10 Types of People You Meet While Traveling: Pocket Gypsy Edition
Note: I have awful writer’s block. It’s like a sinus block but worse, because I am somehow incapable of describing anything or finishing a post, and I’m pretty sure my brain is rotting. Here’s a fluffy Buzzfeed-like listicle to… well, I guess to make me feel better about not writing in so long. Sorry it’s so acerbic – apparently in dormancy, my inner writer had been working out some aggression.
People are awesome. But people also suck. People are everything you could theoretically describe of a person, so I’m going to can it with these meaningless descriptions now. Here, instead, is a handful of traveler-people stereotypes that you might encounter. Beware/enjoy!
(Disclaimer: please note that this list is just for fun and that character types are intentionally 2D. I’ve met a huge variety of people, several of whom couldn’t be described if I tried, and clearly not everyone made it on here. If the list seems a bit like it’s poking fun, there’s probably a reason for it – silly people make for better stories!)
- The “Over It” Guy: Dude’s been to so many countries, the world had to make South Sudan to give him something to put on his bucket list. He’s often found with the smallest backpack known to man (as he brags, he never checks anything in), but he’s surprisingly clean (so maybe one of the few things he packed was soap?). He’s seen it all and might want to see some things again, but is perfectly content lounging at the hostel with a beer, which makes you think… has he really been everywhere if he’s just sitting in bars everywhere he goes?
Found: Never in Europe. Oh, god, so five years ago. Probably in Southeast Asia, India, or Western Africa.
- The Creeper: There’s always at least one. He lurks the hostel or bar alone, quickly glomming onto the Gaggle of Girls to eventually separate the runt from the pack. He sees travel as an expensive Tinder account, through which he can meet and judge and hook up with as many girls as he wants within the shortest time frame available. He does not smell as good as “Over It” guy, and thus is not doing himself any favors by also having a repulsive personality.
Found: Conveniently topless in areas where it’s totally not appropriate to be topless (zoos, children’s museums, mosques), not-so-subtly sharing at women’s chests through their shirts.
- The Gaggle of Girls: These girls can’t even go to the bathroom alone, let alone to another country. They are oftentimes referred to as “Woo Girls,” for the most typical sound to come out of their mouth aside from “Oh my god!” and “Hold on, let me Instagram this.” They’re usually a lot of fun, until one gets a bit too drunk and the rest have to decide whether they like that one enough to ruin their night holding her hair back. They’re very open about their “no boys” policy, but they’re willing to make exceptions if you (male or female) are hot – they’ll just tell everyone about it afterwards.
Found: Renting out an entire room at a hostel and underneath piles of clothes that somehow have spontaneously combusted all over the room in the five minutes since they checked-in.
- The Worldly Couple: They’ve been around the world together, and somehow are still super chill and friendly. They’ll often invite you to join their duo, but they vow that they don’t need anything in the world but each other (much to the irritation of friends and family back home). Unintentionally, one will be more flirty than the other, giving other travelers the idea that maybe something is going to happen (“Are they into that? Am I? Why not, I’m on vacation!”), but it never actually does. They’re often seen ordering each other’s food and sometimes even wearing each other’s clothes – but beware of the dark undercurrent that affects several couples on the road. They don’t want to relive what happened in Fiji that one time, right…
Found: Everywhere, since the whole damn world caters to pairs…
- The Travel-Tatted Bro: Life is awesome, bro! Everything about this trip is fucking sick! There’s literally nothing else that can commemorate a trip like this like a tattoo! But oh, wait, he’s running out of space because he didn’t realize that tattooing the flag of every country he visited might take up more room than he thought. And maybe being drunk while getting them wasn’t a good idea, because maybe if he weren’t he would have noticed that the artist was drunk too and yeah, it definitely shows… (Note: I know at least three people who got several tattoos while traveling, and one is a good friend, actually, so take this with a grain of salt. Just… stay out of the ocean, guys.)
Found: In the shade, covered in bandages, wistfully wishing they had waited to get the tattoos after the trip so they stop wincing every time they sweat.
- The Chatty Cathy: Girl never shuts up. She’s always talking about something, so if you’re lucky, try to steer the conversation towards something interesting, because you’re going to be hearing a lot about it. She often has a bubbly personality, but can be a handful if you’re not a sociopath and/or an abnormally extroverted person. (Guilty as charged; I am a Chatty Cathy. Please feel free to interrupt me whenever. It’s a problem and I’m working on it. Also, this blog post is a written version of The Chatty Cathy.)
Found: Talking over the band at a crowded pub, probably with a still-full mug of warm beer.
- The “I’ll Try Anything” Girl: Every new profile picture is of something bizarre and/or phenomenal. It’s like she’s James Bond – she’s always jumping out of planes, eating scorpions, teaching African orphans about the Western luxury of selfies.. You’re never going to be as cool as her, so you might as well give up, but she still crops up in your stories all of the time because most of the interesting things you did in that city were with her. What can I say? Girl stands out, so whether you like her or not, she’s going to make a mark.
Found: Shotgunning beers with the guys, with the Gaggle of Girls shooting daggers at her back. Deep sea diving, flamenco dancing, somehow invited to three different weddings within four days of arriving in a country.
- The Hippie Traveler: Dude’s read the Bhagavad Gita backwards and forwards, and probably knows all of the asanas better than my Indian relatives. He swears off alcohol, but he can’t resist a pipe if you’re offering it with fullness of heart and nicely aligned chakras. He may or may not smell like patchouli, but you could probably find him cleansing his aura in a river (which he’s asked for permission before entering), so chances are he’s your go-to guy for sunrise yoga sessions (if you’re into that, ya damn hippie).
Found: Meditating under the largest tree in the village, being one with the ocean, and trying to speak to confused locals in broken native tongues.
- The Love of Your Life: No one has ever felt a love like this! We just connect on so many levels! It’s so unique! It’s so special! S/he’s going to move to where I live, or maybe I’ll move there, who knows?! It’s going to last forever! Or at least until the end of the week, whatever. The Love of Your Life is held to lower standards than default-life Loves, because you don’t think about how careers and goals and friends impact the relationship. They’re just chillers who are in the same place at the same time and who are reasonably tolerable and attractive. These relationships usually die out when one or both members realize that a relationship isn’t always easy, and isn’t a vacation supposed to be easy? […Yeah, yeah, I’m a bit cynical about this topic, and with good reason, but I should say that for those who actually have met the loves of their lives while traveling: bravo, congratulations, and I’m happy for you. You are most definitely a pair of special unicorns. (And that’s not sarcasm.)]
Found: Where you least expect them. 🙂
- The Average Awesome Person: You can’t pinpoint it, but there’s something about this person that you really like. They’re not doing anything crazy, or maybe they are, but you can tell that they’re only doing it because they wanted to and it’s not hurting anyone. Thankfully, this is a vast majority of travelers – chill people who came for a big adventure but enjoy the little things too. They’re friendly and funny and considerate and (most importantly, in my opinion) not acting like a lunatic just because they’re on vacation. You enjoy their company when they’re there and think well of them when they’re not. These are the people who don’t often receive their own category, but they always pull their weight as background actors in the amazing story of your trip. Hopefully you kept in touch with some of them – it’s always nice to extend your network of Good People. But for all of those you’ll never see again, just be thankful that they’re out there. If anything, try to be an Average Awesome Person for someone else too!
Found: Everywhere. (That’s why I travel!)