German Word of the Day: Das Fernweh

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German Word of the Day: Das Fernweh

We’ve all heard of homesickness, or Heimweh. But the Germans have an excellent antonym: Fernweh.


Fernweh describes the desire to leave all your home and everything you know well to go and travel the world. It’s made up of Fern, meaning ‘far’, and weh, ‘woe’, so could be translated as a longing for distant places.

It’s a very similar concept to Wanderlust. But whereas Wanderlust denotes the desire to travel, Fernweh concerns more the longing for far-off destinations

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Dieser Fernweh zerstört meinen Verstand.

This longing for far-off places is destroying my mind

Eine Reise tritt nur an, dessen Fernweh gegenüber der Angst vor Veränderung überwiegt.

A journey only occurs when the desire for distant destinations is stronger than the fear of change.


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