An incurable case of wanderlust

The desire to travel lives deep within me – I feel it in my blood. I want to travel the world, and breathe the air of new places.

Some call this intense desire wanderlust or fernweh (German, literally “far-sickness”), others call it the “travel bug”, but I prefer to call it by another foreign word that fully captures my deep love, and desperate need, for travel.

I prefer to think of my bittersweet affliction as resfeber – Swedish, literal translation “travel fever”. Resfeber is a kind of restlessness, an anxious discontentment that builds up within you if you haven’t travelled in a while. It can literally feel like a sickness, burning away inside you like a fever. The more you travel, the worse the fever becomes. At first, you feel sated, but upon returning home, it burns brighter than ever. Therein lies the beauty of resfeber – you can feed your fever, but it never truly goes away. For those of us who have resfeber, travel isn’t just about “ticking boxes”, buying souvenirs, or taking selfies in front of famous sights. It is about those things, and so very much more.

To me, travel is the single most satisfying way of experiencing alternate realities.* Maybe it’s my affinity for all things postmodern, but the thought of a world of multiple truths and different, equally fascinating ways of life fills me with a lust for travel that I simply cannot ignore. I get excited just at the thought of all the first times that lie ahead of me – first time dipping my toes in the Caribbean Sea, first time seeing a wild kangaroo, first time eating soft-shelled crab, first time going snowboarding… Much as I have travelled, there will always be new first times waiting just around the corner, ready to feed my resfeber.

My love for travel is intertwined with my love for learning, and for all things new. As a child, I would always be in awe when listening to people speaking other languages. I thought to myself, “One day, I will know what they are saying. One day, those sounds will have meaning and I will be able to speak to other people in other places”. My love for language only intensified when I started studying English literature and learning French, Italian, and German. Each day I realised how different languages are created from the experiences of life in a different place. Idiomatic expressions in foreign languages are especially dear to me, and I collect them like precious stones.

Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, I am currently living in Germany with my Kenyan born, South African/Italian-German fiancé, writing and daydreaming about travel. I hope to fill this blog with stories about my travels, articles with veteran tips for other keen travellers, musings on life, and photographs of my favourite places in the world.

I invite you to follow me on my journey, and to be a part of my world.

Carmen

*Reading comes in at a close second.

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