50 Unique + Creative TRAVEL WORDS from around the world
Get inspiration from around the world with these catchy and creative travel words in other languages >> A list of the best words for travel lovers.
Travel. It can leave you speechless and then turn you into a storyteller. The experience has a tendency to make us feel a plethora of emotions and when you’re reliving those times there may not be an accurate word to describe the travel experience, the adventure, the magic, the moments, or the way you felt.
This loss of words is more common than you may think. Especially since the English language is limited when it comes to words related to travel or words to describe a person who loves to travel.
Sure, you could use the popular travel word wanderlust, but it is also often way overused (have you noticed every new travel influencer and their dog jumping on the wanderlust-wagon?). Rather use these wanderlust synonyms below instead.
Definition: A strong, innate, impulse or desire to travel the world
How do you explain your deep-seated need to get away or the desire to always be on the move and live a nomad existence? Is there a travel-related word to describe the mix of excitement and anxiety one feels on starting a new journey?
Are there other words for travellers to articulate the curiosity to experience other cultures, other exotic foods, other landscapes, and other ways of life around the world?
How can you express the profound feeling of awe you feel on the awareness of the vastness and beauty of the universe when observing the stars? Or the thrill of discovering a hidden waterfall during a hike up a mountain to catch the last sunset
Fortunately, there are foreign words from other cultures and different languages to voice these special moments. These beautiful travel words, often with no English equivalent, are meant to educate and inspire you. And perhaps even assist with your next clever travel caption for the gram or pinterest.
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What do you call someone who loves travel?
Hodophile — one who loves to travel
Studies have shown that people who spend their money on experiences rather than material stuff, such as travel, tend to be more open minded, creative, carefree, and happier in their life.
*searches for my next flight out.
Travel the word: Unique + Beautiful Travel Words from other languages of the World
A handful of my favourite words associated with travel.
Save a couple of your own favorites from this list, bookmark this page, and add them to your vocabulary before your next adventure!
Describe your explorations with these foreign words about travel taken from different languages around the world.
Ready. Let’s go….
v. = verb
n. = noun
adj. = adjective
In alphabetical order….
to leave without saying goodbye.
Origin: North America
My close friends know that I absquatulate. Like, a lot.
So no surprise there, when the urge to pack your things and just disappear shows up… with no time to say goodbye. Continue reading to find more words for travelers.
To travel purposefully towards a strange location.
Origin: English slang
Some days you wander with no plan at all, seeing where the day will take you. And other days, you coddiwomple.
I do like the sound of this unusual word related to travel.
A citizen of the world or at home all over the world.
This definition varies, depending on whether you use the word as a noun or an adjective. Even though, the origins of this catchy travel word are from English, it can be traced back to Pythagoras, who first used the Greek word kosmos as a way to describe the order of the universe.
Travellers naturally feel at home in the world and the saying, “home is where the heart is” applies perfectly.
To drift unplanned on a spontaneous journey, leaving everyday life behind and guided by the scenery, architecture, and landscapes.
One of my favourite words to describe my travel experience. This untranslatable travel term perfectly describes spontaneous exploration.
There is no strict plan, instead going with the flow away from the beaten beaten path and towards unplanned discoveries such as a beautiful sunset.
An uncontrollable and irrational impulse or psychological urge to wander or travel without purpose.
Dromomania, also referred to as travelling fugue or vagabond neurosis, is seen as an abnormal and uncontrollable psychological impulse to wander. It comes from a combination of the Greek words dromos and mania to diagnose those with this condition to spontaneously abandon their everyday lives to travel long distances, even taking up different identities and occupations.
This irrational desire stems from a strong emotional and physical need to constantly be travelling and having new experiences. It also often involves sacrificing security, relationships, and careers in the hunt for these experiences. Fantasies about exploring occupy their thoughts and dreams.
I guess, I have a serious undiagnosed case of the dromomania.
A fear or distaste of home.
Now, this unusual word for travel can be used in the literal sense. Or, as I prefer, to describe when you can’t stop thinking about a different place. A place, other than where you live. Say, an exotic tropical island?
A state of feeling happy and content whilst travelling.
This is one of my favourite words associated with travel because it such an apt description of the journey.
The joy of wandering, the excitement of new discoveries, the contented state of living the dream…. and everything feels perfectly alright. Even when things go wrong.
The intense and insatiable desire for freedom.
When asked why I pursue travel so much, my response often involves an insatiable yearning for freedom, amongst the many other reasons for exploring the globe.
Yes, I’ve since learned that freedom comes from within as much (or even more) than your external circumstances. However, the very act of travelling does leave me feeling free and eleutheromania perfectly describes the desire for this feeling.
For sure, one of my favourite words associated with travel holidays and tourism.
Distance sickness. A yearning, a longing, an ache to be elsewhere. To be in a far away place.
Not as popular or overused as wanderlust, this catchy travel word has gained much traction over the past few years. This German word is often described as feeling homesick for a far away place. A place you’ve never been to before.
This urge to travel is strong and fernweh, a synonym for wanderlust, describes the aching desire to be far away from home.
Someone who strolls aimlessly and enjoyably, observing life and their surroundings.
One of the best words describing travel lovers, flâneur derives from the French flâner, meaning to stroll or saunter.
My favourite kind of days when travelling do not have a plan nor involve a requirement to be in a particular place. It is simply wandering around aimlessly at a comfortable pace, observing the local life and appreciating the day as it unfolds.
Yes, I am a big time flâneur.
to roam without a plan… to wander about, seeking pleasure or diversion.
A homesickness for a place which you can’t return to. A longing for what may no longer exist.
This Welsh term describes not just a longing for home, but a nostalgic desire to reconnect with a place or time period you can’t return to or that may not exist anymore.
A lover of roads. A love of travel.
A unique word to describe a person who loves to travel.
I mean, what’s there not to love about exploring the world. The unusual sights, the new tastes, the beautiful landscapes and the people you meet along the way.
Raise your hand if, like me, you’re the biggest hodophile? *guilty as charged
a feeling of being filled with beauty and balance.
The feeling of comfort, relaxation, and coziness in certain settings around certain people, particularly friends.
This unusual word is not just reserved for travel and holiday, but it is perfectly suited to describe those moments when you’re enjoying a meal, drinks, and those simple pleasures with friends around the world.
The Dutch words gezellig or gezelligheid is similar to hygge, describing that feeling of ease and coziness when you’re around friends you feel comfortable with.
Destiny, sometimes referred to as fate, is a predetermined course of events. It may be conceived as a predetermined future, whether in general or of an individual.
This beautiful Arabic-derived word refers to one’s destiny and something that one believes was meant to be.
A person who truly enjoys life and lives it to the extreme.
This unique trip word, of Swedish origin, is often used to describe someone who enjoys life and lives it to the full, making the most of each moment. When I am wandering around the world, in places like Mexico, it certainly feels like living to the extreme.
The feeling of enjoyment and oneness with the Universe that comes from the simplest of pleasures.
Doing something with creativity, with love, with soul — when you put “something of yourself” into what you’re doing.
A beautiful word, that also happens to be one of my favourites. Meraki, derived from Greek, describes the action and the feelings that results when one does something with complete focus and love. Being so caught up with what you’re doing as if your entire being and soul is part of the whole experience. Moments of meraki flood my experience often when painting or when exploring a beautiful landscape.
One who lives in the clouds of their own imagination and does not obey convention.
Ok, this is me. Just a beautiful meaning word to describe a person who loves to travel. The direct translation is “cloud-walker,” referring to those, like myself, who live in their own world/imagination. An unconventional person that does not blindly follow the rules of society. More about me here.
A desire to alter your life. The feeling that pushes you to travel.
This is the feeling that pushed me to quit my job and travel the world. You know, when you are curious to discover what more is out there.
The powerful, personal feeling of being overwhelmed and inspired.
Numinous has its origins in Latin, meaning to be both fearful, awed, and inspired by what you see and experience before you. Exploring tends to bring up all the human emotions, often simultaneously, and this catchy travel world is an apt description of the experience.
Like the time I went trekking among some of the highest mountains in the world in Nepal.
The awareness of how little of the world you will experience.
Origin: The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
Once you start seeing the world, you realise just how much more there is to see out there.
And you actually reach a point, somewhere along the journey, where you come to the realisation that no matter how extensive your travels are, you will only ever experience a little bit. This realisation is referred to as onism.
This creative word associated with travel is not from a foreign language, but actually originates from a book by John Koenig.
Travel or wander from place to place.
From the Latin peregrinari, meaning “to travel abroad,” this inspirational word refers to a long journey in which you travel to various different places, especially on foot.
A person who travels from place to place.
Originating from the Greek word peripatein, “to walk up and down,” this adjective is used to describe backpackers who are constantly moving from place to place, living a nomadic existence.
A person who loves photography and light.
This pretty word is derived from the biological term of the same name for an organism that loves or thrives in light. If you carry a camera with you wherever you go and post to photo sharing websites (like instagram) all day, you’re a photophile.
Directed outwards in all directions from a common centre
A good word for travel and the desire to experience everything all at the same time.
The place where you are your most authentic self. Where one’s strength is drawn from; where one feels at home.
The term comes from the Spanish verb “querer,” which means “to desire.” Many long term travellers feel at home in the world and their most authentic self when connecting with this place. One of the best words for travel lovers.
the restless race of a traveler’s heart before the journey begins, when anxiety and anticipation are tangled together.
Another catchy word related to travel, resfeber is universally used to describe the mixed emotions one feels just before the journey begins. These emotions include both excitement as well as anxiety and nervousness when starring in the face of the unknown. Like that time I had decided to climb Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.
The feeling of returning home after a trip only to find it fading rapidly from your awareness.
Origin: The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
a deep emotional state of nostalgic or melancholic longing for something or someone far away that one cares for and loves.
This is the creative word to use when you’re fondly thinking back to a beautiful moment during your travels and longing to return to that experience.
a fear of, or aversion to, crossing a threshold or entering a place to begin a new chapter.
That anxious and fearful feeling you get when you’re about to begin a new chapter in your life, like a new travel adventure. That’s schwellenangst.
a wistful longing and yearning of the heart for travels that have been and travels to come.
Strange and uncommon. Unfamiliar, rare, and yet marvellous.
Origin: Old English
This is one of my favourite travel words on this list. Not only because of its unusual sound, but also because it is an appropriate way of describing the way you see things when you travel. Everything is unfamiliar and strange, yet we find it inviting and marvellous anyway.
A special place discovered for solace and relaxation.
This Swedish word directly translates to “place of wild strawberries,” used to describe a location or place in this world where you feel most at home. A place that serves as a refuge from any stress and/or sadness. This place, once discovered, is often returned to for comfort and consolation.
To stay as a temporary resident. A short period when a person stays in a particular place.
Like the months I’ve spent in one of my favorite cities Paris, over the years.
A lone wanderer. A solo traveller. A person who revels in the act of wandering alone.
This popular word, to describe a person who loves to travel alone, as opposed to vacationing with family or friends. It originates from the Latin sōlivagāns, with sōlus meaning “alone” and vagāns meaning “wander.”
The realisation that everyone you pass is living a life just as complex as yours
Origin: Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
Have you ever had that realisation that a random stranger is living a life that is just as complex and vivid and important as your own. This is sonder. Just a beautiful word and one of the best for travel lovers.
The joy of being able to say “to hell with it.”
This word about travel perfectly describes the time you stop making excuses, quit everything, book a one way flight, and explore the world.
Exactly what I did in 2013, leaving behind my well-paying career in finance to travel the world.
The freedom of being alone. The ability to do what you want.
This German word that directly translates to “storm-free.” However, its real meaning has nothing to do with the weather nor a description about how we feel. It is more a description of the situation itself, such as having the house to one’s self or not having to wait or compromise on what you want to do as a solo traveller.
a lover of the sea.
A coconut, a tropical island, a hammock, and a bungalow that leads directly onto the beach and into the sea. Is there anything more that you need, fellow thalassophile?
To wander or roam around in a carefree way
To go on foot. A tedious or tiring journey on foot
when you start to feel grumpy cause you to miss traveling.
Anyone been feeling this way recently? I sure have.
The fear of not having any travel trips currently booked.
When the world and travel shut down in 2020, thipophobia was the main emotion running through my veins. What kind of life is it where there are no adventures to look forward to and forced to remain in the same location for the foreseeable future. You tell me?
Something lovely discovered by chance. A chance encounter with something wonderful.
When travelling, especially without much of a plan and an open heart, it is not uncommon to discover something beautiful purely by chance. These discoveries make for some of the most memorable experiences.
This interesting travel word is often used by French travellers to describe a chance encounter. Its time the rest of us use this word too the next we unexpectedly stumble upon an inspiring landscape, a cute cafe, or a welcoming local.
The act of wandering when the experience of travel is more important than reaching the a destination.
The word, from Spanish, aims to describe someone who travels for travel sake, and not to reach a particular goal or destination. For us, the journey is more important than the destination or vacation spot.
While others despise the act of getting to a place, I savour it and enjoy the long plane, boat, or bus rides and the happenings along the way. An inspiring travel word that should be a part of every globetrotters vocabulary.
A whimsical or wandering journey.
With its origins in 16th-century Latin, Vagārī translates as, “to roam.” This word to describe the travel experience of an unpredictable or impulsive desire or action for a wandering journey.
The joyful anticipation when looking forward to something or while imagining future pleasures.
The feeling of solitude, being alone in the woods and connected to nature.
Someone who travels, especially on foot.
The travel term may seem modern, but it goes back all the way to the mid-1400s as a combination of way defined as “a path or course leading from one place to another,” and fare, meaning “to go, travel.”
An attraction to foreign peoples, foreign cultures, and/or customs.
This attraction, appreciation, and affinity for foreign people, their cultures and customs is what draws many to explore the world. This unique travel word, as a synonym for wanderlust, comes from the Greek “xenos,” meaning “unknown, stranger, foreign” and “philia,” defined as “attraction or love.”
Yoko meshi (n.)
The stress of speaking a foreign language.
Another word related to travel that literally translates to, “a meal eaten sideways.” It is used to explain the difficulty and stress when trying to speak a language that is not your native language, whether at home or when abroad. Like, that time I found myself in St Petersburg, struggling to speak Russian to get around the city.
Yu yi (n.)
The desire to feel things just as intensely as you did when you were younger.
As you grow older, life seems to be less exciting. Travelling overseas and exploring new places is one way of mitigating this. Yu Yi is an inspirational Chinese word that describes the yearning to feel things the way you did while growing up, before expectations, before memory, before words.
a profound, mysterious awareness of the vastness and beauty of the universe… and the sad beauty of human suffering.
This untranslatable travel word is used for those moments that lead to a greater awareness and trigger a deep emotional response within.
Over to YOU…
Did you enjoy traveling the word? How many of these these creative travel words have you heard before? Which one(s) your favorite and which of these words associated with travel do you resonate with most?
What phrases describe the travel experience and make for the best words for travel lovers in your language?
Let me know in the comments below or start a conversation with me on social media.
>> Read next:
- Get inspired: An ode to my fellow travellers.
- The ultimate list of smile quotes to keep you smiling all day
- The best quotes about travelling to inspire you
- How many countries in the world? And should you visit all
- What should you do with you life? What is the purpose of life?
Your fellow hodophile,