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‘Komorebi’ and 15 other special words you need to know

Komorebi, Ikigai, Naturrensing… In many languages there are single words that perfectly express a feeling, situation or longing. We have listed 16 of them you should (get to) know. We share special and beautiful words like this on our Instagram. Follow us to get to know more words. Which word did you already know?

1. Coddiwomple

The meaning of this is as follows: to travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination. You can interpret it as being completely open to what is to come and let yourself be surprised where you end up. We like! Let’s coddiwomple!

2. Inoubliable

Inoubliable means ‘unforgettable’ in French. We have all experienced moments that we will never forget. A special walk with a loved one, the first medal you’ve ever received or perhaps completing your first marathon. What was an unforgettable experience for you?

3. Komorebi

The Japanese word Komorebi means: ‘When the sunlight shines through the leaves of trees’. This is often best seen in the early morning or at the end of the day. It’s a nice example of how you can enjoy the little things in life. Next time you walk through the forest and see the sun shine through the trees, remember this word and enjoy that moment.

4. Sturmfrei

This word coming from the German language is not easily translated into a single English word. It refers to the moment a child is home alone, because the parents are gone. It can be compared to the proverb ‘When the cat’s away, mice will play’. It emphasizes the freedom to do whatever you want.

5. Hygge

The word hygge expresses a special feeling, something that is difficult to translate to English. In Denmark, hygge is mainly a survival mechanism during the gloomy, long and dark winters. The Danes then make it cosy indoors to get through the winter. You pronounce hygge as ‘huuge’.

6. Cynefin

This word (pronounced kun-eh-fin) from Welsh can roughly be translated into ‘well known’ or ‘habitat’. It describes a place where you feel at home and are supposed to be. It’s the place where everything around you feels good and welcome.

7. Firgun

Firgun is a word used in Hebrew for the totally selfless happy feeling you can have when something good or beautiful happens to someone else.

8. Naturrensing

Naturrensing literally means ‘nature cleansing’. Do you know that feeling after a great walk in the woods? Naturrensing includes that special feeling you feel after spending time in nature. Something we all need on a regular basis, right?

9. Petrichor

Do you know that smell of rain on a dry (summer) day? There is a name for it: Petrichor. This name comes from the Greek words ‘petra’, which means stone, and ‘ichor’, which stands for the blood of the gods in Greek mythology.

It works as follows: when drops fall on very dry soil they catch, as it were, a small bubble of air that forms beneath the drop. This air bubble wants to rise up again just like in water. In this way, all small air bubbles burst through the top of the drop. The air bubbles drag a trace of water and also hold bacteria, miniscule plant and animal remnants that lay on the ground. These aerosols then float through the air. All these elements that make up the aerosol have their own smell. Together they form a mixture of smells that we experience as the smell of rain.

10. Waldeinsamkeit

The German word Waldeinsamkeit refers to the feeling one has while being alone in the forest. It literally means ‘forest loneliness’, but it has nothing to do with being lonely. On the contrary, it encompasses the romantic desire to go into the woods alone and find some kind of ‘enlightenment’.

11. Friluftsliv

Frillufwhat? Friluftsliv is a Norwegian given that is literally translated as ‘free air life’, although its meaning is much more detailed. It’s about having a closer connection to nature and enjoying time spent outdoors, no matter what the weather.

If you’re prepared for whatever the weather may throw at you, there’s nothing to stop you spending time outdoors all year round. Norwegians typically spend their free time outside, hiking, skiing or huddling around an outdoor fire even during the harshest weather.

12. Ikigai

Everyone has one or more ikigai: a passion worth living for. It consists of two parts: iki – alive, living – and kai – an effect, result, value. In other words: what makes your life worth living? According to the Japanese everyone has an ‘ikigai’. You discover it after a long and deep search for why you are here on earth. This search is extremely important to the Japanese, because they believe that discovering your ikigai adds satisfaction and meaning to your life.

13. Resfeber

This is a Swedish word with the definition: The restless feeling of the traveller’s heart before the journey begins, when fear and anticipation become intertwined. Do you know this feeling?

14. Novaturient

A desire to change your life, the feeling that you have to go travelling.

15. Gökotta

This is a Swedish word that actually has no direct English translation. It essentially means “getting up at dawn to go outside and listen to the birds singing”. Our Meike is really crazy about morning walks. She gets up early every morning to go for a walk or a run.

16. Liberosis

The desire to care less about things. Are you a thinker? A walk can help to give your thoughts a place.

Do you have a special word you would like to share with us? Tag us on Instagram using @eroutes_official or on Facebook through @eRoutesofficial.

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