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Fernweh: The Meaning and Cure for Farsickness

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Did you stumble across our Fernweh Bag or Fernweh Tents and wonder what the heck the word Fernweh meant? Or, better yet, how to pronounce Fernweh? Well, Life inTents didn’t choose the name willy-nilly. Fernweh, in fact, has a deeper, and much more significant meaning behind it – the word and the tent!

Journey with us as we explore the meaning of Fernweh and how Life inTents was inspired to use Fernweh to name one of our most popular canvas bell tents.

What Does Fernweh Mean?

Ever get itchy feet? Or a feeling of wanderlust?

We’ve all felt homesick from time to time. As a little kid at summer camp, a freshman off to college, or even an expat who moved to a new country. It’s a sense of missing a place that we know.

But what do we call the opposite of homesickness? You know, when you want to leave home behind? When you long for adventure? When you are homesick for anywhere but… home?

The feeling is not a contradiction. And the meaning isn't an oxymoron either. There’s a word for it:

Fernweh.

But isn’t that the same as wanderlust? Close, but not exactly. Fernweh goes deeper. It’s when you ache or are sick with the desire to travel or go on an adventure or travel. (Some would even argue Fernweh applies to the act of diving into a good book to seek adventure in a fictitious world.)

canvas bell tents on wanderlust farm

The Origin of the Word Fernweh

With such a specific definition – maybe even one that only wanderlusts understand – where did the word Fernweh come from?

Fernweh is a German word. ‘Fern’ means ‘far’ and ‘weh’ means pain. So, it could be summed up as “Farsickness” after looking it up in a dictionary.

[PRON “FERN – way”]
So… Fern (as in the leaf) WAY (as in that a way)

The first use of the word Fernweh is thought to have been coined by Prince Hermann Ludwig Heinrich von Pückler-Muskau.

This German prince authored many books, which focused on his travels around Europe and Northern Africa, under the pen name “Semilasso.” One of these books is The Penultimate Course of the World of Semilasso: Dream and Waking, in which he used the word Fernweh to describe his melancholic longing for his adventures.

The word also popped up in the 1902 English novel The Basis of Social Relation when author Daniel Garrison Brinton used Fernweh to describe his “goading restlessness” and desire to travel.

Eventually, Fernweh became part of normal language in Germany, and was even used in travel ads campaigns to entice Germans to use their passports and travel to other countries.

A Case of Fernweh: Life inTents Fernweh Tents

Life inTents was started by two wayward gypsies who shared that Fernweh farsickness feeling. What began as a whirlwind tour of the globe, relishing in total freedom and cultural exploration, turned into a greater mission and purpose: to return to that same adventurous spirit as often as possible, and to help share with others how to do the same.

That’s the ultimate purpose of Life inTents, and the reason we do what we do.

But it’s more than that. We also believe that to have a real connection to the world and to each other, you must take time to disconnect from comfortable daily routines and embrace uncertainty. It’s a challenge, but we wholeheartedly believe the best way to do so is to hit the open road and go camping.

In summary, there’s no better cure for Fernweh farsickness than being surrounded by those you love, under the stars and around a campfire. Preferably in a place you’ve never been before!

And that’s how our collection of wanderlust-inspired, beautiful canvas Fernweh Tents came to be named. Because they’re intended to be your quintessential home away from home, but also designed for adventurous types who still want to feel safe and secure wherever they go. Sleek, durable, and practical, Fernweh tents are a glamorous way to escape modernity.
Fernweh bell tent and Fernweh tote bag

Cure Your Case of Fernweh

So… is Fernweh something you’ve experienced? Do you badly ache for adventure or yearn to visit a place you’ve never seen? If you’re anything like Brandy and Alice-Kate Lamb, the husband and wife co-founder team behind Life inTents, then the answer is clearly yes! So check out our Fernweh Tents and other helpful links to cure your case of Fernweh.

Fernweh Tents

Recognize the longing to break free and travel. Pack your bags and hit the road with one of our Fernweh tents, available in two sizes:

Fernweh Bag

As you wander new lands, declare to everyone you meet that you are a world traveler with the canvas Fernweh Bag. Designed to be large and sturdy, this canvas tote is plenty spacious for day trips too.


Fernweh Stays

If you're feeling that farsickness kind of ache and craving to get away, check out our Fernweh Stays. Perfect for your next glamping accommodation, these beautiful bell tent spots are sure to soothe your wanderlust soul.
Brette DeVore
Brette DeVore

As a former hospitality interior designer with an adventurous spirit and love for travel, I now help interior designers and tourism-related businesses in creating online content and media.



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