Let’s look at what fernweh really is
Fernweh, a loanword from German that has no real translation into other languages can be defined as “[a] crave for travel; being homesick for a place you’ve never been”.
What about wanderlust? This buzzword, regularly used by everyone with itchy feet equally expresses the desire to travel. It is german aswell and has originally been used to describe the crave for hiking. The biggest difference between the two words is the melancholic feel that fernweh encompasses. It’s not only about travelling but also about escaping from where you are. All the time.
So, how can we soothe this urge to roam without straying far? Here is my list with 4 ideas:
1. Read a book
Books can take us anywhere. Be it 18th century London or Middle-Earth, a good writer completely takes you with him into the scenery. If you’re like me and nonfiction books are more your thing, I recommend reading Alain de Bottom’s The Art of Travel. Being a mixture of self-help and philosophy book, it will give you another hint as to of why you want to leave.
2. Be a tourist in your own city
Admit it, do you really know your home town? Or is your mental map of home limited to the places you usually pass by? It is very likely that there are entire quarters, neighborhoods or exciting places you’ve never been to. Give it a try and have your next coffee on the other side of town. Learning to appreciate home more might also decrease the urge to get away from it.
3. Learn a foreign language
Some scientists argue that our language is deeply connected with what we are able to think. This means that learning a foreign language might not only come in handy when going on a holiday. “By having another language, you have an alternative vision of the world”. Discovering new realms starts within you!
4. Go for a hike in a close by forest
Maybe it’s just me, but going to the woods always seems like an adventure. Nature never looks the same and there’s always something new to discover with the changing of the seasons. Do you know all of the native birds that live there? Take a closer look! And you get a good amount of fresh air, too. If you’re as lucky as me, the closest hiking paths start at the end of your tramway line. Please don’t get lost, though!
Do you think these tips will help soothing your fernweh? Is it curable at all? Let me know how you fight itchy feet.