In closing a Master Masons Lodge, one of the questions the Worshipful Master asks of the Senior Warden is what induced him to become a Master Mason. The answer is one of the basics of our Masonic Craft.
Ancient Operative Masons were often required to move from job to job much as in modern times. Those ancient Masons, just as Masons of today, were likely to travel great distances more so than those of lesser ranks. Due to their experience and skill, they could move freely from job to job. They were normally members of a Masonic Guild, whose members would, if known, vouch for the qualifications of another “Traveling” Mason.
In speculative Masonry we, as Master Masons, may move freely from Lodge to Lodge as either a visitor or by moving our membership after we are properly vouched for or by being tested and found to be worthy. This is much the same as moving from one job to another or from one ancient Masonic guild to another
Also, a Master Mason is a traveler from west to east, as east is where the sun comes up and hence the source of light. That is why the Worshipful Master sits in the East. It is the source of light. Thus being a “traveling man’ represents our journey from darkness to Masonic light. We “traveled” symbolically when we raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. Remember the words, “It will be necessary for you to travel’? and the condition of the road we would have to travel?
In Masonry, we are told to seek the light. Light in Masonry is knowledge and from that knowledge comes information and understanding.