A Taxonomy Of Travelers

I’m working on what I call a taxonomy of travelers. Obviously I am painting with a very broad brush. Here is a list of the ten most common types I’ve encountered:

1. The Rookie
2. The Braggart
3. The Loner
4. The Old Dude
5. The Tourist
6. The Misfit
7. The Man Whore
8. The Drunk
9. The Social Butterfly
10. The Happy Couple.

I’ll define two of them:

The Social Butterfly: The social butterfly is that person who provides the glue for a group that has temporarily banded together to travel from point A to point B. This person is frequently very metro, but not necessarily gay.

The Happy Couple: All backpackers have met at least one “happy couple.” Who they are and how they act is largely self explanatory. Everyone secretly hates the happy couple. At least until they are one.

So, what type have I missed?

One Response to “A Taxonomy Of Travelers”

  1. Lex

    I’m The Loner (or i was).

    Always preferred traveling alone because far more interesting things happen to you. Granted, if you’re in a non-white country and traveling alone you may become something of a spectacle but that can be interesting too.

    In the West Sea Islands of Korea i found myself the only honky on Baengnyeong-do (a stunning place). So i was a tourist attraction within a tourist attraction. In the little fishing village on the NW tip of the island, the adjuma sat me where all could see and while i chose the smallest damned fish in the tank, it still weighed 4 kilos. My guess is that i ended up finishing 5+ lbs of raw fish by myself. That impressed all the adjumas enough that they feted me with piles of raw sea urchin. And after having my picture taken with the restaurant owner for the wall of the place, i got a special place on her husband’s fishing boat for a tour of the cliffs. He liked me too, enough that he hauled a boat full of Korean tourists away from the rocks and ran me right up to the NLL (he wouldn’t cross it because of the tourists).

    How i didn’t puke with 5lbs of raw fish, probably 50 sea urchins, kimchi in quantity, a few liters of Korean beer and the obligatory soju in my belly is a wonder that i still don’t contemplate.

    None of that would have happened like it did in a group…

    You should write your descriptions of all ten, totally publishable in a travel mag.

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