Fernweh (n.) is a German word to describe the ache to travel and to see distant places. There is no English word for this feeling.
Wanderlust is the closest thing in English to describe this craving for adventure.
Wanderlust infects the core of the human soul. It’s longing to sip coffee at Dutch Bros Coffee on a dreary day in Portland, Oregon. It’s dreaming to dip in Iceland’s milky blue hot springs. It’s wishing to flip off of Peace Rock in Port Clinton, Pennsylvania. Few people understand this constant feeling of wanting to be two places at once, but to those who do comprehend the ache I am describing here are a few ways to satisfy your wander-craving soul without having to travel 1,000 miles:
1. Explore a place in town that you are not familiar with.
2. Find a park near you to that offers hiking/biking trails.
3. Get a house plant.
4. Unlock your creativity by painting or creating something.
5. Read a book from an author from the place you are interested in going.
6. Try a new type of food from another culture.
7. Learn a new language.
8. Start a conversation with a stranger.
9. Wake up early and watch the sunrise.
10. Take a day trip to the beach/lake.
11. Treat yourself to that new gadget you have been wanting.
12. Take flowers to a friend.
13. Take a class.
14. Support a small family business.
15. Talk about the trips you would like to take.
16. Find an adventure buddy to pursue the world with.
17. Get an adrenaline rush.
18. Watch a YouTube video about adventure.
19. Listen to "Wild Things" by Alessia Cara.
20. Discover/support a local band.
21. Get into photography.
22. Shake up your daily routine.
23. Volunteer at a local animal shelter.
24. Learn to appreciate a new genre of music.
25. Go thrift shopping for unique items.
26. Get to know your neighbors.
27. Write a letter (an actual “lick the envelope” letter).
28. Try a new hairstyle.
29. Buy a pair of Tevas.
30. Drink a new flavor of tea.
31. Have a deep, late-night conversation with someone.
32. Purchase a Corky Cup to hold your hot beverages.
33. Visit a farmers’ market.
These have acted as a temporary scratch to the permanent itch of adventure. Someday I plan to backpack across Europe, but for now that is simply not an option.
Wanderlust is a gift. It does not allow me to get comfortable with everyday tasks and routines. It helps me to embrace change. It shows me that there is no problem with an unexpected twist in my day.
Though I will never be able to completely be rid of this feeling, I am actually grateful. How else would I have been able to meet all of the wonderful people that I have? How else would I have been able to see all of the breathtaking views that I have seen?
I want this whole life, not just a portion of it.