They’ve been everywhere and done nearly everything but they don’t plan on going home anytime soon. In fact, they usually don’t have a “home.” Their world is their playground and somehow they have enough money to keep traveling. I’ve met this type on buses, in airports, and hostel bars. They usually fund their travels by teaching English, working cruise ships, making and selling their own product, or some other job that gives them flexibility to travel.
The Nomad type will tell you they’ve just finished backpacking through Australia for the past six months and now they’re headed to the Yucatan or somewhere else equally exotic and alluring. They have a weathered look that says they’ve seen it all but they’re still hungry for more.
It’s this person’s first time traveling internationally. They’re clutching their guide book and their backpack looks like it’s about to burst at the seams because of how much overpacking has been done. All of their clothes and travel gear are brand new, maybe they’re even decked out head to toe in Patagonia or Northface. This person is just so eager to experience it all and you can’t blame them. Just give them a reminder to slow down a little and take it all in.
You can tell they’re both equally in love and frustrated at the same time. Traveling with someone else is never easy and when you’re in a relationship I can only imagine it takes a little bit more patience than usual. Everything they do is together.
Every meal, every activity, every decision is done with the other person’s mood, judgment, and opinion factored in. The backpacking couple is always fun to chat or have a meal with. They have tons of stories to share and it’s always cute seeing two adventurous people in love on the road.
Internet marketer. Travel blogger. Lifestyle designer. Website consultant. Freelancer. Graphic designer. These are just a few of the titles I hear passed around on my travels of people who have a location independent career. They’re living the dream and can be anywhere they want, working from the comfort of any wifi cafe in the world. Pretty sweet, right?
Although this lifestyle is great, the biggest misconception is that it comes easy. It takes time, hard work, and patience to be able to get into these positions. As a freelancer and traveler myself I know all too well that while it’s really nice to be able to make anywhere in the world my office, it’s also just like any other job and requires just as much time commitment and dedication as a “real job.” These people are fun to meet on the road because they often have inspirational stories of how they got where they are today or what project they’re working on next.
They head to a big city and the items on their itinerary all involve the major attractions. If they’re in Manhattan they head to the Empire State Building and Times Square. If they’re in Seattle they go to the Space Needle, in Chicago they rush to take pics in front of the Bean. The Tourist is nervous about experimenting with food so they end up at Olive Garden. This person may or may not also be wearing a fanny pack or a windbreaker, and the group they’re traveling with likely all have matching t-shirts.
The Spring Breaker
It doesn’t matter if it’s actually spring break this person wants to party and they want to party hard. They shack up at a party hostel where there’s a themed party every night, shots are cheap (often free if you’re female), and the atmosphere is a dizzying array of music, lights, and an influx of new faces passing through. They love the rush of getting drunk every night with people from all over the world and waking up to cure their hangover at the beach until the next party begins. There’s nothing wrong with this kind of traveler, just hope you’re in a different dorm room than them when they start barfing in the middle of the night.
The Lone Soul
The solo traveler comes in many varieties. Some are traveling to get away from it all, others are on a 2 week vacation from work, and some are simply traveling to just travel and experience the world on their own terms. Traveling alone can be an exhilarating experience but it can also get lonely at times. The lone traveler should be treated with care and friendliness.
If you see one of us eating a meal alone or sitting by ourselves don’t hesitate to introduce yourselves. When you’re by yourself on the road sometimes you can go a whole day without talking to someone and an extended invitation to get drinks or to hang out is always appreciated.
What kind of traveler are you?