#wordoftheweek - Fernweh is the longing for that which is far away. It is the opposite of Heimweh that is the longing for home. It is a bit like Wanderlust but while Wanderlust puts the accent on the act of travelling itself, Fernweh is all about the idea of distance. It's perhaps the desire of far-ness. Some people experience Fernweh in a very direct way and move farther and farther away from the place that once was home. Perhaps, though, Fernweh can be interpreted in a broader sense as the strong pull we feel for something that is ultimately unattainable - and that, if we were ever to reach it, would cease being the object of our desire.
Airports used to be the place of Fernweh, and the place of Heimweh. As travel is increasingly easier and we become more and more mobile, sometimes it is easy to think many dichotomies cease to make sense: Fernweh and Heimweh, far and close, here and there, home and away, the wanderer and the homebody, the tourist and the local. However, this is not entirely true - every time we leave, we really do leave something behind, and at the same time, while it might grow fainter and fainter, some of us still feel the pull of Fernweh, the thrill of waking up to another sky tomorrow, the thrill of distance, of the clarity distance brings, of the freshness and the newness for that which is far.
This is a week for Fernweh and Heimweh, a week in which many of us are and will be out there in airports and on the road - those who fly back to their schools for the start of the academic year, those who fly around for the fall fashion weeks. Choose your poison: the near, or the far?