Landstreicher is German for hobo, tramp, vagrant, drifter, wanderer, roamer. Someone who doesn’t hold a job for long, who rolls across the land as the wind pushes, making what he can of what comes. Wanders the land to see what he can see, and doesn’t have a home.
A Landstreicherin is a woman who does the same.
When I first took the name Landstreicher from Hermann Hesse’s novella Knulp, I was about to move to Germany for a year, and I was excitedly imagining my semi-nomadic future. I visited thirteen countries over the course of that year. Then I moved back to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and have lived here ever since. I have no great attachment to the specific character Knulp, the carefree, wandering man who avoids career and commitment, who over the course of his life experiences neither the trouble nor the rewards of responsibility and loyalty. I could not be happy without a home. But I do want to live a life that doesn’t cost me forty hours out of every week, one that is flexible, mobile, meaningful. I want to dabble in different interests, to travel the world, to explore ways of living. So I’ve adapted Landstreicher to Landstreicherin for this new iteration of my blog.