Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

X is for Xenophilia

Day 24 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge – Thoughts on Being a Nomad

X… the most difficult letter of the alphabet. If my A-Z Blogging theme would have been “amazing places I visited as a nomad”, a couple of favorites come to mind, like Xcalak and Xpu-Ha in the Yucatan province of Mexico. That would have been too easy, though… Maybe next year?

Instead, I am talking about a new (to me) word: xenophilia. It means being attracted to foreign cultures, places, people… a positive syndrome to have when you are a world traveler. The opposite of xenophilia is xenophobia: being afraid of the unknown, irrationally and intensely disliking or fearing people from other countries. If you are a xenophobe, by all means stay home, never leave the area you are familiar with and don’t run for president! And, be nice to tourists visiting your country and boosting your economy.

Travelers are by definition xenophiles, since the unknown, the adventurous and the unfamiliar are what attracts us to explore new territories. Our curiosity and open mind encourage us. To take it one step further, the ultimate xenophile is more interested in a romantic relationship with a foreigner (someone from outside his/her culture or home country) than with a national. Based on that description, I – born and raised in Belgium and married to an American – am a perfect xenophile!

Liesbet and Mark in Irie's cockpit

Liesbet and Mark in Irie’s cockpit

Are you familiar with the word xenophilia? Would you describe yourself as a xenophile? Are there any phobias you suffer from?

Thank you for visiting and encouraging me through this month’s A-Z Blogging Challenge. Don’t forget to like Roaming About on Facebook or leave a comment. To read my previous A-Z posts, click here. Tomorrow, my blog post will be about Y is for Yearning.


  1. So I learned a new word, today. 🙂 I think I am somewhere in the middle. I’m a little unsure of new things, but I do have a desire to travel to some places I’ve never been. Thanks for such an interesting post and I also enjoyed the pictures.

    • Thanks for swinging by again, Gayl. I’ll hop over to your site for my wildlife fix! 🙂 I hope you get to follow through on that desire of traveling.

  2. I am learning all sorts of X words today! I am a xenophile, but living outside my home country for so long has given me a strong draw to other Brits living overseas… I hear the accent and zoom over!

    • It is funny how that goes… While on one hand, we try to get away from the familiar, on the other hand, we crave for some similarities in people. I always wondered why German cruisers hang out with Germans, French with French and so on, in the international cruising crowd. But, I do understand that it is nice to share your culture and similarities in foreign places. Nothing wrong with that! Except, in our case, Mark does not speak Dutch and I have not met many Belgians out there. By the way, British accents draw me as well! 🙂

  3. That’s a new word to me – I like it. I’m going to try to work it into conversations today. Good X pick!

    • Thanks, Ellen. First, we have to learn how to pronounce it. I have never used it out loud! Let me know how it goes… 🙂

  4. . . . “and don’t run for president.” Lol. I like that! But I like the word xenophilia even better — great choice for the letter X!


  5. An excellent word choice and it fits you well. I tend to find myself somewhere in the middle, curious, but tentative. I will strive to be more bold.

  6. I’ve been really enjoying these posts a-z and totally resonate with them .. Being nomads ourselves ! I am definitely ” guilty as charged” and xenophile of the highest order. The newer the more different… The better!

    • I am with you, Peta. Let’s rule the world as perfect xenophiles, and convert all those xenophobes! I hope your little elephant is doing well!

  7. And what did I blog about for “X”? XenoPHObia! We should compare notes!

  8. It’s a new word for me! I do enjoy traveling but do experience some anxieties along the way in wondering what to expect and what will come next. I have to consciously make an effort to be adventurous and curious and enjoy the process.

    • Interesting sensation you describe. It’s like you want it, but something holds you back. I guess that is certainly called “expanding your horizons” and experiencing adventure in allowing new endeavors. Enjoy the process!

  9. Out blog hopping as fast as I can on the X letter day of the #Challenge from NC. This is my first visit and I like what I have found. Aren’t you pleased to have accomplished these posts. While you have been busy, I have been writing about hotels and inns, the architecture and architects, the significant settings they are in. If you have time or interest, it’s not too late to come visit. I’ll be back.

    • Hi Stepheny! I like the spelling of your name. Thanks for swinging by. I’ll make sure to hop over to your blog later today and indulge in some architecture facts!

  10. blkbtslonglegs

    April 28, 2016 at 21:53

    I hadn’t heard the word before, but I’d like to think that i’m a xenophile. I enjoy learning about other cultures. I’m not sure if I could spent that much time away from home, though.

    My only phobia is sharks, which is a bit of an irrational fear since I’m not often in situations where they will show up 😀

    Tracy (Black Boots, Long Legs)

    • I think you are a xenophile, Tracy! And a creative one at that! 🙂 The phobia of sharks must have come through movies or TV. They are one of the least dangerous “dangerous” animals in the world. And, snorkeling with them is awe-inspiring. With the harmless ones anyway. 🙂

  11. I was not familiar with this word but I like it! love your images as always – so bright, diverse and colorful

  12. If everyone was a xenophile, the world would be such a nicer place! 🙂

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