When visiting a new country or continent for the first (or even second and third) time, it's hard not to immediately reference all the stereotypes we've heard before visiting and inadvertently compare notes to the common conceptions of a culture, food, and of course, its people. Do Italians talk with their hands? Ya, Germans are very organized! The French really do put butter in everything!
But what about us, the travellers? How to we factor into the stereotypes?
In fact it's not even a new concept as Swiss psychologist Carl G. Jung first developed what we call the 4 archetypes or 4 stages of life that he believes every human goes through during their lifetime. There's the The Athlete, The Warrior, The Statement and The Spirit stages which he believes all we move through almost systematically to achieve what could be considered as a form of enlightenment.
Meeting people while travelling is one of the major benefits of setting off on a trip and these new relationships can be incredibly revealing about life itself as they mirror back to us the things that we admire in others or hope to change in ourselves. As Anaïs Nin once famously said we don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. So what if the archetype travellers we spot on our travels are just meant to represent something that reminds us of ourselves?
It's something to think about while we go ahead and flush out the 20 most commonly found travellers below.
Who sounds like you?
20 The Hopeless Romantic
This traveller will be easy to spot because they're usually floating past you smiling to themselves and can often be found putting flowers in their hair and/or swooning over the acoustic crooner at the wine bar. A hopeless romantic makes visiting places like Bali, Verona, or Paris a priority on their travel bucket list. If you catch a glimpse of a fellow traveller deep into Nicholas Sparks or Rumi book or have noticed that their latest playlist boasts Billie Holiday or Ben Howard - these are key clues that you may have stumbled across a hopeless romantic. They won't be as into backpacker hookup culture but will probably hold eye contact a little longer than most...
19 The Adrenaline Junky
Have you met someone on your travels with leather tan skin and seemingly always a bit of dirt on them? But in that attractive, I've just wrestled a bear and won, kind of way? Are they super fit and seemingly unbothered about it, as if it just happened naturally? Did you meet them somewhere with a high altitude like a mountain, rooftop or, mid sky-dive?
Other clues of the adrenaline junkie are proclivities for spelunking, giving impromptu live performances, stock trading, climbing stuff, energy drinks, Go Pro and/or waterproof cameras, bungee cord, and high-tech footwear. Bonus points if they're rocking a bandana and blasting Speedcore jams 24/7.
18 The Curious George
The curious george's of the world are excellent conversationalists because they usually have great stories and yet, also want to learn all about you too! And I mean ALL about you, who was your first love? What kind of food would you refuse to eat for $1000? When's your mom's birthday? This is also the person who will jump to your rescue if you have a problem to solve and more than likely bust out an incredibly unusual solution.
They're probably enrolled in at least 2 online courses, carry at least 5 books with them at all times, and will probably be the first to reach out when they eventually visit your hometown. And they will, because they want to visit everyone they meet on the road.
With high energy and a generally open vibe - nothing is off the table in terms of what you can ask them but be forewarned, they will want to uncover all your secrets as well! It's only natural since they want to know about everything, ever.
17 The No Strings Attached
Smiley, well-liked, and charming these folk tend to attract a crowd like honey does bees. The world is but a stage to the no strings traveler, and they are writing the story page by page. Their presences can often feel exhilarating because they are fun and flirty. In fact, if you're not aware of their policy ahead of time, they can also be dubbed as the heartbreaker. Often abstaining from serious relationships for reasons ranging from low-key practicing Buddhism to just out for a bit of naughty fun on their travels! Buyer beware: this traveller isn't going to be your next partner but they might barter charms in exchange for being your next bunkmate.
16 The Tourist
Itineraries! Selfie Sticks! Contiki tours! The tourist, has an agenda and it's to catalogue everything on social media to make their followers jealous. Travel goals may include: eating pizza in Napoli, a hike through Machu Picchu, and/or sailing the Whitsundays. The beaten path? Nah, it's more like *double peace signs* #wanderlust #blessed #doyoutravel which are their mantra hashtags that will inevitably be littered throughout their next Insta story of sunsets and full moon parties.
Bonus points if they're staying at an all-inclusive, or wearing a 'friendship bracelet' from a local but still can't figure out when it got on their wrist.
15 The Foodie
This is the type of traveller that can rattle off the top 5 best restaurants ranked by proximity to your accommodations. They don't just study the specialty dishes of every place they visit, they make it their personal mission to try them all (and then probably post pictures of it with tantalizing descriptions on their blog). They don't have a weak stomach and won't back down from trying bbq'd eel in Japan, Haggis in Scotland or chicken's feet in South America, but they'll be sure to go to the top-rated spots to do so.
In their bag you'll probably find a pack of Tums, because a little heartburn never stopped them from a hearty meal. Bonus points if they ask for off-menu options.
14 The Yogi
You will know this one because they will have mentioned Yoga to you moments after you've met. Likely while they are balancing on their head and reading a book on Siddharta. These long and lean travellers are often soft-spoken and sporting mala beads bracelets. When they walk past you, you may catch a whiff of Amber or Patchouli but more often than not, you won't even notice them at all because they are likely still floating from their last yoga high.
Bonus points: if they invite you to do yoga on the beach or sign your address book with namaste.
13 The Chatty Kathy
This traveller is probably an archetype you've come across in your daily life as well. The chatty Kathy can talk forever and prefers to over what would feel like offensively deafening silence. They're often the first person to introduce themselves to new people and give you the lay of the land that they've uncovered so far. They will want to sign your address book moments within meeting you.
Often the chatty Kathy is also quite an open book and will share just about any info you request. Long-winded rants that usually end with "but enough about me" and then continue on anyways are clear markers that you've uncovered a chatty Kathy on your travels.
12 The New Grad
Two words: absolutely buzzing. The new grad has a hopeful glow, hunger for experience and try anything once attitude. Indicators of this traveller type can mostly point to the fact that they are usually travelling with 2-3 other cohorts who are equally as giddy and optimistic. They probably have planned to teach english while abroad. Often more budget conscious then other travellers you might meet, they are often seeking out street food spots and enjoying the free walking tours at every given opportunity. Bonus points if they are boasting a class sweatshirt and/or talking about changing the world.
11 The Peter Pan
The Peter Pan is defined as a a person who does not want to or is unable to grow up or people with the body of an adult but the mind of a child or adolescent. Signs of the Peter Pan traveler may include an older traveller who loves the idea of adventures. They are dreamers with little follow through. They are also usually quite sociable, cool and pretty openly rebellious. Their motto for travel is YOLO and that means that they are doing everything from the lens of immediate gratification with little concern for the consequences. They will often be dressed in the latest trends and appear much younger than they really are.
10 The Digital Nomad
They're gunna need the WiFi password and quick cause they're working on a deadline. The digital nomads are the kind of travellers who have figured out the key to life. After they hit send on their report for the day, they're taking a beachside siesta or maybe an impromptu surf lesson at sunset. Their virtual office (read: laptop and headphones) allows them to get through any meetings via Skype which usually means business up top and bikini on the bottom. This new trend in work has inspired hundreds of people to ditch their 9-5 gig for a more travel-centric digital lifestyle which means you're sure to cross paths with the digital nomad on your travels.
9 The Seeker
Often clad with a backpack that has some form of tin cook-wear dangling from it, the seeker tends to project a minimalist vibe despite having their home on their back. These are the travellers you meet who tell you that they've just backpacked through the Himalayas and that they find true solace in unknownness. Most of their clothing have are likely made from recycled eco-friendly materials. You know you've found a seeker once your convo over tea takes a turn into mystic territory. Travel spots on their bucket list probably include places like Egypt, India, or Peru. Not always an introvert, yet this traveller is sure to make 'me time' a priority. A hyper aware human, they will be the first to pick up if you're having a bad day. They make them excellent companion travellers.
8 The No Frills
What's in their bag? A toothbrush, a bather and not much else. The resourceful, low maintenance no frills traveller prefers to pack light because it means they can go to more places and double their budget. Their travel motto is probably something like "I haven't been everywhere yet but it's on my list" and if you invite them to join you on a trip, they're most likely to say why not! They are an inherently adventurous and trusting type of traveller who will gladly try new things. The most expensive thing they're wearing will be their Birkenstocks or shoes made specially for their journeying.
7 The Artist
Oftentimes spotted scribbling furiously into a plain notebook or toting a musical instrument case covered in stickers from the countries where they've played in the streets, the artist likely sees travel as a calling card to their muse. Their travel mission is to drink up all the beauty around them and be free. Perhaps they're on a pilgrimage to Frida Kahlo in Mexico City or Monet near Paris. Or maybe they just took the first train they could find. They will invite you to share a bottle of red wine while they tell you of their past lovers with dancing eyes.
Bonus points for mid convo jam sessions or gifting you a pastel portrait.
6 The Couple
Generally speaking, this can be one of the most popular types of travellers to encounter. It's easy to spot them because well, there's two of them and they're usually together! There are two distinct types of couple travellers, the kind that want to keep to their party of two or on the other end of the spectrum, there is the sociable duet who wants to drum up double dates and group hangs with other travellers while they expand their horizons abroad.
Bonus points for pro travelling couples who have a hashtag or Instagram account with both their names so you can keep track of their travels long after.
5 The Anxious Traveller
The anxious traveller has plans for their trip which have likely been captured on an Excel spreadsheet or list that they carry around ticking each box as they go. Sometimes stemming from being a first-time traveller, they find it nerve racking to take a total leap of faith. They prefer to read the reviews before booking to make sure everything is up to code. If you have plans to meet for dinner, they will likely request modifications involving but not limited to the placement of their salad dressing. When these travellers are lucky enough to find the been there done that or yogi it can help them channel some of their fears positively so they can relax a bit and have the time of their life.
4 The Been There Done That
They are likely on their 5th Passport, not because they've expired but simply because each booklet is overflowing full with stamps! The been there done that traveller was probably born in an exotic place or has a cool accent and/or owns homes in multiple countries. Or maybe they work in the import/export business as a way to fuel their passion for exploring. Any way you slice it, they are an encyclopedia of travel knowledge and usually over the moon to help others plan their next trip! It gives them joy to share with others since travel is very much their life. If you want to be entertained, ask them to tell you one of their anecdotal stories as it's bound to keep you on the edge of your seat. After you part ways, you will likely get impromptu invites to international gatherings and they will often be too tempting to turn down.
3 The Historian
Do you crave to know more about the ancient ruins you visited in Greece? Hear historical accounts of the Viking invasions of Ireland or hope to be able to distinguish architectural differences between a Medieval and Renaissance churches? Then you'll be lucky to meet the historian. Their travel style is almost a form of 'time travel' since they want to transcend themselves through the historical ruins that they've read about. They often have the most fascinating fun facts and can lead a world class tour at the drop of a hat.
2 The Shepherd
This type of traveller is often en route to a new adventure and wants you to come too. In fact everyone (they meet along the way) is invited! Their travel motto is definitely "the more, the merrier" and they will be the ones organizing beach bonfires or group boat tours to nearby islands for everyone who's interested. The shepherd has a positive disposition which naturally attracts people of all kinds who want 'in' on the fun.
This traveller type is the equivalent to an 'influencer' and they might even be paid by popular brands to take trips and then make recommendations on their first-rate travel blog. You'll know you've met the sheppard by their magnetizing ability to create a travel community.
1 The Glamour-Puss
You'll know the glamour puss when you see one because they usually brought an obscene amount of luggage and it's probably designer. They will appear to be wearing pristine clothing at all time (bonus points if it's white or 100% Italian linen) and probably asking where the valet is. Their toiletry bag alone will be a carry on, with wheels and will contain every styling tool they can fit to keep them looking fab.
Their jeans will cost more than your rent and they will probably tell you the brand, which is undoubtedly someone's name. If you choose to dine with a glamour-puss, be prepared to dole out serious dollars and hit only the trendiest beachside patios. They will ask what is in everything before they order and will almost always start with a cocktail (shaken, not stirred thank you very much!). Their travel motto is "if I were you, I'd want to be me too," which is also bedazzled on their beach bag.
References: ScienceDaily, Psychology Today