The Types of People You Meet While Backpacking
Remember that one guy from your town who dropped out of school to go “find himself” in Asia? Yeah, this is him now. He wears elephant pants and tie-dyed shirts with obscure bands on them that he probably paid 50 baht for at a street market in Thailand. This is the guy that sits on the hostel couch drinking cheap beer and talking about how people at home are products of the capitalistic assembly line. He claims to have ‘freed’ himself from the confines of money and materialistic greed, but that doesn’t stop him from using his parents’ money to pay for weed.
The Social Media Star
These people may seem like anyone else when you first meet them until you casually exchange Instagrams and find out that they’ve racked up several thousand followers. Usually accompanied by a dedicated photographer friend or two, you can almost always find them taking pictures. While everyone else is relaxing in athletic shorts and t-shirts they’re modelling in designer clothes. Usually identifiable by their impossibly put-together appearance and newest edition of iPhone (with portrait mode, of course), these people somehow manage to make even the most mediocre of places look absolutely amazing.
Without fail, there is always that one person who is at least two decades older than everyone else. Regardless of if you’re staying in a hostel, doing a tour, or on a bus, there’s always one. Maybe they didn’t read the description of the tour closely enough, they’re trying to save money by staying hostels, or they just don’t care. They often have incredible stories about travelling back before you were born and the questionable things they did that would definitely not fly in today’s world. You’ll often find yourself repaying them but explaining social media or why everyone’s so obsessed with Huji all of a sudden. It’s all fun and games until they make a reference that goes way over your head and you remember they’re old enough to be your parent.
These people live by the motto, “If it’s not on Instagram, it didn’t happen.” They’re incapable of going anywhere without plastering it all over their social media. Food, views, nights out, you name it and they’ve posted about it. Anytime they step into a hostel or restaurant, the first words out of their mouth are, “What’s your WiFi password?”. They buy SIM cards for weeklong trips to protect their Snap streaks and to them, there’s no worse punishment than being unplugged. They’re so glued to their screens you’re often shocked that they manage to take in any of what they’re posting about, but a surefire way to get them to participate in an activity is to tell them there is free WiFi.
Similar to the First-Timers, the spoiled princes and princesses are often in over their heads. They’re accustomed to a certain standard of living and travelling on a budget is a shock to their systems. They are the people that complain about hostel bathrooms not having hairdryers and cringe at the thought of communal showers. Doing anything strenuous or outdoorsy with these people is a real treat as they’re forced to face the shocking fact that there are in fact bugs and dirt outside of their ivory tower.
You’re sitting on the couch minding your own business when someone sits down and starts talking to you. It starts off innocent enough, until out of nowhere five minutes later they’re asking you if you want to go travelling with them. You try maneuvering your way out of it, explaining your current travel plans, and before you know it they’re adjusting their itinerary to fit yours. From then on, everything you do and everywhere you go, they’re always there. You may even find yourself hiding in the bathroom stall when your friend warns you that they’ve asked where you are. They’re generally harmless, like a benign stalker just looking for a friend, but you’ll still breathe more easily once you’re on a bus going far far away from them.
The Fitness Buff
If you’ve ever walked into your room to find someone doing shirtless push-ups or been woken up by someone going for a 5 am run, you know what I’m talking about. These people are determined to not let travelling mess up their fitness routines, and they will let anyone and everyone know that. They talk incessantly about counting their macros and silently judge your caffeine intake and sugar consumption. They spend their days running up mountains, paddleboarding across lakes, or biking through forests as fast as they can. Good for you, Superman. The rest of us are going to take our sweet time.
The World Travellers
You’re never sure how these people can afford to do it – maybe they have a trust fund, maybe they won the lottery, or maybe they robbed a bank and are criminals on the run – but they seem to have been everywhere and done everything cool there is to do. They’ve seen everything, but every time you talk to them they seem to have some amazing new adventure planned. You can never say anything around them without them jumping in with, “This one time…”. Spend too much time with these people and you’ll just end up jealous.
Hey, we’ve all been there. This is the person with the over-stuffed backpack who has never really travelled on their own before (or travelled at all). They walk around with a constant air of confusion and desperation. They’re often unaware of hostel etiquette and likely to accidentally wake you up at 6 am packing for an early bus or let their alarm go off several times before actually getting out of bed. They’re like lost puppies – confused, needy, and in need of some training. With the correct mentoring and some experience, they’ll be one of these other stereotypes in no time.
Regardless of whether or not they’re actually on their honeymoon, there’s always that one couple. They’re constantly cuddling (even when they can’t be bothered to pay for a private room in a hostel), kissing in public, and generally engaging in PDA. Sharing a room with them means opening your door is always a gamble, and you’re never quite sure what you’re walking into (or who you’re walking in on). They take super original photos of themselves hugging and kissing in front of iconic landmarks and tag all of their pictures with #CoupleGoals. But they’re not like any of the other couples with a shared travel Instagram – they’re adorable and unique and different and sure to let you know it.
While you'll be sure to run into at least a few of these stereotypes whilst on your travels, you'll also meet a lot of people who are just like you! Ready to start your adventure and make some friends for life? Check out our group tours!