Travelers come in different shapes and sizes. We travel for very different reasons to entirely different parts of the world. But if you travel enough, you’ll realize there are a few categories that most travelers fit into, at least in part. Here’s my take on some of the types of travelers you’ll meet while you’re out experiencing the world.
The backpacker is one of the most popular travelers. Maybe you realized that time truly is of the essence. Perhaps you worked a 9-5 desk job after completing a degree in higher education. You probably made good money but felt your soul slowly trickling out of you every time you punched in for work. You’re the lovechild of many of the other travelers listed in this post (keep reading). You can usually be seen with a huge backpack, alone or with friends, trying to make the best of your life.
The Couple Travelers
This category of travelers has a few sub-categories. You may have started your trip as solo travelers and merged your two separate journeys into one or maybe you set off on a journey together. You may be inseparable (not recommended) for every moment of the day or you may be so accustomed to doing your own thing that others only realize you’re a couple once they’re told. You may take cheesy cliched pictures at tourist sites or be awesome, social and be the standard all other couples aspire to reach. You’re usually found giving money to your kids for an around the world trip on their gap year.
You aim to become deeply embedded in the places you visit. You want to uncover the nuances of the local people, food, music and environment. Typical tourist destinations only scratch the surface of what you seek. You prepare for your travels by learning the language of your next destination, you eat at local restaurants and get around via the most common mode of transportation. Gap year, sabbatical or retiree, you’re the type to go missing, only to be rediscovered as the head of a local tribe years later. The world needs more people like you.
The Cultural Historian
History and learning are the main reasons you travel. Your travels are centered around the intake of information, but without the rigid structure of an academic setting. You visit museums, research the significance of cultural sites (especially those concerning your personal heritage) and you just love guided tours. You’re often seen chatting enthusiastically with tour guides or quoting random facts to other travelers. You usually look like you’re co-starring in an Indiana Jones movie.
You enjoy the wilderness and being in touch with the untamed side of the world. Keen on new discoveries, you fully immerse yourself in the natural world with strong adaptability and a “ the glass is half full” mentality. Exploration of your natural surroundings is the most important part of your trip. Unintentionally, your bravery inspires others to start traveling or to continue traveling. You’re flexible and prefer traveling alone or in small groups. You can usually be found hiking, cliff diving or swinging from vines like Tarzan.
You do it for the thrill. Anything fun, different and all around awesome is right up your alley. You’re not the type to spend a quiet day lounging on the beach. You’re not satisfied unless everything you do triggers an emotional response and makes you feel alive. More often than not, you’re the one telling a story that seems almost too good to be true or convincing others to try something new. Laid back and in no rush to arrive at your destination (if you have one), you probably have long shaggy hair and don’t care much for clothes or shoes. You can usually be found streaking in the nude or skinny-dipping.
For you, traveling is a way to break your routine and get some much needed R&R (rest and relaxation). You live a high octane life and need to get your energy back. Every once in a while you visit new locations but you’re just as happy visiting your loved ones for holidays, housewarmings and additions to the family. Your ideal vacation would be a destination wedding. You’re the one who’s probably going to have a Vodka and cranberry juice with breakfast and end up day drunk on the beach (applause).
Traveling for you is about stability and comfort. You’re not the type to book an around the world trip and tough it by yourself. Your idea of travel is going somewhere that isn’t home but that you won’t have any problem adapting to. While you still want travel to be a good time, you don’t want to wrack your brain organizing it and figuring things out. Vacation deals and guided tours are the best thing since Justin Bieber to you. You can usually be found having random facts quoted to you by a cultural historian who looks like he/she is co-starring in an Indiana Jones movie.
The Short-Distance Traveller
You like getting away, but rarely anywhere far. You like road trips, weekends in a nearby cabin, national parks and the occasional staycation. Whether you’re with them or visiting them, friends and family are an essential component to your travels. You’re content doing everything there is to do in your own city and country. You’re the one friends go to when they’ve run out of interesting date ideas.
The Soul Searcher
Probably the first type of traveller that comes to mind when most people think of travellers. You may have been previously unhappy with the direction your life was going in. A bad relationship or recent life setback may have had you down in the dumps, and now you’re traversing the world to (re)discover yourself. For you, travel is a transformative experience. You look for meaning and deep connections in your travels. You can usually be found eating, praying and loving.
The Lap Of Luxury Traveller
Who says traveling had to be on a budget? You have no problem staying in 5 star resorts, high end boutique hostels or lofty apartments. The places you’re seen visiting most often are big cities with booming economies, great shopping and cordon bleu restaurants. Why pack your life into a tiny backpack when you can pack it into a Louis Vuitton suitcase? You’re chauffeured everywhere you go, and when you’re feeling fancy, you take helicopter rides. You can usually be found strolling into an invite-only party at a top floor penthouse in Dubai.
The Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better(er)
You approach travel the way Michael Jordan approached basketball, with a fierce competitive spirit. You want to visit the most countries in the least amount of time. You want to hike to the top of the highest mountain. You want to scuba dive to the bottom of the ocean without and oxygen tank. I mean, why travel if you can’t brag about all you’ve accomplished, right? You can usually be found auditioning for the Amazing Race or Survivor.
Which type of traveller are you? Are you a combination of a few traveller types? Have you crossed paths with any of these travelers before? Leave an intelligent comment below. We’d love to know your opinion!
Until next time,
Kyle graduated from McGill University with a major in Sociology and a minor in English Literature. He loves traveling, Japanese anime, food, sports and movies. Oh, and he does it for the 'Gram. He’s also a travel blogger at godriftaway.com.
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