Similar meanings. What (if any) are the subtle differences? Which would be best for a self-description of someone who retired, sold his house, and has been traveling since then (this is the fourth year)?

Not wealthy; not even close. But have enough income to get from place to place and not starve. Would others describe him (me) with the same term?

  • see dictionaries, e.g. bkrs, 行旅 person going on a long journey; traveller; wayfarer: 行旅称便 Travellers find it convenient. #40880 流浪者 rover vagabond vagrant wanderer 流浪者收容院(home for the homeless)#38549 游民 :没有正当职业的人,无固定住所,四处游荡的人。vagrant vagabond e.g.国无游民, 野无荒业,欧洲罗姆人和游民论坛(European Forum on Roma and Gypsies)#31696
    – user6065
    Feb 6 '18 at 7:32
  • I always assumed 游民 is the short form of 游牧民族, good to know it's not
    – Alex
    Mar 8 '18 at 16:21

amongst the three options:

"游民" means homeless people, not suitable for "tourist" (any foreigners in travelling).

"流浪者" is vagabond, or wanderer; it's ok to use this one.

"行旅" is used in literary chinese, it's elegance; but most people would feel strange to "hear" it.

i would suggest:

"浪客" - extracted from "流浪" + "遊客"


旅行者 is more suitable, and may need more explanations to 'sold my house, and has been traveling...'

行旅, most people won't know what it is.

流浪者: besides these homeless, 流浪者 always refer to artist.

游民: means jobless, no fixed home. 贬义词

浪客: not a typical Chinese words, more used by Japanese. Most people won't know it. Never use it in daily talking, very strange.

And if you like, you can use 旅行家, that's what do you mean exactly, but Chinese do not call himself XX家, that is not 谦虚.


To answer your question, "游民" and "流浪者" are all good for self-description.

When you say "我是个流浪者", it is not negative. "流浪者" is different from "流浪汉".

"我是个游民" is like "I'm Like a Gypsy".

"游民" could mean a way of life - moving around a lot.

"流浪者" could be a way of life, or a stage of spirit or feelings.

"行旅", most people don't know what it means, don't use it.

"旅行者" "浪客" are not for ordinary people.

In your case, "游民" is the best suitable.


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