Recognize one of the guys in the photo? That’s Drew from The Hungry Partier travel blog who I randomly decided to go traveling with. We had been stalking each other on the interweb and one day Drew decided to take our interweb relationship to the next level and popped the question, “Will you come to Myanmar with me?”
“Can we Skype first so I can confirm that you’re not weird?”
After a confirmed that he was indeed not weird NOR a serial killer, I booked my flights and committed to the plan. It was one of the BEST travel experiences I’ve ever had and I didn’t try to lose him in a village market ONCE. It’s great to finally have a travel companion who “gets it” when it comes to travel blogging and finding worthy content to bless the internet with. But not all travelers are created equal. The other guy in the photo is just some rando we met who also had a GoPro selfie stick… he turned out to be an AWESOME guy and a prodigy. Random. Here are 5 Types of Travelers You Meet While Backpacking.
1. The Study Abroad Student
The study abroad student is normally 19-21 years young, has wide puppy dog eyes, and regularly rages till 4am. He/She has no concept of the real world or what actual work is, but that’s okay since this is the right of passage given to all study abroad students. He/She regularly bails on class to in favor of hopping from country to country on a serious student budget allotted to them each month by their parents. The SAS’s normal spending habits include beer, liquor, and bread; since it’s cheaper to get drunk than to eat in some countries. Lover of NetFlix and 18-hour buses, the SAS is probably your most adventurous/fun friend to go out with because he/she will do anything once. After all, in a few years the SAS will be thrown into the real world and #YOSAO (You only study abroad once!).
2. The Gap Year Guru
Recently freed from the shackles of formal education, the Gap Year Guru is probably teaching English in an Asian country or getting his/her scuba license in Bali because it’s time to commit to taxes and paying back his/her student loans. The GYG is adventurous, but not as prone to dangerous decision-making as the Study Abroad Student due to one-too-many drinks during his/her final year at university. Most likely European. The Gap Year Guru naturally enjoys island flings, warm weather, and creative online banking.
3. The Princess
The Princess enjoys extravagant trips around Europe or Asia with his/her vintage camera and Prada sunglasses. He/She totes around a Louis Vuitton suitcase, floppy hats, and will only stay in hotels with infinity pools-or nothing at all. The Princess is committed to increasing her Instagram followers and will only actively engage with the locals or poverty to “Do It For The Gram.” The Princess describes his/herself as an “aspiring luxury blogger,” packs heels for “backpacking,” and can’t fathom wearing the same outfit more than once. She/he will travel as long as Daddy or Mommy continues to fund the 4-5 star hotel fees. However, he/she does have the best eye for photography and creating original content with high user engagement on all her social media platforms.
4. The Potentially Homeless Hippy
The Potentially Homeless Hippy is the easiest traveler to spot. Often tatted up and sporting dreadlocks, the PHH’s favorite activity includes smoking pot and discussing the fascist nature of mainstream society. The PHH loves yoga and organic foods. He/She will often be wearing Bob Marley or Che Guevara shirts AND Vans skater shoes, everyday, without much interest in laundry or personal hygiene for that matter. The PHH is probably the most knowledgeable about local culture and activities because they’ve been traveling for so long; however, they refuse to participate in any of these activities to fight against gentrification and urban development.
5. The 2-Week Corporate Professional
The 2-Week Corporate Professional can’t help but remind everyone that he/she has to go back to work… in two weeks. The 2WCP can be identified by his/her clean-shaven trendy appearance; he/she is paid well enough to experience a wide range of activities, but time is always an issue. “I wish I had time, but…” is a staple response to any unplanned adventure suggestions. The 2WCP is often a first time traveler, frequently checks his/her email “just in case,” and rarely behaves irresponsibly. The 2WCP is a well-adjusted member of society who often envies the nomadic lifestyle of any of the other types of travelers since the 2WCP most-likely dived into the corporate workforce straight out of university.
6. The Travel Blogger
The Travel Blogger can be found wandering around alone in cities, villages, or nature; searching for the story/photo that will outdo his or her peers. The TB has very little patience for The Princess or Potentially Homeless Hippy, but appreciates their help when it comes to developing content or scouting new locations untouched by Trip Advisor. He/She is a slave to social media and can be found staring at an iPad or computer for HOURS trying to load the most recent content he/she developed at 3am on the night bus. Days are for adventures; nights are for writing. The TB has friends/contacts all over the world, can sleep on any mode of transportation, and can’t imagine being in one country for too long. Entrepreneurial by nature, the TB can be found scribbling down new product/app ideas constantly to sustain their natural drifting nature.
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About Vanessa Elizabeth
Vanessa Elizabeth is a cultural chameleon currently based in London. She enjoys sports (such as CrossFit and dating), cooking, and demolishing her savings account. When she's not busy blogging about her feelings, she works full-time and practices Chinese with her English/German friends.
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