Have You Ever Felt Homesick for a Place You've Never Been? - Atlas Obscura
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Have You Ever Felt Homesick for a Place You’ve Never Been?

Real or fictional, near or far, describe the unvisited places you long for most!

I've never been here, but it feels like home.
I’ve never been here, but it feels like home. J.D. Rucker/CC BY 2.0

Last month on our Facebook page, we shared one of our favorite Judith Thurman quotes, about that hard-to-describe-feeling of being homesick for somewhere you’ve never actually been.

As some Facebook commenters pointed out, there’s a German word (of course!) that describes this feeling: fernweh. Literally translated as “farsickness,” the term is closely related with the concept of wanderlust. Just the mere thought of some places can fill us with a sense of fernweh, even when we’ve never been to them before—or, in the case of fictional places or places that no longer exist, can never reasonably expect to.

The type of place that inspires this unique feeling of longing is different for everyone, and we want to hear yours! For some, it’s the idea of a faraway country they’ve always wanted to visit, while for others it’s Middle-Earth. For me it’s the Scottish Highlands, which I’ve only ever seen on television or in movies. And yet somehow, picturing the rural Highlands always makes me feel like going there would be like going home. It’s probably colder there than I’d realistically enjoy, but the idea of it, the version of the Highlands that exists only in my mind, is comforting all the same.

We want to know what place makes you feel homesick, even though you’ve never been there. Share your responses via the form below, and we’ll publish our favorites in a future post.