Hello friends, whether you travel alone or with friends, the bit of information to follow is important if you ask me. On your travels you will run into many people. Most of them will be great and offer nice little anecdotes when you tell stories to your friends, others will be terrible or strange and still offer nice little anecdotes when you tell stories to your friends, and hopefully many of these people will turn into friends that you can keep in touch with and cross paths with again. I have developed a list of four people that I think you will always come across at some point in your travels and ways to cope with each one.
The Know It All
This is my least favorite type of person to travel with or encounter. This person knows everything, whether they have been to whatever city your in before or not. They know the best bars, restaurants, foods, and sites to see. This is all bullshit. Lets not confuse the know it all with someone who is telling you about their experience and what they liked and what recommendations they can make. This person is nice and helpful, the know it all is pompous and usually wrong. The know it all may even judge what sites you saw and decided to skip, this is quite irritating to me. I don’t like people telling me, in a serious manner, that one thing is best and everything else garbage. I will decide for myself what I like and like. This person may offer to plan your day and help you come up with a good schedule. If you run into this person and don’t want to be rude, listen to what they have to say and then immediately forget it and come up with your own plans. No one should tell you how to live your trip, thats all up to you.
The Party Animal
By reading the name you all know who I am talking about. I know you have that friend that wants to do nothing but drink and get hammered for any and every reason. There are travelers just like this as well. This person is more concerned with where to get drunk than where the nearest museum is. Now don’t get me wrong, I love to party. But when traveling my priority is to see all that I can see and may never get the chance to again, not throwing up in the pub’s bathroom (I can do that at home). I do love running into the party animal because they can be tons of fun and like I said, I love to party. I like to hang out with this person and definitely go out with this person. What I try to avoid is drinking until I blackout or pass out in the street. Mainly because this makes you an easy target and can be dangerous. No one is easier to accost than a drunk tourist, especially a female tourist (sorry ladies). So go out and party, just try to stay in a group and in control of your senses and you should be perfectly safe.
The I’m Still Kind of In My Shell Person
Traveling takes people out of their comfort zone so when you run into a traveler you know they have some sense of adventure. But I have come across people that are still terrified to try local customs, such as fried octopus. There isn’t anything wrong with someone who is still in their shell. But when I run into someone like this I try to help them break out. Encourage new things and push your own limits to show that everyone gets scared but can try something new. Often people are just looking for a friend to share the adventure and fear of the unknown with. Its all about fictive kinship relationships and sharing an experience or bond (forgive my moment of cultural anthropology I have just put upon you).
The Laidback Backpacker
This is my favorite type of traveler to come across and I think the most frequent. I like to think that this backpacker encompasses a little bit of the personalities listed above. They will help other backpackers if they can by sharing advice on anything from how they saved money on their trip to where the most beautiful sculpture they have seen in a long time is. They understand you have things you want to see and even if it isn’t important to them, by damn they’ll be happy when you see it. This person has an agenda but doesn’t live and die by it. They love to go out and meet people and get drunk and share stories. I think people should aspire to be like this backpacker, I know I try to be!