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INA WO(A)NDERS: About wanderlust

Are you already longing for your next trip? In her column, our author Ina philosophizes about wanderlust this time.

"Do you really have to leave again?" My mum asks me. There is a partly sad, partly skeptical undertone in her voice. A worry line on her forehead seems to trace my itinerary. "Yes," I whisper, slightly guilty. "Somehow."

I've only been home for three weeks before it's gotten me again: wanderlust. It sits somewhere between my diaphragm and my heart. A small, unyielding barb on which my longing pulls me into the distance. It feels a bit like an unfulfilled love with which - who knows - so much would have been possible. Fernweh lets my eyes drip down inconsequentially at my surroundings. It lets my mind knit colorful travel plans, and it often takes a very deep sigh before I can let go of the stitches again. For a short time. Until it grabs me again.

On my travels I have noticed that many languages ​​cannot find the right words for German wanderlust. In English, neither "itchy feet" nor "wanderlust" do justice to this lovesick feeling. Romance languages ​​like French, Spanish and Italian use word constructions that describe something similar, but not my barb wanderlust. You speak of a “nostalgia for distant lands”. But I tend to feel nostalgia for the well-known, for example when I'm homesick. Wanderlust, on the other hand, that's it Sehnsucht for the undiscovered that lurks around the next bend, over the mountain, over there on the beach and far beyond the horizon. Wanderlust is the opposite of homesickness. It is pure hunger for life.

I'm drawn to the distance
Wanderlust is the opposite of homesickness.

As soon as I've made my next travel plan, when there's only time to stretch out and pack my backpack, my wanderlust turns to English itchy feet. The slight pain, the "pang" for the distance, becomes anticipation, a wriggling impatience that adorns itself with courage and smells of adventure. And yet I know I still carry the barb inside me. And that it will soon be tugging again, between the diaphragm and the heart. When a new distance calls.


Where are you drawn to right now - and what do you do when you get the wanderlust but you just can't travel at all? I am always happy to receive feedback, suggestions or questions – either as a comment or directly by e-mail [email protected].

Photos: Ina Hiester, Pexels / Taryn Elliott, Ben Mack

Ina is a digital nomad and travels through Europe by land and sea. The journalist is always on the lookout for special places for Good Travel, philosophizes about travel in her column, takes photographs, makes music and writes articles on all kinds of environmental and sustainability topics.


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