I recently saw a beautiful picture on Pinterest of a definition I hadn't heard of before. It immediately spoke to me, as it represented the feeling I've been having for a the past few years. What I've referred to as "wanderlust", this new word was more specific yet different all together, le mot juste, as the French would say meaning this new discovery was "The right word exactly at exactly the right time".
To distinguish between the two, wanderlust and fernweh, the former usually implies the desire to wander or the strong impulse to travel while fernweh is essentially the opposite of homesickness; the longing to travel to a distant or foreign place.
I blame Italy.
After we returned home from our honeymoon, an experience to discuss another day, I wept. It wasn't the kind of emotion that occurs when something wonderful has ended or when resistance has been defeated and you must get back to reality and daily responsibilities. It was something different. It was a I have to go back because that place stole my heart. It's been almost a year and I haven't been able to shake the feeling.
Before you pass judgement and conclude the wrong impression---I love to travel and have fortunately been able to satisfy my wanderlust to a certain degree but until Italy, I had never been out of the country. Not even to Mexico and I live in Louisiana. My travel borders had been here in the US so seeing an entirely different culture forced a spurt of organic growth. Perfect example: I received an email last week from my professional's national organization on the opportunity to volunteer at a teaching hospital for three months in Bhutan, South Asia. I, of course, emailed him immediately wanting more information. The logistics do not line up, which I never believed they would, but to simply imagine the opportunity was another one of those fernweh moments. (The randomly generated picture used in the above image was created in a photography app---quite fitting if I must say so myself.)
My husband and I have been discussing, more so recently, our next vacation. We've entertained various places in the US (Seattle, Boston) and Canada while watching endless episodes of Rick Steves Europe on Hulu...just in case we can make another European trip happen.
With that being said, I'll leave you with a few pictures from Italy, the heart stealer.
Feel free to visit my Instagram for more Italian vacation pictures! If you look up #vivianvaca you can see them that way, too. Not sure who else uses the hashtag but I know we did (and still do for all of our travels).