Two weeks ago, I got my second tattoo. It reads, “Fernweh”, which is a German word that translates literally as “far-sickness”. It’s hard to explain in English, but it’s similar to wanderlust – an intense longing and an ache for far-off places, and the feeling of belonging to a place you’ve never been. It’s also very similar to the Swedish resfeber – the irritability and longing that one feels when life feels stagnant without travel and fresh, novel experiences.
It’s kind of somewhere between the enjoyment of wanderlust and the pain of withdrawal from travel – a drive and NEED to wander and see new things.
To me, this tattoo has many meanings.
Primarily, it expresses my love for travel. I chose a German word as Germany is the first country I’ve lived in since leaving home, and the script is calligraphy, as if a writing quill were dipped in ink and the word were carefully inscribed on my skin.
Secondly, it’s a connection with my brother back home. He has the same word tattooed on his chest (we had our tattoos done on the same day!), and to me it’s a bond we share – a love for travel and seeing new worlds. He told me that to him it includes the longing for fictional places one has never been, a sentiment that I absolutely love. It also reminds me of our Contiki Eurotrip in 2010, and all the adventures we had together exploring Europe with our new friends.
I’d love to add more travel tattoos to my body, accumulating fragments of experience and etching memories into my very skin as a testament to my life journey.
Do you have any interesting travel-inspired tattoos? Comment below! 🙂