In Japanese, we say "風のおもむくままに + (e.g. 旅をする)" to express the idea of e.g. travelling round the world without any predetermined plan as if you are letting yourself wander around at the mercy of the wind.

Je voyage là où le vent m’emporte.

This phrasing came to mind, but I'm having second thoughts about it, perhaps on account of the negative sense conveyed by a similar expression "Autant en emporte le vent".

How do French speakers commonly express this idea?

  • 3
    Maybe "au gré du vent"?
    – Luke Sawczak
    Jun 10, 2018 at 12:29
  • This is it @Luke Sawczak, you should answer that
    – Ted Pwyll
    Jun 10, 2018 at 13:51
  • Maybe include a literal translation of the Japanese idiom (As the wind goes?) in the question, just as a bonus for the readers who don't speak the language. Jun 10, 2018 at 20:37
  • @Eauquidort It's exactly as described in the title: "at the mercy of the wind". :D Jun 11, 2018 at 3:31

2 Answers 2


It seems that an idiomatic equivalent is surprisingly similar literally as well:

Je voyage au gré du vent.

This also appears to exist in the plural and the two are in close competition.

Why all the later dates are '32' I cannot say

It seems that the wind suggests the same figurative expression in many languages — also compare English "where(ver) the wind blows".

  • Indeed, it's tempting to go for "au gré du vent". The thing is that I tend to associate the expression with its literal sense, that is, the wind moving objects physically, so I wasn't sure of its figurative aspect. Jun 11, 2018 at 3:39
  • Je vais là où le vent me porte
  • Je vais là où le vent me mène
  • Je voyage au petit bonheur la chance

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