Are You a Perpetual Traveler or World Citizen?

Updated: Mar 16th, 2010

F. Daniel Harbecke, a writer with Brave New Traveler wrote the following article, Would You Be A Perpetual Traveler Or World Citizen?, which was his response to the question posed in the original article by Joel Falconer at LifeHack. Both are very interesting articles — very thought-provoking!

As a travel writer, you may consider yourself to be a perpetual traveler, rather than a citizen of the world. In the extreme, you may even have quit your job and sold all of your possessions to travel. But, you probably still have citizenship in your country. Unless, of course, you’ve renounced your citizenship.

The point of the article is to examine your perspective on how — and why — you travel, and what impact (if any) you have on the rest of the world. To start thinking in broader terms.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

…”Both roles reject borders, but the difference between them is subtle.

A perpetual traveler discards the sense of home – often to avoid paying taxes, or for a more profound sense of privacy or non-affiliation. The world citizen sees the entire planet as home, and one’s citizenship as only a historic formality.”

I believe that there’s another point – beyond where your sense of “home” resides……it’s where does your sense of “community” reside? There is no right or wrong answer here, it’s simply something to think about. It has to do with why you’re going somewhere – is it just to “see” what’s there? Or can you contribute to something that stays behind in a positive way, like The Traveling Poet? Or maybe you want to experience a deeper interaction with the places that you visit and people that you meet, like Andy at, who rode his bicycle from England to Nepal.

No matter which you consider yourself to be – a perpetual traveler or a world citizen, make sure you’re respectful to a country and it’s people. When you leave, they will still be there. Do what you can to leave a lighter footprint and a good impression on those you’ve encountered, respect the culture (even if you do not agree with it), and learn what you can. Who knows, you may come back a changed person.

~ Rebecca

As a travel writer, do you consider yourself a perpetual traveler or world citizen?

About Amandah Blackwell 198 Articles

Amandah Blackwell is a creative, freelance and ghost writer for industries that include but are not limited to the arts & entertainment, travel, publishing, real estate, pets, personal and professional development, and much more.

Amandah's personal writing projects include screenplays, teleplays, YA, non-fiction, short stories, and poetry. 

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  1. Great blog post…I enjoyed reading the article on Brave New Traveler. I think I’m both a perpetual and world citizen. I know where I live right now may not be permanent. If opportunity knocks, I will be off and running. I have many hopes and dreams that I’m nurturing; I’m bound and determined to reach my goals. Where I’m at right now may not be conducive to my growth. Wherever I land, I know that I will enjoy the experience and ride!

  2. I was a perpetual traveler for 9 years, sold my home, all the furnishings and packed what I needed and toured the USA in my van and travel trailer. My home was with me while I experienced many places. Perodically I parked the rig, packed one suitcase and set off to another country. I either lived in hotels or rented an RV there and traveled from country to country. It really opens ones eyes and teaches you so much about other cultures. You have to respect their culture, their country and I was a sponge everywhere I went. Soaking it all in. By doing this you become a world citizen.
    Now I am writing my adventures in hopes that others will follow my Nomad ways and see what I have.
    My quest to learn more, see more and understand more will never end and I am proud to say I have instilled that in my children and now my grandchildren live all around the world.

  3. Hi Penelope – thanks for stopping by! I read your biography at your website – what an interesting story you have! I think it’s wonderful that you’ve passed on your wanderlust to your kids and grandkids – the whole world benefits when we get out there and learn about other places and cultures.

    Good luck with your book!

  4. I do enjoy travel, but I prefer to come back home. Who says that I have to leave my home, family, and friends to find myself? I think that’s why most people travel — to find themselves. If you cannot find yourself in your own backyard, what makes you think you’ll be able to find yourself in the world? Makes me think of the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy realizes what she was looking for was right in her backyard. She didn’t have to travel all the way to Oz and go through all of that trouble just to find it. Then again, she did meet some wonderful people along the way. Just my opinion.

  5. Thank you Trisha, I am a firm believer that there are two things in life everyone can do. Either learn something new from others or teach others something new. By widening our horizons and sharing with other cultures we realize it is not the people but the governments that can’t get along. Many people do not realize that traveling is just that the journey along the way. The journey can be very rewarding and may be the most interesting, not the final destination you reach. Many times I have sent out in my travels and never reached the set destination but took a detour to something far more exciting. I am off to Alaska in 25 days and have England, Scotland and Ireland on my agenda for October. Check my website again in July for a few pictures of my travels. We all enjoy the return home Trv_Cleve, even those who are Nomads at heart.

  6. I think I’m a Perpetual Traveler and World Citizen. After all, our cultures are starting to blend and we’re becoming more “globalized” each day.

    I respect the place and people where I travel. Building good karma and keeping my karma clean is important to me. Plus, it’s just common sense.

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