twenty more useful French words and phrases!
#4 Vagary (va·ga·ry), Latin
Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like you could get ‘lost in the right direction’, go on a journey where the journey is the goal? Well, apparently the Romans felt the same way because this word literally means a ‘wandering journey’- the kind that is unusual and doesn’t have a particular purpose. Although you obviously can’t travel anywhere where Latin is spoken, you can still learn a few beautiful Latin words and phrases.
#5 Wayfarer (wā′fâr′ər), English
No, I am not trying to sell you a pair of designer sunglasses. This is a real word and means a traveller on a journey. The term denotes any kind of journey really, though it’s worth noting that it was originally intended to mean a journey on foot.
#6 Peregrinate (pĕr′ĭ-grə-nāt′), English
Yes, this is genuinely a real word in the English language, though you most probably have never heard of it before. (I even checked in the dictionary just to be sure!) This is a noun meaning ‘to travel/ traverse’. So next time you journey anywhere, make sure to tell everyone ‘I’m peregrinating’!
#7 Resfeber (Res-fe-ber), Swedish
The way that your heart races just before a voyage begins. That adrenaline rush as you step off the plane/ train and take your first step in a new adventure. Well, that’s what Resfeber is. I can’t think of a better way to end my list of words. I am going to go back to my state of fernweh now…
8. Over to you: Got any Travel Buzzwords?
Are there any travel buzzwords in languages that you know which don’t have any direct translations? Let me know in the comments below!