Tuesday, November 18, 2008

THINK: Towards a definition of 'rogue traveler'

"The sum of the phenomena and relationships arising from the travel and stay of non-residents, insofar as they do not lead to permanent residence and are not connected with any earning activity." 
-definition of tourism by Hunziker and Krapf

A tourist can be defined by many different interests, ecological, urban, health-related, traumatic, ethnic, sexual etc. but one characteristic remains the same: they always go back to where they came from and do not intend on earning money while they are away.

I think this is the key difference with a rogue traveler. For the rogue transience is a way of life. And this has some consequences:          
1. money must be earned to prolong travel
2. there is no clear direction home
3. residency is ambiguous
4. occupation is temporary
5. heightened cultural engagement and appreciation
6. the necessary exploitation of globalization 
7. social and economic dependence on the internet
8. concurrent use of the gray market
9. a bohemian ethos, including mind expansion
10. the obsessive pursuit of novelty to inform creativity

The result is a certain 21st century nomad, in the technomad family. But it is not to be confused with a "perpetual traveler," who has the primary concern of avoiding taxation. The rogue traveler is opportunistic; her path is rarely pre-meditated.