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Around The World In 32 Untranslatable Words

Take a look at these wanderlust-evoking words from around the world


A map of the world

Today, there are around 6500 spoken languages in the world. Language binds us together - it is the strongest way in which we communicate and develop relationships. Sometimes, though, the English language can fall short of our feelings, and we just can’t express ourselves through one single word. That’s where we turn to other languages for help.

Here are some of our favourite untranslatable words from around the world with no direct English equivalent.

1. Eudaimonia

Meaning: The state of complete contentment and happiness.

Language: Greek

2. Fernweh

Meaning: A longing for faraway places. Similar to wanderlust, but it can also refer to places you’ve never visited.

Language: German

3. Dèrive

Meaning: To spontaneously wander, led by the landscape and architecture alone.

Language: French

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4. Resfeber

Meaning: The mixed emotions of fear and excitement before embarking on a journey.

Language: Swedish

5. Komorebi

Meaning: The sunlight streaming through the leaves of trees.

Language: Japanese

6. Novaturient

Meaning: Seeking meaningful change in your life that drives you to travel.

Language: Latin

7. Vagary

Meaning: A wandering journey.

Language: Latin

8. Ré Nao

Meaning: A desirable place, with an entertaining and appealing atmosphere. A place where you want to be.

Language: Mandarin

9. Trouvaille

Meaning: Something wonderful found by pure luck.

Language: French

10. Sehnsucht

Meaning: A pining for past travels and travels yet to come.

Language: German

11. Hiraeth

Meaning: Originating from traditional Welsh poetry, this is a feeling of homesickness for a home you can never return to, which might not have existed in the first place.

Language: Welsh

12. Gökotta

Meaning: To wake up early in the morning to go outside and listen to the early birds sing.

Language: Swedish

13. Waldeinsamkeit

Meaning: A desire to escape the crowds and have some time to yourself, to have the chance to appreciate the beauty of the natural world.

Language: German

14. Saudade

Meaning: A nostalgic longing for a place, person, or object that you are glad to have encountered in the past but recognise you may never encounter again.

Language: Portuguese

15. Jijivisha

Meaning: The desire to live the best, most enriched life you possibly can.

Language: Hindi

16. Flâneur

Meaning: A person who likes to stroll around, taking in the beauty of the environment around them (primraily of urban, city life).

Language: French

17. Hodophile

Meaning: A name given to somebody with a deep love for travel and exploring new places; Someone who has hodophilia.

Language: Greek

18. Dominguero

Meaning: A name given to people who live in constant 'holiday mode', always looking for their next trip or adventure.

Language: Spanish

19. Solivagant

Meaning: Somebody who embarks on solo travel; Someone who enjoys travelling by themselves.

Language: Latin

20. Onism

Meaning: The feeling of frustration and helplessness when understanding that one person will never see everything, usually triggered by the ever-growing desire to travel.

Language: Danish

21. Dépaysement

Meaning: The feeling of being a foreigner in a place that isn't your home.

Language: French

22. Eleutheromania

Meaning: A strong, captivating hunger for freedom.

Language: Greek

23. Dromomania

Meaning: An unusally strong drive to travel, to the extent where travelling becomes the main purpose and focus of someone's life.

Language: Greek

24. Livsnjutare

Meaning: A person who enjoys life to the maximum, and lives the fullest, most enjoyable life they possibly can.

Language: Swedish

25. Tîeow

Meaning: To roam or meander around a place with no worries or stresses.

Language: Thai

26. Yoko meshi

Meaning: The stress experienced when speaking, or having to speak, a foreign language.

Language: Japanese

27. Torschlusspanik

Meaning: The feeling of fear and anxiety caused by the realisation that time is running out to do all you want to do, and see all you want to see.

Language: German

28. Schwellenangst

Meaning: The fear of stepping forward in life and starting a new chapter; The fear one may feel before embarking on a new travel adventure.

Language: German

29. Peripatetic

Meaning: A name given to somebody who spends their time walking, moving, or travelling around from place to place.

Language: Greek

30. Ailyak

Meaning: Enjoying life in a calm, slow and peaceful way, without rushing around.

Language: Bulgarian

31. Vacilando

Meaning: When the experience of travelling itself is more anjoyable and important to a person that than actually arriving at a specific destination.

Language: Spanish

32. Sturmfrei

Meaning: The liberty and freedom of being alone, with the ability to do whatever you want to do and see whatever you wish to see.

Language: German

If this has evoked a feeling of fernweh, then take a look at our collection of homes and start planning for when the time is right to travel again.

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