One of the joys of my adventures around the world has been meeting different types of travelers. If you travel solo, or go backpacking, you are more likely to meet and recognize specific travel personalities than if you take a package tour to a resort hotel. The types of travelers you meet all add to the experience – some good, some not so desirable. I wonder if you recognize yourself in any of these?
1. THE STORYTELLER
The storyteller is one of the most interesting types of travelers. She loves to regale everyone with tales of all the places she has been. You’ll hear her loud, booming voice from across a crowded dorm room or from the back of a night bus as she entertains her audience with tales of ‘that time’ she surfed naked in Morocco. Or ‘that other time’ when she met a mysterious monk who toured her through a dark temple after closing time and who then disappeared into a doorway, never to return. This traveler has great stories of almost everywhere on earth but can forget about the moment she is currently enjoying. Or the moment you are currently trying to enjoy!
2. THE HUMAN GPS
Lost? Don’t worry; the human GPS will sort it out for you! Always with a map in hand, a smartphone and the exact GPS coordinates of her hotel, she never gets lost. No need to ask a local and endure the hand signals that will surely follow. The human GPS has no need for such silly interactions! Don’t assume they are always right however. Much hilarity can ensue when the gadgets don’t quite get it right and our traveling friend has a meltdown!
3. THE PARTY ANIMAL
We all know this traveler. Out all night and sleeps all day. Surfaces at 2pm bleary eyed and apologetic about the ‘bit of noise I might have made coming in last night.’ By 6pm is showered and ready to do it all again! These types of travelers are maybe not your best bet for days on end of sightseeing as they are usually asleep when the sun is up!
4. THE HAVE-I-EVEN-LEFT-HOME-TRAVELER
Hopefully you’re not this type of traveler! At every food stop they ask for their home specialty or walk the streets asking ‘where can I get Danish meatballs, American burgers or French crepes?’ You know the kind. They might as well have never left home because they are reluctant to try local food, local transport or even accommodation that’s not up to a certain standard. This traveler should really take a package tour to be with other like-minded tourists.
5. THE FUNNY ONE
Everyone needs a funny travel companion. When things go wrong it can be great to have a cheery friend along who can see the humor in an awful situation. As long as they aren’t cracking jokes in Ho Chi Minh’s tomb or in a Buddhist temple, you’ll generally enjoy traveling with them.
6. THE KNOW-IT-ALL
Sometimes different types of travelers should really not hang out together. If you’re an easy-going person who likes to discover countries on the fly, then you’re most likely not going to enjoy traveling with the know-it-all! They know every detail from the guidebook they’ve been memorizing for the last 6 months. They know where to get the cheapest food, the night bus ticket and how to negotiate with market sellers. Most likely they have a formula for you to follow too! Get them to throw away their guidebook for the day and join you in discovering new sights just by wandering the streets!
7. THE MINIMALIST
This traveler has a bag the size of a postage stamp! They wash their underwear every three days so they can have a bag that weighs just 5kg. They move freely on overnight buses and have a serene look about them as they are never panicked over where their bag is or that someone will snatch all their worldly possessions. Definitely prone to tapping their fingers impatiently while waiting for travel companions to retrieve giant backpacks from airline baggage conveyors.
Do you recognize yourself among these characters? And I’m sure there are other types of travelers that you have encountered. Please share!