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9 Words That Don’t Exist in English But Perfectly Describe Your Travels

July 18, 2014

We look to the Germans to describe the feeling of solitude in the forest. (Photo: Thinkstock)

By Tommy Burson

Travel is filled with emotions. Anytime you go somewhere, you’re giving yourself the chance to be delighted, to fall in love, to feel out of place, to find comfort. That’s a big part of why we like to get out there — and yet sometimes nothing in the English language adequately explains these experiences. Or at least not as succinctly as these foreign travel-related words we’ve gathered below, with links to an audio pronunciation guide.

We’re keeping these in our back pocket for the next time we’re grasping for a word to capture a specific, evocative moment from our journeys, and we invite you to do the same.

Waldeinsamkeit (German): The feeling of solitude in a forest.

Bausünde (German): An architectural eyesore.

Dépaysement (French): The feeling that comes of being a foreigner.

Trouvaille (French): A valuable discovery or a lucky find.

Madrugada (Spanish): The period between late-night and early-morning.

Saudade (Portuguese): A deep emotional state of nostalgia or longing for an absent someone or something.


A little bit of hygge can lead to selfies with friends. (Photo: Thinkstock)

Hygge (Danish): The feeling and atmosphere that arises when you get comfy in the company of others.

Forelsket (Norwegian): The euphoria you experience when you’re first falling in love.

Trúnó (Icelandic): The act of getting in a very private, confessional conversation with someone, usually accompanied by alcohol.

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