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Have you ever been in a situation where you just can’t seem to find the words to describe your emotions? Well yes, we all know how annoying it is when that happens. For travelers, it’s even worse. Why you might ask? Well, every traveler is a story teller and not being able to fully express yourself, well that is infuriating. Luckily for you, I’ve found a few unusual words that all travel lovers should know as they’ve probably experienced the “feeling” at one point or the other.

  1. WANDERLUST (n.)

Pronunciation: /wan.der.lust/

Origin: German

The drive, that uncontrollable and irresistible desire to pack your bags, leave your country behind and explore the world. This is what living is all about and only traveling can do this to you. This is what happens when you’ve been bitten by the elusive travel bug. Sadly there is no permanent cure for wanderlust, it might go into remission but the only therapy that really works is booking another travel adventure.




  1. FERNWEH (n.)

Pronunciation: /fern.weh/

Origin: German


Fern (“far”) + Weh (“pain”) when translated literally from German means “far-sickness” or “longing for far-off places”. Those who suffer from wanderlust – the nomads and solo travelers especially know this feeling all too well. The heartache is as real and tortuous as the grief caused by a broken relationship. That ‘pain’ is so real and it doesn’t go away until the next travel adventure is booked.

  1. RESFEBER (n.)

Pronunciation: /race.feh.ber/

Origin: Swedish

It literally is translated to mean that feeling of excitement, pure bliss, when your heart skips several beats out of sheer joy. The fear and euphoria all tangled and mangled together when the tickets have been booked and you know there is no turning back. When you’re elated, endorphins – the hormones that make you feel good and serotonin the happiness hormones are released. So this mix of enthusiasm and fear can sometimes manifest into an illness which some call the “travel fever”. Luckily for you and me, there are no known cases of fatalities by resfeber.

  1. SOLIVAGANT (adj.)

Pronunciation: /so·liv·a·gant/

Origin: Latin

Soli- + vagus “wandering” (Latin) + “ant” (English). Solo travelers are a different breed of travelers because of all it takes to travel alone. Solo travel is one of the most liberating experiences one can experience in life and every traveler is encouraged to travel alone at least once in their lifetime. Solo travel changes you in ways unimaginable. You discover your limits/fears and break free from your comfort zone. Solo travelers love the freedom they have to plan their own schedules and activities and explore the world as they desire. The solitude gives them a new perspective of life as they get to know themselves better, make new friends and discover just how small and beautiful the world is. With each solo trip they make, they are more confident, more fearless and their perspective and their life always change for the better. They know how to handle discomfort in unfamiliar places, are strengthened at their core and always return stronger then when they first left. Solo travel always changes you and it is always for the best.

  1. GADABOUT (n.)

Pronunciation: /gad.uh.bout/

Origin: English


Ajala’ [the traveler] is the Nigerian word that properly defines gadabout in layman’s terms. An ajala can’t sit still. Most travel bloggers of this 21st century can be described as ajalas. Their insatiable desire to see new places, experience new things, try new adventures and live life to the fullest is what keeps them constantly on the move. Their lives, whether working or not, revolves around their travel adventure – those had and those yet to be had.

Know a few more interesting travel words that you’ll like to share? Feel free to leave a comment.

Picture credit: my2itchyfeet

“Hi…my name is Tute (Tutay-Cutay) Ehinlaiye and I am an adrenaline junkie & a “travelholic”.  I am addicted to traveling and I am not ashamed to be called “Dora-The-Explorer”.  Everyone who knows me knows I just cannot sit still and that’s how “my2itchyfeet” was born.  So far, I’ve traveled to about 21 countries and been on 4 continents all on my Nigerian passport and my list keeps getting longer.  My number 1 bucket list item is to set foot on all the continents in the world, yes even Antartica, so….wish me luck.  I implore you to come and join me on this amazing journey and see the world through the eyes of Tute-The-Explorer”

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