When discussions of your latest adventures begin and the mind is wandering to visions of exotic lands and far-off locations, you imagine all the new people you’re going to meet – in fact, it’s one of the reasons you’re going traveling. There’s a desire to meet indigenous people, like-minded people and wildly different people, people who can teach you new things, inform you of a new world and become your new best friends.
For almost every backpacker, this inevitably happens. Once home you’ll get Facebook messages from that girl you just clicked with in Nepal. The guys you left in Thailand are forever Snapchatting you and you have photos in your room of the jungle men you hope to see again (but probably never will).
But for every one of these amazing, never-gonna-forget characters you pick up along the way there’s a few that fit a different profile. These personalities crop up on almost every trip and you definitely won’t forget them because their humorous, annoying or even plain scary actions are ingrained in your wanderlust memory.
These people can be divided intro 11 distinct groups, as follows:
1: The cringe couple
They are typically OTT affectionate, annoyingly obnoxious or just plain annoying. They refuse invitations to join the group and prefer only the company of other equally smitten couples.
2: The selfie besties
There is always that pair of besties more focused on their selfie sticks and camera angles then the impressive surroundings. Usually found in the Wi-Fi zone uploading their OMG moments, they’ll never be seen without a phone or camera in hand and consistently grab you for yet another photo op.
3: The Rasta wannabe
Caucasian, always sporting dreadlocks, facial hair and the odd tattoo, this guy probably hasn’t washed in a week. He’s going for the experienced-traveller look, intimidating you with his vast knowledge on “the most amaaazing” travel destinations that no one else has ever heard of.
4: The fusspot
“Ew, this toilet doesn’t flush…” “But I only eat organic foods…” “OMG this jungle is dirty…” These characters just can’t quite acclimatise to the backpacker lifestyle and can’t comprehend that the foreign country in which they find themselves is not striving to replicate their home comforts.
5: The home sick one
These people should’ve just stayed at home. They miss their mum, are practically chained to the computer area and have countdowns inscribed in their journals. Occasionally prone to tears, they could use a hug every now and again.
6: The dudes
That group of guys who have binge drinking and bicep building on top of the agenda. They can usually be spotted on the beach wearing one of those ripped up vest tops and by night they tend to hit the local bars to survey the talent. Their travel stories usually start with: “Bro, remember that night we were wasted, and…”
7: The old guy
This is the one who has packed in his banker job and London lifestyle in a desperate attempt to add some meaning to his life. He tries so hard to be one of the ‘dudes’ and sometimes even manages it, but his 50th birthday on the beach is when it gets a bit awkward.
8: The cling-on
You met them that one night for like an hour. You casually dropped in your planned travel route and, before you know it, this person is in the bed next to you three weeks later and you just can’t shake ‘em.
9: The bragger
They’ve been there, done that and apparently even though you’ve done it too you just didn’t quite do it as well as them. This person just can’t help name dropping and the patronising advice is on tap.
10: The newbie
This person is over-keen and has over-packed. Having totally misjudged just how many clothes they’d need, their backpack is new and shiny and desperately heavy. They bring endless bottles of travel spray, guidebooks and even have a medical kit stashed in there somewhere.
11: The guitar player
Always a popular person, this guy has a guitar strapped to his back – permanently – and is followed by a flock of music lovers. He’s one to stick with.