Longing for a place you’ve never been… A little different than wanderlust. That is Fernweh. There is, of course a bit of tongue in cheek irony to it as well. But more on that later… For as long as I can remember, I wanted to travel the world. I’m not sure when it was put in me, but I have suffered from wanderlust for a long time. A bit of a restless spirit jammed into a melancholic soul topped off with a slight chip on the shoulder and you get, Me.
So, plagued by this wandering… and maybe it’s also a grass is greener, or maybe even a bit of geographical cure for self… Whichever, it has been with me for a long time. It is a relentless drive to see more. To be more, to attach the seeing to a sort of self worth onto the places I’ve been. It’s not to be a travel snob, it’s something more than that. As have little interest in name dropping or place dropping. It’s more subliminal than that and yet more visceral. It would be easy to explain were it not for the incredible pull that exerts itself on my life and has, in some cases, been a point of contention with family. Now, how does that get to Fernweh you may be thinking?
Well, now think of the wanderlust but think about a place you want to be in a year. Imagine the desire to have a place that was sort of a banyan. A place of steady seasons, of lightning bugs and frogs. Of cows and birds. Bees visiting the clover patch. A blue sky dotted with the cumulus clouds that later in the day play the rumbling sounds of the Gods at War… And somewhere, before sunset, you hear “Daaaaad, come see!” just before it fades into the wind. And when you face the call you see a son hunched over peering intently into a crawfish mound… This is my Fernweh.
But how does one come up wth that? I had never heard it until Allison spoke it to me coming on six months ago. We were trying to come up with a name. A name that fit where we are and where we want to be. Of who we have become and honoring our roots.
We had tried a number of different ideas, from Irish towns to words and phrases from the lands we have travelled to. All of them have an appeal, and some even would have probably been better. But for some reason, when this word was defined, it encompassed Us. It is us. We all, from Allison down to Andrew have a bit of Fernweh. And the beauty is that it sparks the imagination and lights the path back home. It is drive and its acceptance.
But to be honest, I’m not the one who came up with it, so that story will have to be told by Allison. I can only tell you whats in the name- Fernweh.