One of the best things about travel is the people you meet along the way. You’re opened up to new cultures and a whole new way of thinking. Often, meeting new people on the road enriches a travel experience and sometimes you can make friends for life. After all, they see you at your best (running carefree enjoying life) and worst times (homesickness and food poisoning).
Having said that, there are a few types of people you meet while travelling who might ruin your trip – so you need to keep a beady eye out for them.
Initially, this type of person can be quite flattering. They want to hear everything you have to say and accompany you everywhere, as they really, really like your company. After a while, however, this person can end up being quite tiresome as they don’t understand the concept of personal space or even that you may want to meet new people to experience different things. They won’t get any obvious hints and will follow your travel plans, “Oh, I’m going motorbiking to the waterfalls, paragliding, and elephant riding too!”
It’s important for you to remember that you didn’t embark on this journey to babysit someone who isn’t comfortable being alone. A polite but firm, “Hey I want to do my own thing for a bit. Let’s keep in touch?” should do the trick.
Blissful(-ly unaware) Betty
This person isn’t very deep and doesn’t really have an opinion or plan about anything. They can be toxic as you may end up doing nothing on your trip if you don’t plan everything, which can end up being extremely tiring. The line, “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” gets old really quickly.
This person also doesn’t seem to grasp simple safety concepts and will often laugh them off. I bumped into a girl while travelling who always said she got silly when she was drunk. “I’m so ditzy; I talk too much to strangers and always end up getting lost.”
On a night out with her, she ended up missing halfway through the night. I was so worried. I found her giggling with some questionable characters (one had knuckle dusters, another had a tattoo above his eyebrow saying ‘Savage’ ) behind palm trees, who also seemed to think I wanted to join them. Needless to say, I got out of there quick and resolved never to compromise my personal safety again.
This person will have an in-depth opinion about everything including things that don’t really concern them. They’ll be the resident expert about anything you bring up and don’t know when to shut up. You may as well give up having an opinion as they will always know better. Ditch this person ASAP. It will save you headaches, frustration, bad moods, and the constant urge to tell them to pipe down. Sally may also turn up in the form of a mansplainer.
There are two versions of this type of person – one who sucks your money as they don’t want to spend any of their own and one whose only objective seems to be to splash as much cash as possible as “it’s a holiday!”
Stay clear of both. Type A will ‘forget’ to buy the next round or fail to chip in when you’ve paid for the taxi or tuk-tuk (auto rickshaw) ride. Whatever their reasoning, it’s bad manners and it isn’t good enough. You haven’t saved hard all year to pay for someone else’s holiday.
Type B will make you feel stingy for considering budget alternatives, haggling, or discounts. I once met a guy during my travels who said, “Who stays in hostels? You might as well sleep at a bus stop.” I exited the situation as fast as possible.
For the uninitiated, FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out. This person must have a crick on their neck from all the times they look over to watch other people having fun. They always want to be doing activities that other people are taking part in and constantly feel like they’re missing out on something fun.
If you do end up doing some fun-filled activity, you can bet they’ll be too busy taking a million snaps to document it, instead of partaking in the actual activity. Prepare for their phone to constantly be recording themselves and you, without you realising it. This person will make you feel like your company alone isn’t enough and will ditch you when it’s convenient i.e. someone more ‘happening’ comes along. Wish their new travel buddies good luck, as they’ll need it.
The people you meet on the road can make or break a trip. Make sure you stay clear of these types of people, so you always have a good holiday. Do you know any other types that I’ve missed out on? Please share in the comments below!