Travellers and Travelling
The vast majority of people in the Traveller universe never go far from their home, at least in astrographic terms. They might go to other cities on the same world or to an orbital station; perhaps even to an outsystem colony, but even this is relatively unusual. People only move about for a reason and if there are adequate opportunities at home then the average citizen will stay there.
Some individuals attend offworld universities and a percentage of those go on to dwell for a time or even settle permanently on a different world. Others serve in the military or with a big corporation that may move them around from time to time. Others move from world to world as part of their job; diplomats, roughnecks, entertainers and a wide range of other types of people will go from place to place to follow the paycheck or assignment.
However, these people are not Travellers (with a capital T). That distinction is reserved for a certain type of individual, and the connotations are not always positive. There is no precise definition of a Traveller; it is instead a label applied to a person who moves around a lot by choice as much as out of necessity.
Travellers are varied. Some are simply well-off tourists, some are mercenaries or freelance professionals of various types. Others work aboard small starships unaffiliated with any government or major shipping line. Some are pursuing a personal goal which might be anything from scientific research to vengeance. Some just travel for the fun of it and a handful are professional adventurers who undertake dangerous jobs for high-paying clients.
What these people all have in common is an apparent inability to put down roots. Most will eventually (or intermittently) settle down somewhere but for the present time they wander about. Travellers have a bad reputation in some quarters as unreliable, or as troublemakers who poke into things better left alone.
In other places they are welcomed either for the skills they can provide during their stay or for the Credits they will pay for their accommodation and recreation. Travellers can be a useful temporary asset to some governments and organisations – resourceful, intrepid and deniable – or they can be nothing but a nuisance. It depends very much on the individuals concerned – there are few hard-and-fast rules concerning Travellers