From Marco Polo to modern-day missionaries and mercenaries, history has always had a liberal sprinkling of purpose-driven, wayfaring spirits. But thanks to the convergence of high-tech communication, low-cost airlines and a truly global economy, a new class of itinerant expatriate may soon be capturing our literary and political imagination. And, the real news is that you may recognize yourself among them.
Dr. Greg Madison, a Canadian psychotherapist and researcher now living in London, calls this physically and ethnically rootless population ‘voluntary migrants’, though he acknowledges that many of us feel driven by an existential impulse far beyond our control. That impulse is an actual desire to be foreign… an “affinity with otherness” as he describes it.