Are you looking for unique travel words that will inspire? This article will share some words with a special meaning in the travel industry.
I admit it. Travel is my addiction. It’s what I think about most when I am not thinking about my job. Travel is what I love. Luckily, I’ve been able build a business around it. Travel writing is my passion. I think, talk, and write about it all.
There are times when I feel that I can’t express myself fully. This is why I have turned to foreign languages and strange travel words to expand my vocabulary…and to satisfy that gnawing feeling.
These words were so perfect for conveying certain emotions and feelings that the English language is not able to. I began researching them and started looking up the meanings.
This list is inspired by our bestseller Best Travel Quotes article.
1. Peregrinate (verb). To travel from one place to another.
2. Serendipity (noun). Finding something you like without having to look for it.
3. Nemophilist (noun). One who loves the forest.
These three words resonate so strongly with me. Although it is not all that romantic, I believe the moment I met my husband was very serendipitous (yes! My year-long trip was coming to an end and I was about to start my journey around Southeast Asia. My first day was a freak accident that caused me to be rushed to the ER by an ambulance.
21 stitches later, my travels were put on hold because I couldn’t pick up my backpack. I returned to the Philippines to recuperate and heal. After two months, I felt bored and decided I had more travel to do. I booked an impulsive ticket back to Vietnam. Tom was my host on my third day.
We’ve been traveling the world for nearly three years together since then. We have built our business together and, although we still have a lot to do, we love the freedom to pursue our passions.
Perigrate is a lovely word that denotes freedom, love for travel and a desire to explore the unknown. It was one of those moments that made me think, “Wow, is that even a word?” When I first learned about the world Nemophilist. It was also the case with most words on this list.
4. Eudaimonia (noun). The happy, contented state that you experience when you travel
5. Schwellenangst (noun). Fear of crossing a threshold in order to embark on something else
6. Eleutheromania (noun). The intense desire to be free.
Beautiful is the Greek language. It was the first time I visited Greece. I fell in love with it and, even though my Greek vocabulary was not very good, I could have had conversations with strangers I met on the streets.
Conversations with grandpas and grandmas from Greece are my favorite! When I discovered that their word translated to the feeling of contentment you experience when you travel, it was amazing.
While I was in Santorini, I vividly remember climbing barefoot to reach the top of this cliff. I stood at the edge and watched the amazing sunset unfold. It was one those moments that made me understand why people travel. I have been hooked since that moment.
I was hooked to the feeling, the sense fulfillment and, most importantly, the feeling of contentment that I felt when I did something I loved.
7. Fernweh (noun). A strong urge to travel.
8. Solivagant (adjective). Wandering alone
9. Strikhedonia (noun). The joy of being in a position to say “to hell!
Strikhedonia…man, the Greek language is a master at this. Contrary to popular belief, I am a very calculated person. When I started my first job, I began saving money for my year-long vacation. Although I had enough money for my trip, I was hesitant about quitting my high-paying job.
One day I woke up and decided to quit all my possessions, sell everything and travel.
Since then I’ve had a few “to hell with them” moments. Looking back on all my accomplishments, I see that those little inspirations have brought me to where I am today. My job as a full time travel writer looks easy from the outside. While there are many beautiful photos and long Instagram posts about this amazing place, the truth is that we also have to pay bills and live a daily life.
We hustle, work hard, and spend nearly 10 hours per day on our computers. This is in addition to long bus rides, when we travel, and between all that, we are glued to the computer. In reality, however, I would not live my life in any other way. Sometimes all it takes to live life to your own terms is a moment or two of madness.
10. Peripatetic (noun). A person who wanders a lot.
11. Hireath (noun). A feeling of homesickness for a place you can’t return to, or a home that may never have been.
12. Gadabout (noun). A person who travels frequently or to many places for pleasure.
Once upon a while, I lived on a paradisiac island. It was a period in my life when I learned a lot about myself, had to work hard and finally gained the courage to follow my dreams. It was hard to leave the place, but it was also time.
It was often like I was lost in a maze and needed to escape. People were transient because it was a popular vacation island. This place was the first thing that came to my mind when I read the meaning of hireath. It is a place that I will never be able to return to, and I immediately feel at home there because of the people who were there at that time.
Do you remember feeling like this about a particular place? Peripatetic, on the other hand, is another lovely word that sums up the desire to wander.
13. Vagary (noun). A wild, unusual, or whimsical idea.
14. Sehnsucht (noun). A feeling of longing for the travels that have already been made and those to come.
15. Livsnjutare is a noun. It means: Someone who truly loves life; A person who enjoys life.
Since I was a kid, I have never dreamed of becoming wealthy. I was the type of person who, when my friends said “I want to become a millionaire”, everyone would respond with “Yes!”. It would be amazing to be wealthy, but who wouldn’t? But, what I have always wanted was simplicity. I wanted to be happy.
I wanted to live near the ocean and have a happy, simple life. This is probably why Livsnjutare, the German word for “living by the ocean”, resonates so strongly with me. Although I’m far from financially secure (still working on it), I’m proud to say that I’m not broke. I love my life.
Sehnsucht, on the other hand…is probably something I would use daily if I could speak German. You wouldn’t believe how often I daydream about exotic destinations, remote islands, or exploring hidden places. I can understand your desire to travel.
16. Resfeber (noun). The wandering heart of a traveler before the journey begins. The untangled feeling of fear before the journey begins.
17. Novaturient (adjective). A desire to change your life. The feeling that drives you to travel.
18. Numinous (adjective). Feeling fearful but also awed at what’s in front of you.
I don’t know if you’re like me, but I find it difficult to sleep when I have a trip on the horizon. If I’m flying early, I wake up several times a night to be afraid that I might have overslept and missed my flight.
Some may find me a bit neurotic but I prefer the term resfeber. It’s my excitement for the unknown that makes me giddy and excited. Novaturient is a word that describes why I encourage people to travel.
It has brought out the best in me, and it has brought out the worst. It is an honor to travel. Each day is a learning experience for me. It allows me to look at where I am and reflect on my life. And ultimately, it helps me appreciate the simple things in my life, like a homemade meal and the hugs of my parents when I’m sick.
19. The verb derive (noun). To be unplanned and led only by the landscape.
20. Sturmfrei (noun). The freedom to be alone and the ability to do whatever you want.
21. Trouvaille (noun). Something beautiful that happens by chance.
People often associate being alone with something negative. Traveling alone can be life-changing for some. Although I travel now with my partner, it was my solo trip abroad that made me who I am today. It taught me many things that I never would have known about myself. When I was in Italy, I discovered that I enjoyed eating alone.
Although I believe my fear of eating alone began as a fear that I would be judged for how much pizza and pasta I ate, I grew to love it all and would often excuse myself from large groups of people so I could have my own mealtime.
I could list a million more things that I gained from my solo travels, but the bottom line is that solo travel made me feel like a superwoman. That is why I can definitely relate to the term Sturmfrei.
22. Querencia (adjective). A place where one feels safe.
23. Coddiwomple (verb). To travel purposefully towards a vague destination.
24. Sonder (verb). The realization that everyone lives a vivid, unique life
Travel has taught me one of the most important things: the world doesn’t revolve around me. Sonder captures this as it speaks to how everyone is on their journey. The grumpy waitress you meet? You just might have a bad day.
Let it go. Who was the person who took your hat from you at the hostel? They might have really needed it. Empathy with others is something that every person should practice more. This is what traveling teaches you.
Every day, I am humbled by people I meet while on the road. It serves as a constant reminder of how important it is to have more understanding.
25. Nefelibata (noun). One who lives in the clouds their imagination; A person who is unconventional.
26. Saudade (noun). A nostalgia longing to be close to someone or something that is far away.
27. Hodophile (adjective). A lover of roads. A person who enjoys traveling.
28. Acatalepsy (noun). The belief that it is impossible for anyone to comprehend everything.
29. Wayfarer (noun). A person who travels, especially by foot.
30. Thalassophile (noun). Someone who loves the ocean, sea or ocean.
Although I could go on and on about what these words mean to my life, I’ll let these beautiful, but unusual words speak for me. You may have found some unusual words that you can relate to.
These words are beautiful and capture many emotions that can take a lifetime. That is what I love about them. If you found this article inspiring, you can keep going and sharing your passion for travel and life with others. Enjoy your journey!