What Are Traveling Kids?
There are many subcultures, fringe groups, and other sorts of underground communities. One that struck my interest over the years is a loosely knit culture of young adults known as “Traveling Kids.” Also known as crusties, oogles, gutter punks, and a variety of other terms. Essentially, traveling kids are a fringe subculture of people who trade in a more socially accepted lifestyle of having a routine job, and permanent residence to well, travel.
Whether by hitchhiking, hopping freight trains, or any other means of free or very cheap travel, they’re modern day nomads. Homeless adventurers who go all over the country, or sometimes even to other countries, with whatever they can fit in a backpack. Usually they migrate according to warm weather patterns. Like the Hippies in the late 60’s, traveling kids survive by whatever means necessary. Short term work in whatever city they may be in at the time, busking (playing instruments in urban areas for money), or simply panhandling, it’s a lifestyle where adventure trumps financial stability. The yearning to see new places, and meet new people is put ahead of worrying about a steady place to live.
Some people may judge this lifestyle as laziness, although the behavior seems to be far from the case. While there can be a lot of fun to be had traveling about, living a free lifestyle, there are certainly many dangers, and things to worry about besides bill collectors, and being late for work. Whether it’s finding your next meal, worrying about running into someone with bad intentions, or not being able to find a place to sleep, there is no adventure without peril. There are mixed beliefs on living this kind of life.
Certainly, it’s an interesting way to live, and see the country without paying for plane tickets. Everyone has reasons for doing whatever they choose with their lives. However, in the 21st century, to know traveling kids exist and are true adventurers is still a breath of fresh air.