It’s almost a year since I published 24 Unusual Travel Words You Should Know, and it’s still my most popular post to date! Apparently people can’t get enough of alternative words for travel, especially unusual ones like coddiwomple. After publishing that list of travel words I’ve continued to come across more words to describe our travels in a way that the usual ones just don’t accomplish. I’v been slowly saving them and I finally feel like I’ve got enough unique words about travel to make another post! This one was definitely harder, as I didn’t want to include words we all know now like wanderlust, and instead tried to find truly different words that could relate to travel experiences that I had never heard of or had no clue of the meaning!
I hope you enjoy this list of unique words about travel as much as the last!
More unusual travel words you need to know:
Someone who strolls aimlessly but enjoyably, observing life and the surroundings.
This is what I love to do when I get to a new city, or through the countryside. When we travel we seem to have less worries in general, allowing us to place ourselves more IN the moment. Plus walking a city and people watching is a great way to learn about a new culture!
“Cloud-Walker”. One who lives in the clouds of their own imagination, or who does not obey the conventions of society, literature or art. An unconventional person.
Probably the way people have described me on occasion! For those who don’t travel, or don’t know how to begin, the idea can seem fantastical and unconventional. But these days there are so many people breaking free of “cubicle” life and working as digital nomads with the world as their office, working different travel jobs, saving to move abroad, or taking a year off to travel. It may be unconventional to some, but for the rest of us, it’s life.
Of gray skies and winter days, filled with heavy clouds or fog.
This may be a travel word you only use if you travel to the United Kingdom! It’s well known as the land of rainy days and fog, and I’ve experienced first hand. However, I visited the Isle of Skye, one of the beautiful places in the UK, in the wind and rain and it was no less amazing. So really, I don’t mind if I have to describe some of my travels this way.
The joyful, intense anticipation that comes from imagining future pleasures.
When we book a new trip and in the time before we go, this is the way we often feel. We can think about the people we’ll meet, and all the exciting things we’re going to experience.
Heartwarming, something that stirs and moves you.
I love finding new words that don’t translate into English. This one is a prime example of a word that is difficult to explain, but the best I can do is heartwarming, something that moves you to tears in a good way. Maybe you’re wondering how this relates to travel… crying?! Well, I’ve definitely shed a few tears over travel, from the good to the bad, and I’ve definitely been moved and awed by the things that I’ve seen.
Travel or wander around from place to place.
A pretty simple word that we could use to describe our travels and yet it seems to have fallen out of favour.
“We peregrinated around the Scottish Highlands.” It works right?!
A haunter of woods, one who loves the forest and it’s beauty and solitude.
There’s something magical about walking through the woods, and even more so in a foreign country. When I lived in Canada on a study abroad one of my favourite things to do was wander through the huge forests there. So much so new friends and I once got lost for 8 hours…
The place where you are your most authentic self, from where strength is drawn, where you feel at home.
I’m so excited to have a Spanish word, after learning Spanish while giving in Spain. This word comes is related to the verb querer, which is to want or desire. It can be associated with bullfighting, as it is also the name for the area of the bullring where the bull takes it’s stand.
The sunlight that filters though the leaves of trees.
If you’re on those forest walks when you’re travelling like above, then this is hopefully what you’ll see! Another unusual word that doesn’t translate directly into an English word.
A homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was. The nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past.
Homesickness isn’t quite the right translation for this beautiful Welsh word, it’s more than that.
Literally “place of wild strawberries” a special place discovered, treasured, returned to for solace and relaxation; a personal idyll free from stress or sadness.
When I went to Luleå in the north of Sweden last summer we discovered wild strawberries growing on an island in the middle of the archipelago. Thats what I think of when I see this word, because what better place to be? These are often the kind of places we discover when we travel.
The reflection of the moon on the water.
Something I only seem to see, or see the most when I’m travelling. It reminds me of being by the sea, of the Full Moon Party in Thailand and of the early darkness when I lived in the Gold Coast, Australia.
Origin: Possibly English or Greek
A person who loves photography and light.
This one is a little in dispute. It could originating from the word for organisms that love light, “photophilic”, but have been adjusted to fit with with photographers too. Or, it could come from the same origins as “hodophile” in that “phos” means light and “philos” means friends. I can’t find concrete evidence either way, but that’s the beauty of finding new words!
Photophiles carry their camera wherever they go, and many travellers now do the same. I used to have an old point and shoot camera, and then I stuck to mostly iPhone before finally getting a “proper” camera. I’ve been testing it out in Spain at places like the Alhambra, and in Portugal around the streets of Lisbon. But there was nothing quite like the midnight sun in Luleå last summer.
Feeling that comes from not being in one’s own country. Being out of your element, a fish out of water.
Living abroad has often made me feel like this, especially in the early days. Sometimes we can idealise moving abroad and not realise how it will affect us, but eventually a place will feel like home, even if it’s a different concept of home than before.
“Lover of roads”. One who loves to travel.
Does this travel word really need an explanation?
Origin: An English word with French origin
Imaginary land of luxury and idleness; the land of plenty.
This word originates from a medieval myth, a land of plenty where society’s restrictions are defied and the harshness of life in medieval times does not exist. Although we’re not in this time anymore, we could use this word to describe our ideal land of plenty now. One were people are not persecuted for their religion or race, one where equality reigns supreme, maybe one we will all be able to travel to one day?
Someone who travels, especially on foot.
Maybe not as unusual a word as some on this list, and one that you may already know. I considered making this my blog name when I started blogging! It’s a word that makes me think of older times when people travelled in a more whimsical way that had nothing to do with social media. You went wherever the wind took you!
Origin: North American English
To leave without saying goodbye.
Invented in the US in the 1830s as a word that sounded vaguely latin, to make it seem older. It means to make off with someone or something without having announcing you’re going! The way many of us might feel we want to leave for our travels. No fuss please!
And there you have it! 18 more travel words for your arsenal, to be added to the last 24.
Are any of these new to you? Do you think you could slip them into your next conversation about travel?
If you liked them, pin them!