Travel Like a Gypsy

Meet the world’s most devoted wanderers. From carnival workers to ancient tribes, these groups give new meaning to the phrase: Home is where the heart is.
By: Lisa Singh
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Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Lisa Singh

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Roy Lister

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: K. Praslowicz, flickr

Photo By: Mike Copeman

Photo By: Eric Ward, flickr

Reindeer people

For thousands of years, the Eveny nomads have survived in northeast Siberia, where temperatures drop -96°F in winter. The Eveny are also known as the Reindeer People, because they have survived through the aid of reindeer -- a partnership that has allowed them to migrate over swamps, ice sheets and mountain peaks in a brutally cold climate.

Storm chasers

Storm chasers often drive thousands of miles to witness severe storms, which are often active for just a short window of time, typically in the spring and early summer. Their frequent stomping grounds are the Great Plains, otherwise known as Tornado Alley.

Nunamiut of Alaska

Caribou ahead? For 11,000 years, the Nunamiut people have called Northern Alaska home, with their cycles of life determined by the annual migrations of caribou. Many Nunamiut now live in Anaktuvuk Pass, a village located in Alaska’s North Slope, on a migratory caribou route. Nunamiut still travel widely (by snow machine) in search of caribou.

Pro Surfers

Top surfers travel the world in search of the best surf breaks. Every year, the Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour oversees a high-stakes competition in which the world’s top surfers compete in diverse locations, from the waters off Tahiti to beaches outside of big cities such as Rio de Janeiro.

Tuareg people

Numbering over a million, the Tuareg people call the Sahara home, crisscrossing countries such as Niger, Mali, Algeria, Libya and Burkina Faso. Here, a member of the Tuareg leads a caravan of camels, wearing a robe dyed traditional blue -- a feature that’s led outsiders to call the Tuareg “the Blue People.”

Migrant Farm workers

Migrant farm workers go where the harvest is. Their daily routine begins around 5 a.m., and typically includes building crates and packing them with fruits and veggies. Want the job? The United Farm Workers union has a campaign, “Take Our Jobs – Please.”

Romani Gypsies

We know them as Gypsies, but their real name is “Romani.” With roots that stretch back to the Indian subcontinent, the Romani are the largest minority in Europe. Many continue to face widespread hardship, living in makeshift homes like this.

Circus performers

Want to run away with the circus? Get used to the traveling life. Circus performers with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey typically travel around the world 46 weeks each year -- an entourage of clowns, trapeze artists, acrobats and a whole lot more.


The word “Bedouin” means “those in the desert.” True to their name, Bedouins travel through the deserts of the Middle East and North Africa. In the late 1800s, many Bedouins shifted to a semi-nomadic life. Others still retain the old ways. In the winter, when there is rain, they migrate into the desert; in the summer, they seek refuge near secure water sources.

India's nomads

India is home to about 500 nomadic groups -- wanderers for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years. Nomadic groups cover a range of livelihoods, passed down from one generation to the next, from blacksmiths to herders. In all, they account for 80 million of India’s billion-plus people.

San People

The San people have lived in southern Africa for 22,000 years. Throughout that time, they lived as traditional hunter-gatherers. Over the past few generations, though, they’ve faced intense pressure from local governments to abandon their age-old ways, sometimes even seeing the takeover of their land for game reserves and cattle ranches. Their population today is estimated at 82,000.

Hells Angels

For Hells Angels, nothing tastes sweeter than the open road. The famously secretive club, founded in 1948, numbers just 3,000 members worldwide, but they know how to raise a rumble: The Justice Department has labeled them an organized crime syndicate. These guys may take that as a compliment.


Wooks travel from show to show, often with little or no money. These free-spirited concertgoers are part of a time-honored tradition. In the 1970s, they were called Deadheads; today they're woooks -- a name inspired from the Star Wars’ character (and legendary Wookiee) Chewbacca.


Roadies are no strangers to the road. At every stop, they load, unload and set up equipment for musicians on tour. The bigger the show, the bigger the entourage ... and the drums.


Call him "Carny." Carnival workers follow shows from town to town, running booths, food stands, games and rides at carnivals, boardwalks and amusement parks. Hard, long days and countless hours on the road can leave their mark, but the show goes on.

Rodeo Performers

Rodeo performers spend more time on the road than in the arena. A rodeo performer might travel to a handful of rodeos in a weekend, then spend just 40 seconds total performing. As one bull rider says: “On an average weekend ... you have 3 to 4 hours ‘rodeoing' and about 12 to 20 hours driving."

Buckle Bunnies

And meet the groupies. In the rodeo world, they call ’em “buckle bunnies.” Buckle bunnies offer their “support” to traveling cowboys on the rodeo circuit. Other sports have a similarly strong support network: In hockey, there’s the “puck bunny” and in skiing, the “snow bunny.” Whatever their name, they wander.

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