What is a Traveller?
Travellers are people who travel the world to see different cultures, eat local foods and explore new places. They have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and experience that is fueled by endorphins – the chemicals in our brains that make us feel happy, euphoric and full of life. They want to tick off cities and countries on their list, but more importantly they are passionate about the journey itself.
A seasoned traveller can tell you about the best and worst of their travels, they’ll have stories to tell you about harrowing experiences they’ve been through and they will be able to offer advice for any problems that may come up. They’ll be able to give you tips and tricks on how to survive long flights, avoid jet lag or how to deal with swollen ankles.
The term traveller is often used to refer to Gypsies and Travellers but these groups are distinct. They have their own customs, religion, language and heritage. They are a group with a unique culture that is a blend of tradition and emerging ideas.
Despite a number of recent improvements, prejudice against Travellers persists in Ireland and elsewhere. They are largely stereotyped as thieves and troublemakers. A poll recently found that 70 percent of Irish citizens wouldn’t accept a Traveller as a friend.
Some of the issues facing the Traveller community include housing, education and employment. They are more likely than the general population to live in temporary encampments. In many areas, the land on which they occupy is owned by others and they are frequently subject to evictions. They are also more likely to work in manual occupations such as farming and construction than the wider population. In addition, their education attainment is lower than the general population.
It’s important to respect and celebrate Traveller culture and traditions. It’s equally important to avoid using derogatory language towards them, especially in public. For example, it’s offensive to use the word ‘gypsy’ to describe anyone from this group. It’s also a bad idea to call them ‘pikey’ or ‘knacker’, but the latter is perhaps the most offensive of all, given that Travellers traditionally worked as itinerant tinsmiths.
Another way to respect and celebrate Traveller culture is by promoting their achievements. For example, Sindy Joyce became the first Traveller to complete a PhD in sociology. Her doctoral thesis focused on the complexities of Traveller identity. Other Travellers have become artists, musicians and authors. However, there are still major obstacles to achieving the Traveller dream. One issue is that many of them don’t have the same access to banking services as other people. This can prevent them from opening bank accounts, and it also limits their ability to save money. It can also be difficult to get credit cards and loans when they need them. In turn, this can make it difficult for them to build wealth or invest in their own businesses.