Fascinating travel words to fall in love with

These unique travel words will make sure you never fall short while describing a surreal journey again.

We, at TravelDine, love our travels, and we love writing about them. So it’s hard for us not being able to put a certain feeling or experience into words. While we still enjoy our encounters with ‘wanderlust’ and ‘fernweh‘ here and there, there’s a whole lot of literary gems on the table, and we aren’t complaining. From French to Latin to German, you’ll love these five new unusual travel words and their fascinating meanings we have found for you.

Trouvaille (n.)

Origin: French

Meaning: Something lovely discovered by chance.

Gljufrabui waterfall in iceland is tucked away from the crowds.
Gljufrabui waterfall in Iceland is tucked away from the crowds. Image: Shutterstock/Smit.

A waterfall hidden from the touristy eye, a secret hole in the wall that stays open all night long, an isolated pathway leading to a hilltop with the most surreal sunset view ever — there’s a certain charm in lucky finds while travelling. Trouvaille is all about those magical unexpected moments we experience during our journeys. 

Numinous (adj.)

Origin: Latin

Meaning: Something that makes you fearful yet fascinated, awed yet attracted, overwhelmed yet inspired.

Adventures like bungee jumping or skydiving truly evoke a mix of feelings. Vitalii nesterchuk.
Adventures like bungee jumping or skydiving truly evoke a mix of feelings. Vitalii Nesterchuk.

When I think of this word, my mind wanders off to the time when I stood at the edge of a cliff, with my heart thumping and mouth dry, waiting for my cue to take a leap and make the jump. Bungee jumping in Rishikesh was probably the first time in my travelling history that I had felt both nervous and excited at the same time. Numinous moments are guaranteed with any and every adventure.

Cockaigne (n.)

Origin: French

Meaning: An imaginary land of luxury and idleness.

Kingpin suite at palms casino, vegas. Image: courtesy the palms.
Kingpin Suite at Palms Casino, Vegas. Image: Courtesy The Palms.

Every destination seems like a wonderland before you step out there to explore it. Coming from an old phrase that literally means ‘the land of plenty’, cockaigne points at all those far-off, swanky places of your dream, where physical comforts and pleasures are always at hand. When we put it like that, ultra luxury resorts (think Burj Al Arab Jumeirah in Dubai, Palms Casino in Vegas or The Plaza in NYC) have come quite close to the utopian world that the term tends to create.

Sehnsucht (n.)

Origin: German

Meaning: A wistful longing for travels that have been and travels that are yet to come.

The black sand beach of vik in iceland. Image: shutterstock/standret.
The black sand beach of Vik in Iceland. Image: Shutterstock/Standret.

There are moments when I feel a sudden urge to pack a bag and head out to explore something new, or sometimes, revisit even something old — serious wanderlust-ers would relate. It felt almost impossible to being able to describe the feeling in words until I chanced upon this one. Sehnsucht takes me from the craggy, fascinatingly isolated moonscape of Spiti Valley that I explored a few years back to the black sand beach of Vik in Iceland that I wish to stroll along some day.

Solivagant (adj.)

Origin: Latin

Meaning: Wandering alone.

Solo travels are always the most memorable ones! Image: shutterstock/vonnahmed1.
Solo travels are always the most memorable ones! Image: Shutterstock/vonnahmed1.

For some, travelling without a company might sound a sad affair. This one isn’t for them. It’s for those eager hearts that wish to see this big world on a single ticket and take it all in. Travelling alone opens up opportunities for you to meet new people, explore different cultures, and see the world in a different lens. A solivagant journey may not be for everyone, but it is certainly worth a try.

Read more.

When words can give you wings to explore the world

Let’s hear it for travel podcasts!