The English language is thought to have more words than any other, but when it comes to vocabulary to convey the complex emotions we experience when we travel, it could definitely use a few more.
To overcome this deficiency, English has borrowed words such as the German wanderlust, and we use French to wish people a bon voyage, but there are plenty of other foreign words that we could incorporate to enrich our language even further. In Japanese, they talk about yoko meshi to describe the stress of speaking a foreign language and German has fernweh to describe a yearning for far-off places.
Even with the help of foreign languages, there are still many feelings when we travel for which there are no unique words.
Here are some that we've invented that sum up a few of these common travel experiences with just one word.
Voy·a·ggro – The dread we feel knowing we have to endure hours of indignity and boredom before we can finally get to our destination.
You wish you could be instantly transported to your resort in order to avoid all of the travel in-between that includes getting up early to go the airport, waiting in line at security, sitting crammed into the airplane's middle seat, waiting more hours in the airport and then taking a long taxi ride before finally collapsing in your hotel.
I·con·ceiv·able – That feeling you get the first time you see an iconic tourist attraction, such as the Eiffel Tower or the Taj Mahal, with your own eyes. Sometimes, you are disappointed by the real thing, but usually, it feels like you've walked into one of your own dreams.
Mun·dan·a·morph·o·sis – That moment on the last day of vacation when your mind slips out of relaxation mode and starts thinking about what awaits you back home.
Earlier in the day, your biggest decision was whether to go swimming at the beach or in the pool, but suddenly you're thinking about that meeting you have in the office when you get back.
Nui·vous·ness – That fear of the unknown you get when looking out the taxi window at night when driving through the streets of a new city only to have it disappear the next morning when you see it in the light of day.
Mem·or·gasm – The realization that this moment you are experiencing will never come again. You know that you'll never kayak down that river in the Yukon again in this lifetime so you force yourself to commit the experience to memory so that you can remember how it felt forever.
A·mour·de·ville – Cities are like people. Some we hate, others we tolerate and, if we're lucky, there are one or two that we fall in love with.
When that happens, there's a moment when we ask ourselves if that city is the one. We question whether it's better than the city we currently live in and wonder if we could live there forever.
E·go·where·i·go – The desire you get when someone is telling you a travel story and you need to top it with one that's better. He told you about his trip to Antarctica and you had to counter with the story of the time you were in the Pitcairn Islands.
Cul·ture·flouge – When you hate yourself for looking like a tourist and decide to wear the local clothing to look like the people who live in the place you are visiting, no matter how ridiculous it makes you look. Female tourists to India are suddenly attracted to saris and men touring Texas get a burning desire to wear cowboy hats.
Trav·el·vi·sion – That heightened awareness that comes with travel that makes even the most mundane experience seem like something new. Back home, a ride on the subway would have you sleeping in your seat, but in Tokyo, you marvel at every advertising poster and every person around you.
Grat·i·ca·tion – That feeling of satisfaction you get when you arrive home after a long trip and realize that it was entirely worth it and want to start planning your next adventure.