We were recently introduced at a gathering as “sojourners,” and that pleased my inner word nerd because it’s a term that isn’t used so very often, and it carries with it a sense of romanticism and history.
Also? I’m pretty sure nobody’s ever called us that before.
And then I got to wondering about wandering. What makes a sojourner different from any other type of person on the move?
Based on my travels from one online dictionary to another (see what I did there?), the meaning hinges more on the destination than on the journey — which seems odd, because the “journ” part is right there inside the word.
A sojourn is defined as a brief or temporary stay, thussojourners are people who spend a short time in one place.
That’s not an inaccurate way to describe us. Between stints as sojourners, we are travelers — or nomads, wanderers, vagabonds, itinerants, and/or peripatetics. Maybe even pilgrims or hobos, depending on our purpose, and how long it’s been since we last showered and changed clothes.
No matter what you call us, or what we call ourselves, I have a feeling that completing our 2020 Census form might be a little tricky.
I’ve taken a look at the Census Bureau’s proposed questions, and those involving residence do include “mobile home” as an option, but it’s clear from the list of responses that they mean the kind of mobile home that stays in one place. (“Hello, we’re from the government. Have you experienced an oxymoron today?”)
Anyway, I’ve lifted a few images from the document linked above, and I think you’ll see pretty quickly that in some cases, we’re just gonna have to choose whichever answer is least untrue.
And yes, we will get our Census in the mail, at our official-on-all-the-things address, just like the rest of you. So they will find us. (See Question 9 in this post.)
But depending on where we are, how much fun we’re having, and when we actually call to have our mail forwarded that month, there may be a delay…
Snarky, irreverent, occasionally sentimental, viewing the world with head cocked and one eyebrow up. Navy wife (retired), mom to two bigguys, full-time RV traveler with husband. Shit breaks and we make mistakes. Join me anyway?
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2 thoughts on “None of the above: a sojourner meanders through the 2020 Census”
I believe *eventually* the US government will alter the census to include us (oh, and here’s a wordsmith gem) peripatetic travelers. After all, tens of thousands (my estimate) of us exist, and the trend is growing. Then they’ll still be challenged with distinguishing between full-time and stationary, a distinction even RVers as a group find sticky.
Hee hee. I used peripatetic.
I certainly hope the government figures it out. But I suppose I have to give them a little leeway, as I myself can’t even answer “Where are you from?” with a single sentence. I live on Facebook. Can Facebook be an answer?