I want to define “Traveler” – Someone who travels for a good period of time with financial restrictions. It isn’t a vacation, but a vocation. They try packing lightly due to the long journey and moving from place to place.
A “Tourist” is someone who takes a week or a weekend trip and treats traveling as a vacation and doesn’t really have a budget. They appear to take their whole closet due to only going to one spot.
- The college grad/student
These individuals are the classic university students who upon graduating university, backpack through a specific continent for a time frame- usually the Summer. Usually this continent is Europe, but the more adventurous one do go to Asia or South America, not that Europe isn’t adventurous, but let’s just say, it’s well traveled.
This group also includes the study abroad or Erasmus students. It’s usually the first time away from home completely. Maybe the first time outside their country and probably outside their native language. This being said, they can be a bit “rough around the edges” when exploring this new culture and or language.
Which can give the country that that person’s from a bad reputation. Usually this goes towards Americans, but there are other nationalities that don’t “behave properly” as well.
These types are young, brash, rude, but also ready for anything, very open and accepting even if it doesn’t really show, and ready to soak up as much of the world before “settling” into their jobs back home, please see my past post on “reality.”
2. The heartbroken
I do feel for these beautiful people. The ones that I have met have been women, but I am sure there are guys out there. These types don’t necessarily need to “find themselves.” Though I am sure some want to after being in a long term relationship, but most cases, these types just want a refresh, a restart, a breather from the routine they have grown accustomed to.
The few women I have met have just come out of a long term relationship that had come to the point of engagement. They were heartbroken and ventured to Europe for something different. One woman made it a gap year- a time to give herself space from that old life. Another, decided to settle in Europe for a while and perhaps find a new love.
A side note, just because women travel alone does not mean they are looking for romance. Some simply want to travel….for the adventure of it. Please see, coming soon!!, my post on top questions I have received as a female solo traveler.
These types are still hurt. They might even cry once in awhile in a hostel or a couchsurfing situation. But, they push through it. They are strong individuals who want to meet new people and experience something outside their own culture and language. They are more up to listening than speaking.
3. The retired
They made a living and now they want to live! These types are the older generation who had worked hard and raised wonderful children (us!), but now are ready to finally go to the places they have studied and heard about on the news.
They are more into comfort and are willing to spend more money on that hotel room, but don’t be surprised to see one or two with the young crowd in a hostel, taking tequila shots. They want to go and partly because they feel a time limit on when they can travel.
They are an inspiration that you can travel at any age and at any time!
4. The career traveler
Puts you to shame. They have all the latest gear for long term travel and haven’t been home in the past 5 years or so. Normally these are Australians, but I met a lot of other nationalities too. They have gotten packing down to one small backpack that probably regular people bring to school it is so small. They take advantage of all the tricks- being hostels, couchsurfing, hitchhiking, workaways, etc.
They can probably speak more than two languages. And the question they get all the time is, “how can you afford this?”
Definitely a good question if they haven’t worked in a “real” job in 5 years. But don’t fault them for planning ahead and saving and using every trick in the book to continue their dream. They have plenty of stories to share and can normally hang out with anyone they come across. It is definitely a treat to run into a career traveler.
5. Half traveler/half settler
I believe I fit this category. I move around then I settle for a bit then I move around again. It’s almost a career traveler, but much longer than the recent college grad. Heartbroken types can also fit this category.
The reason for traveling for these types can be a variety of things. No real one reason like the heartbroken or the retired.
It truly is a struggle for them. You may laugh as how can traveling and living in different parts of the world be a struggle? But it is, check out my post, coming soon!!!, on the steps a long term traveler goes through.
While they are on the road, they meet so many interesting people, but after a few nights, they part ways and it starts all over again. Sometimes they can meet further down the road- in a week, a month, a few years, but sometimes their paths never cross again. These quick friendships tend to turn these types to very open individuals. You have to make fast friends and you might never see them again so might as well get everything off your chest.
The quick departure of friends also leads to these types being more nonchalant or laid back in relationships. This also causes difficulties when they are in their settled phase. When friendships and relationships come up, they find it hard to get fully involved as they know they will be back on the road sooner than later. They always mean to keep in touch, but it’s not as easy as it sounds.
They also struggle with quick trip travelers or tourists who say that this a dream and isn’t the “real world,” please see my post on “reality.” For these types, this is their reality and though they might be thankful for this opportunity every day, they don’t consider it a dream.
This could also be a career traveler, but unlike these types, career travelers don’t really tend to settle down and are perfectly comfortable with constant changes in their social circle.
These are the top 5 I have seen, have you seen any other types?