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Wanderlust is a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world. The English loanword “wanderlust” was already extant in the German language dating as far back as Middle High German. The first documented use of the term in English occurred in 1902 as a reflection of what was then seen as a characteristically German predilection for wandering. It may be traced back to German Romanticism and the German system of apprenticeship (the journeyman), as well as the adolescent custom of the ‘Wanderbird’ seeking unity with Nature
“She is free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water. She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules or customs. ‘Time’ for her isn’t something to fight against. Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water.” ― Roman Payne
The term originates from the German words wandern (to hike) and Lust (desire). The term wandern, frequently misused as a false friend, does in fact not mean “to wander,” but “to hike.” Placing the two words together, translated: “enjoyment of hiking,” although it is commonly described as the enjoyment of strolling, roaming about or wandering.