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The Wanderlust List of Creative Travel Words You Might Not Know

Uncover creative words that relate to wanderlust. Read through our complete list of travel words along with their definitions for your Caribbean journey.

You may know a lot of words, but do you know all of these? Come and take a look at the top traveler's list of wanderlust words that you can use during your next vacation in the Caribbean. Find out what each word on this list means and how to best use each one. 

In this list of words, you will find some words with multiple meanings, some that have been lost to history, and others that are obscure and unique in their understanding. With each word you learn, you will begin to define wanderlust and have a lot of creative travel words for you to use on vacation. 

English wanderlust travel words


The meaning of this word is quite literal. It's a lust to wander or a desire to travel. When you have wanderlust, you have that ache in your heart that needs to escape to new and beautiful places. 


Though you probably haven't heard this one for the last hundred years, a nemophilist is a person who adores the forests and woods. Yes, this can also include jungles. 

A woman enjoying the lush jungles of the Dominican Republic


The idea behind finding something wonderful by chance. For example, you may be exploring the beach and find a beautiful shell with a fantastic stroke of serendipity.


This one goes deep even if it is made up. It is the realization that every person who passes you by has a life that is as rich and complicated as your own. When you travel, it opens up your mind to other cultures and gives you much chance to sonder. 


Doesn't this word just sound great? We should all be using Coddiwomple more often. It is the concept of moving forward without a set destination. Whilst some apply this to travel, nowadays it is really more about how we live life. 


When something is unique, unusual, extraordinary, never seen before, and just so different from anything you have ever seen, it can be described as selcouth. For example, “I found a selcouth spot by the water where the hermit crabs seemed to gather


This one has two wanderlust related meanings. A modern idea is that photophiles are people who love photography and just want to go on vacation snapping pictures all the time. The real meaning behind photophile however is someone who thrives in the sunlight. “Jim spends all day at the beach because he's a photophile

A man running along the beach in the Caribbean sun


Someone who seeks delights and enjoyable and pleasurable activities is a gadabout. This means that yes, if you love lavish experiences, luxurious vacations, and escape to the Caribbean whenever you can, you could refer to yourself as a gadabout. 


Some things are so incredible that there just are no words to describe the experience. Thankfully when that happens we have a word to describe that. Ineffable. When something is ineffable, it goes beyond everything you could say, and every expression. You could say “My stay in the Caribbean was… ineffable” …its also a great copout if you can't think of any descriptive words. 


People usually think of Homer's Odyssey which covers the story of a king who wandered for 10 years. However, the word in itself can be used to describe a long and exciting journey full of adventures. When are you planning your next odyssey?


We all know amphibious to mean creatures or things that can operate on land or in the water. But this word has very different original meanings. It is used to represent two modes of life. For example part time work and part time travel. Yes, you can be amphibious and not even swim.


This term has been used in many ways to describe travelers of all sorts. But really, a wayfarer is someone who travels on foot. Are you walking somewhere? Congratulations, you are a wayfarer!

Footsteps in the sand on a beach where a wayfarer has been

French and Spanish travel words


There are many concepts of paradise throughout history. In medieval times people had Cockaigne. This was an imaginary place of luxury where you could be pampered to perfection and every comfort was at hand. Sound familiar? Indeed, you could say that a luxury resort is its own Cockaigne. 


This is a true wanderlust word. It means to wander around somewhere without any real purpose or objective in mind. It's unplanned, aimless roaming for the sake of it. Even on a planned vacation, you can have a dérive by heading into town… and just seeing where the day takes you. 


If you are a person of leisure, someone who enjoys simple strolls, pleasures, and soaking up the enjoyment of the ambiance, you could call yourself a flâuner.


A very fortunate find could be noted as a trouvaille. For example, let's say that you are diving in the Caribbean Ocean and you find an empty sea urchin shell. “This shell was a true trouvaille”

A wanderlust traveler underwater exploring the Caribbean oceans

Dès Vu 

This one may require some meditation. It is a state of mind, a perspective. It means to see the current moment as you look forward to the future. It's an awareness that the time right now will gain new meaning as you look back on it in the days to come. 


There is a burst of adrenaline that fires from being in a foreign place surrounded by different things. Whilst this word can be used in a negative way, for wanderers and travelers it is a feeling they choose to enjoy through an authentic experience and ambiance. 


This Spanish word has been used for many things relating to nostalgia and care. Its deeper meaning however refers to your home away from home. It's a place that calls you where you feel comfortable, welcome, and safe. For example, “Excellence Playa Mujeres is my Querencia”

Greek wanderlust travel words


A state of utter and complete happiness. The best version of life any human can attain. This goes beyond mere contentment and refers to not just joy but also a sense of accomplishment. It adds meaning to pleasure seeking. Some people are eudaimonic travelers. 


This is a word you will find on every list of beach words. It literally means a lover of the sea. So you could go to the beach and be a photophile, a hodophile, and a thalassophile all at the same time. 

A thalassophile at the beach admiring the beauty of the Caribbean sea


Usually, we might think that something ending in “mania” might not be good. But in this case, it is. Eleutheromania is the intense and earnest zeal for freedom. It's an irresistible desire to escape to somewhere new and to explore. Whilst it can be related to obsession, eleutheromania is a wanderlust quality that explains the craving for vacation really well. 


A word that seems to only be found on lists of words. Is it a real word? Who knows. Either way, its meaning is a really cool concept. It basically refers to being able to say “Oh, why not” in an expression of lack of concern or fear for something you are about to do. “In a moment of strikhedonia, I decided to go swimming with a shark.”


Hodophilia is a deep love of travel, so as you might guess, a hodophile is a person who adores travel. Are you a hodophile? I know I am. 


The idea of never truly fully comprehending anything. This is used for travelers a lot with the concept that you can enjoy Extraordinary Moments on vacation but never really grasp how those experiences impact your life or the person that you are. 


Often used in reference to a past period of utter happiness. Originating from a mythical bird that could calm the waves and sea, this expression can be used to describe a time when you were on a peaceful vacation in the past. Those were your “halcyon days”.


This word describes someone who likes to travel from one place to another for relatively short periods of time. You could head to Punta Cana for 3 days, then spend a week in Cancun and you would be a peripatetic traveler. 

Latin wanderlust travel words


Nowadays we often use the expression solo travel for people who enjoy exploring distant places on their own. In the past, however, the word for solo travelers was Solivigant. For example: “It takes a solivigant like Susan to plan their vacations by themselves and head to an unknown destination.”


You have heard of Emigrate which denotes permanent moving to another country. Now get ready for Peregrinate which involves wandering from place to place. “We decided to peregrinate over to Montego Bay

Wanderers in Montego Bay walking along the shore


Originally this word had a type of spiritual feeling linked to it. However it can also mean being awestruck, or a situation that takes your breath away. “When I saw the waters glow, it was a numinous moment that I will never forget


Comes from a Latin word meaning “to wander” and implies the sentiment of unforeseeable and incalculable travel to a destination. A whimsical roaming journey of unpredictable ideas. “I booked my flight that same day and my vagary surprised everyone.”


To move in every direction at the same time. A bit like when you pack your bags and your flight leaves in an hour. It's also something that many wanderlust travelers want to do when they arrive at their destination. So much to see, so much to explore. 


This word means to want change or something different. The desire for something new and exciting. The feeling you know all too well when you want to travel. Are you a novaturient person?

Use this list of wanderlust words!

No doubt you will remember some of these creative travel words for your next escape. But why wait? Lodge the list of your favorite wanderlust words in your memory by making use of them straight away. How?

Why not share them on social media and tell everyone your personal favorite word? You could even try to nonchalantly put it into a sentence and see if anyone notices. Feel free to add the hashtag #TheExcellenceCollection and follow us for more vacation inspiration. 

You can also keep learning more travel words with our list of beach words or with our list of wanderlust travel quotes!


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