In a fascinating reader survey, Atlas Obscura asked their community to “tell us about the places that make them feel a sense of fernweh, a German word that literally translates as “farsickness.” Put another way, it’s the concept of feeling homesick for a place you’ve never been or could never go. The responses are in, and they are beautiful.” I think many people who have seen the movie Black Panther may have recently had a similar experience!
What was the most common response?
By far the destinations that our readers said invoke that strange sense of foreign homesickness more than any other are the misty green landscapes of Scotland and Ireland, with an overwhelming number of responses invoking those two regions. Icelandic and English locales were also popular places that you miss without having been there. Still others wrote in to tell us about their feeling of connection with fictional places such as The Shire and Narnia.
But the common thread among nearly all the responses is a sense of poetry. Your responses speak of places both real and imagined, in lush, often evocative verse that paints a vivid picture of your own personal fernweh.
A few questions and thoughts:
- What do you make of this (anecdotal) report?
- Ask a friend what makes them feel ‘farsick’ - and report back to us how the conversation went. (This week’s #evangelism-challenge!)
- What makes you feel ‘farsick’?