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Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Wanderjahr: Refers to taking time out from one's normal routine. Many American college students travel out west, or go backpacking across Europe, in search of themselves before getting on with the rest of their lives. This is a wanderjahr. I went on a three month wanderjahr to the ski slopes of Utah when I was a senior in college. Myself and I had a good time. A character' wanderjahr can also be  period during which he or she engages in deep thought or seeks personal insight. 

An Example from Literature: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert recounts her personal wanderjahr.

My Try: "I won't be coming to visit anymore, Mama. I'm done," Netty said, not sure if it mattered, saying it. "You had me all these years thinking I was someone I'm not. It wasn't me you couldn't bear to see everyday. You hardly saw me at all. And instead of telling me or daddy the truth you crawl in the church freezer during Lou Ellen's bridal brunch."
AnnaBelle Mae had helped Netty pack her suitcases, nattering on about how Netty needed to stay home and take care of those chillun. Netty promised she would write and that she would be back before anyone hardly missed her. But she had to go. She had denied the world its chance at her and this was her time to face it. "Yo daddy's heart is breaking double-over," AnnaBelle Mae told her.

"Daddy's heart cain't break," Netty answered. "It's dried up."

AnnaBelle Mae shook her head at Netty. "You go on then. When you find yo' self, bring her on back here with you, 'cause I sure want to meet who you really is, if'n this ain't you I'm looking at."
Have you ever gone on a Wanderjahr? Where did you go? Why? What did you do? How did it broaden your understanding of self and the world?

(This blog post is brought to you as a part of the April A to Z Challenge.)

April 28th - Xenia


shelly said...

I've awarded you the Versatile and the Liebster blog awards. Come on over and pick them up.


welcome to my world of poetry said...

A good W word, enjoyed reading about it.
I see you have been award a well deserved award. Congratulations.

Mike said...

I never knew that I did, but maybe I did! A year out of college, in Wisconsin, I drove to Alaska and found work in a Geology field camp where I lived in a tent all summer. By the time I came back to Wisconsin I had not only found myself, but a wife, and three kids!

How come you didn't use my story on "S" day? Super-wanderjahr?

LisaWeidknecht said...

Hi! I'm your newest follower, here for the Mid Week Mingle. Come follow me at!

About JollyJilly said...

Hi I'm a new follower from the uk
Really liked the blog
Please come visit me anytime

Mike said...

BTW Lucy; I didn't know we could just make up words for this challenge! If I had known we could do that, I might have invented some people for God to love on my blog.

Arlee Bird said...

I took a wanderjahr for most of the 70s and 80s I think. I did a lot of wandering around the country and spent over a decade touring full time as an entertainer.
I sometimes think about taking off again but I never get too far before I have to go to the bathroom and go back home again.

Love that word: Wanderjahr.

Tossing It Out

ardig said...

Hello! I'm your newest follower, here from the Mid Week Mingle. I cannot wait to read more! I hope you will stop by my blog and follow back :)

Lauracea said...

Don't the Australians call it a "walk-about"? I'm not Australian, but I went on one and came to Portugal and I've never wandered back again :(

Brianna said...

I've always wanted to go on a wanderjahr (although this is the first I've heard to term). But alas, I've never been.

nutschell said...

never heard of this word! thanks for sharing! Ill find a way to use wanderjahr in my own writing. :D

Dawn M. Hamsher said...

I never had the wanderlust for a wanderjahr, but one of my characters does.

Farm Fresh Decor said...

Hi! New follower from the Midweek Mingle hop. Hope you get a chance to stop by my blog as well :)

Josh Hoyt said...

I have never been on one. But I have thought about it late at night. I think that it is important to find ourselves and it is a long journey.

Anonymous said...

haha cool word. I have never heard it before.