are a footloose bunch. Always have
been. We move a lot, chasing a job or a
relationship or a dream. Even when it's
time to retire, a lot of us try someplace new.
Each year, according to Census records, about 14 million Americans
change states or move elsewhere within a state.
groups in particular move over and over and over again. One is military lifers, as we call
them. Their children refer to
themselves as Army brats or Air Force brats and the like. Even if the service member is never sent
overseas, the family bounces from U.S. post to post. Making new but temporary friends and attending different schools
are a way of life. There can be no
dream house. The family doesn't stay
anyplace long enough to create one.
who never really put down roots are called relos. Often moderately wealthy, they are corporate or public executives
and consultants. Their companies
transfer them here, there, and everywhere, or they're off to better jobs in
lengthy New York Times story about relos pointed out, this itinerant
lifestyle can produce loneliness and identity crises. As the Times put it, relos have traded a home in one place
for a job that could be anyplace. Relo
children do not know a hometown; their parents do not know where their funerals
Herald Tribune calls these nomads America's domestic expatriates. Though far more prosperous, they share some
of the psychological hardships of those who were forced from their homes in the
1930s Great Depression, about whom folk singer Woody Guthrie wrote,
I ain't got no home, I'm just
Just a wanderin' worker, I go
from town to town.
spouses and kids go along.