A rich woman has a very big house in Bordeaux, but she does not always live in Bordeaux. Instead she usally goes to Marseille in January and stays there until October. Then she goes back to Bordeaux in mid October for a few days before she heads for Marseille again.

She is not a business woman, so I hope you can help me find some words to describe her.

  • So is Marseille her Holiday home? – marcellothearcane Jun 19 '17 at 16:34
  • After going back to Bordeaux in mid October, does she stay for a few days or a few months? – cjl750 Jun 19 '17 at 18:06
  • Hi cjl750. She stays for a few days. – kitty Jun 19 '17 at 19:06
  • 1
    @kitty I guess I am a little confused about the wording of the question then. She is in Marseille from January until October. She goes to Bordeaux in October for a few days, the back to Marseille. So really she is in Marseille all year, save for a few days in October? If not, what happens from October to January? Does she come back to Bordeaux at all? – cjl750 Jun 19 '17 at 19:55
  • 1
    I can suggest "itinerant", but I am not sure if it fits the context or not. That works fine if she move between the places in line with her job duties or something like that. – Cardinal Jun 19 '17 at 21:09

Based on your description, I do not think Peter's answer of "snow bird" is particularly accurate for this situation, for two reasons:

  1. The woman stays in Marseille almost all of the year. She is rarely in Bordeaux.
  2. Google Maps is showing me that Bordeaux is barely north of Marseille. It's a decent distance away, but mostly in the east-west direction.

The typical reason for someone being a snow bird is because they want to stay where the weather is warm all year round, so they travel north or south as the seasons change, like migratory birds.

In English, I'm not sure you have a perfect phrase to capture this type of person. The best I can come up with is


That could be used as an adjective to describe her, or you could actually refer to her as "a transient."

From dictionary.com:

(adj) staying only a short time


(noun) a person or thing that is transient, especially a temporary guest, boarder, laborer, or the like

David Washington's suggestion of intermittent resident is also good. A similar term you might hear is impermanent resident.

Especially in legal terms (e.g., for tax purposes), at least in the states, you would have a "permanent residence," where you theoretically would spend most of your year; the opposite would obviously be an impermanent residence, though the latter is probably not an especially common term. Still, we could extend the idea of an "impermanent residence" to describe this woman as an "impermanent resident."

One term that would be more common for the non-permanent residence would be vacation home. There is not really a matching term to describe the person who goes to the vacation home, though.

  • Thank you cjl750 ! I learn another good vocabulary from your answer. Transient is a good word. – kitty Jun 20 '17 at 11:04

The general term for people who are continuously moving might be


however, this, in my mind, would be complimentary if the person was younger.

In the States, older people, who travel south for the winter and north for the summer (the pattern in your example) can be called

snow birds

as an allusion to migratory birds.

  • I see snow birds as a subset of nomads. – Davo Jun 19 '17 at 17:19
  • 1
    @Davo: Snowbirds and nomads are different. Snowbirds return seasonally to the same place, whereas nomads might choose a different place with each move, in search of new pasture, say. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 19 '17 at 19:15
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo: Nomads might; but they might have six sites they visit throughout the year. Which is why I suggest that snowbirds are a special case of nomads. – Davo Jun 19 '17 at 19:19
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo Doesn't "nomadic" refer to a group of people like tribes and etc? I mean I think nomadic is usually used with a group of people, not an individual person. – Cardinal Jun 19 '17 at 20:59

I can't think of a good term that can fulfill what you have mentioned in the question.

But I would suggest the term,

intermittent traveller / resident,

which means someone is not continuously living in a particular place.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.