14 Awesome Travel Words You've Never Heard

Have you ever tried to explain a travel experience and been at a loss for words?

Travel does that to us – it entangles us in its beauty, makes us feel a myriad of emotions we've never yet felt, and leaves us speechless and yearning for more. 

Lucky for us, there are some travel words that describe these beautiful achings perfectly. The thing is, they are words with no English equivalent. 

We had lots of fun pairing some of our favorite travel photos with definitions we think fit what we were feeling. So get ready to add some foreign words to your arsenal in this little travel vocab lesson!

1. Resfeber

Definition: The nervous feeling you get before a journey.

Yes, there's a name for those jittery butterflies that flutter through your stomach as you pack your bags.

2. Eleutheromania

Definition: An intense and irresistible desire for freedom.

Let's be real, who doesn't have this feeling?


Travel Photography Tip: If you're curious how we got these photos, we used a lot (if not all) of our 32 Easy & Creative Travel Photography Tips to make these shots happen. Whether you're a beginner or an expert, these tips will help you take incredible pictures!

3. Fernweh

Definition: Feeling homesick for a place you've never been.

I love this word because it puts a name to a feeling I've never before been able to describe.

4. Trouvaille

Definition: Something lovely discovered by chance.

Such a pretty word and such a beautiful idea. I don't know about you, but I hear a sexy French accent in my mind.


5. Hygge

Definition: The cozy feeling of relaxing with friends while having a meal or drinks.

I need this word in my life. Every day. 

Feeling the wanderlust yet?! I know I am! Here’s a great place to start planning a trip

6. Sonder

Definition: The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.

If we take the time to consider that each person in this world is living a life as important as our own, this world will be a much brighter place.


7. Onism

Definition: The awareness of how little of the world you'll experience. 

How many lifetimes would it take to visit the every single place you've ever dreamed of? For me, it would take hundreds of lifetimes. I guess I'll have to settle for just this one, and make the most of it!


8. Livsnjutare

Definition: One who loves life deeply and lives it to the extreme.

Always strive to be this type of person. Does it matter that you can't pronounce it? Nope, just be it.

9. Waldeinsamkeit

Definition: The feeling of being alone in the woods.

This word brings to mind images of Hansel and Gretel wandering through the tangled paths of the Black Forest. Light streams through the thick trees, and the crisp air is scented with pine. Dreamy isn't it? Walk alone in the woods and you might channel your inner fairy tale. 


10. Meraki

Definition: Putting a part of yourself into what you're doing. 

Whether you are a cook, an artist, an athlete – or hell, even an accountant – do your work with your whole heart. 

11. Numinous

Definition: The powerful, personal feeling of being overwhelmed and inspired.

What stirs this emotion in you? For me, it's the feeling I get when I hike to an extraordinary view and I can look down to where I started. Or the feeling I get when listening to music live and the lyrics ring true for me. And it's the feeling I get when I visit a place I've been dreaming of, and I see the streets and buildings in person for the first time.


12. Dérive

Definition: A spontaneous journey where the traveler lets the spirit of the landscape and architecture move them.

This kind of journey is my favorite. The kind where you don't have any really solid plans. The kind where you wander into cute coffeehouses and picnic in parks. The kind where the day is yours to do with it as you'd like.

13. Forelsket

Definition: The euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love.

I'd like to think that this word could refer to a person or a place, as both give me butterflies. Find out how traveling makes your relationships stronger


14. Yu yi

Definition: The desire to feel things just as intensely as you did when you were younger -- before expectations, before memory, before words.

One reason travel is so addicting is that you're able to experience a place for the first time. You see colors more vividly, and see everything with a fresh set of eyes.


We want to hear from you!

Have you heard any of these travel words before? Which is your favorite? Do you have one to add to the list? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!