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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Inside The World Of ‘Travelers,’ Who Leave Home, Live As Squatters


In 2010, eight young people died in a warehouse fire in New Orleans. They were squatters — kids who had left their homes and families to hop on trains like modern day hobos.

The deaths drew attention to the lives of what are called travelers.

In The Boston Review, journalist Danelle Morton explores this lifestyle, one her daughter Marissa Spoer was attracted to and also experienced.

Marissa Spoer, who dropped out of school to play music as a traveler. (Danelle Morton)

Spoer, a musician, dropped out of college to play music as a traveler. She says she wasn’t running from her mom and dad, she was running toward something.

“I don’t feel like people should be contained like an animal, if I’m of age,” Marissa told Here and Now‘s Robin Young.

“I felt dulled artistically at that school and I felt inspired by a countrywide music tour that I was embarking on. I’ve had a lot of guilt about what my parents were going through because they were worried,” she said.


  • Danelle Morton, mother of Marisa Spoer
  • Marissa Spoer, a musician who dropped out of college to play music as a traveler

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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