The loanword from German language became an English term in 1902 as a reflection of what was then seen as a characteristically German predilection for wandering that may be traced back to German Romanticism and the German system of apprenticeship (the journeyman).
The term originates from the German words wandern (to hike) and Lust (desire). The term wandern, frequently misused as a false friend, does in fact not mean "to wander", but "to hike." Placing the two words together, translated: "enjoyment of hiking", although it is commonly described as an enjoyment of strolling, roaming about or wandering.
A contemporary German equivalent for the English word wanderlust, in the sense of "crave for travel", is Fernweh (literally meaning "an ache for distant places").
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