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15 Words from a Globetrotter’s Glossary you Need to Know

15 Words from a Globetrotter’s Glossary you Need to Know

Words for the modern day globetrotter

Let’s face it: We all love a good story about someone’s travel experience. Travel, after all, leaves us with so many unforgettable experiences that we are eager to show them off to the world.

The problem is that often those experiences leave us so awe-inspired that we’re left speechless. With no words to justifiably express quite how we felt at the time, we often have to end a tale with: “you just had to be there”. Very unsatisfying.

Fear not brave venturers, for where your English vocabulary may fail you, sometimes you just need to reach back into your backpack and pull out some of your learnings from the road. You see, another important gift that gallivanting across the globe gives us, is the ability to pick up new words from different cultures around the world who can articulate a feeing for which we have no words, or not the right word.

So for those of you wanting to add a dash of international flavours to the global narratives you’ve cooked up, here are 15 words from a globetrotter’s glossary that you cannot afford to neglect.

#1 Serendipity (n.)

English – the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way; the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident. 

#2 Saudade (n.)

Portuguese – The state of nostalgic, profound longing for an absent something; the love that remains for something that you know will never exist again. The sounds of Samba in Havana’s Calle Obispo or the smell of fresh coffee being served in The Eternal City of Rome.

#3 Toska (n.)

Russian – A word with 50 shades of meaning. At it’s strongest it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish,often without any specific cause. Other times it’s a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for; a vague restlessness or to long for something/somebody.

#4 Rasasvada (n.)

Sanskrit – The appreciation or perception of pleasure; bliss in the absence of all thought.

#5 Koselig (n)

Norwegian –  The feeling of warmth and friendliness that arises from sharing simple pleasures of life with people you like, be it a cuddle with a friend, snowed in at a beautiful cabin in the mountains, a scrumptious lunch, or even a good party. 

#6 Wabi-Sabi (n.)

Japanese –  A world view centred on the acceptance of transience and imperfection; finding beauty within the imperfections of life.

#7 Sonder (v.)

English – The realisation that each random passer-by is living a life as vivid and complex as your own, populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries, and inherited craziness. How each persons life is as full of different relationships, memories, emotions, passions and possibilities as my own.

#8 Onism (n)

Danish – The awareness of how little of the world you’ll experience, such as when you’re staring at the departures board and wishing you could go to all of those places at once.

#9 Shemomedjamo (n.)

Georgian – That feeling of extreme fullness, but, because your meal’s so delicious, you can’t stop devouring it. Literally,“Oh, I’m so full. I couldn’t possibly eat another bite,” while spooning more onto your plate.

#10 Dérive (n.)

French – The idea that even if you drift you will end up falling into a path that is lined out for you by your surroundings.

#11 Yahourt (n.)

French – A foreign song you sing despite not speaking the language, instead just imitating the sounds.

See Also

#12 Ayurnamat (n.)

Inuit – the philosophy that there is no reason to worry about all the #things that can’t be changed.

#13 Sehnsucht (n.)

German – The inconsolable longing in the human heart for we know not what.

#14. Metanoia (n.)

Greek – The journey of changing one’s mind, heart, self or way of life.

#15 Schnapsidee (n.)

German – a brilliant plan one hatches when drunk!


Thanks for reading this post! We hope to see you soon, coming back for more.

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