There are all sorts of people met when traveling.
I was born with the wanderlust gene, and I certainly prefer traveling alone – that’s how I visited places like Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. Generally speaking, guided tours aren’t my cup of tea, but I must admit they can be a lot of fun at times – besides, we all know there are some places where independent travel is practically impossible. It’s during those guided tours that you get to meet some of the most interesting characters – in fact, the people met when traveling can be fun, interesting and at times plain weird.
So, here is my list of the most interesting people met when traveling.
Disclaimer: this list is not exhaustive but based on my experience. No offense meant to anyone.
The Weirdest, Funnies People Met When Traveling
The one who snores
I am usually so tired by the end of any day that is packed with activities while traveling, that I can’t wait to go to bed and I am generally positive I will have a good night sleep, even if I am camping during the Inca Trail, or sleeping in a less-than-ecologic lodge in the middle of the Bolivian Pampas.
That’s until someone starts snoring – because let’s face it, there is always someone who snores in any proper group tour – and will keep the rest of the group awake while resting peacefully. No pinching, touching, hissing, making noise would ever stop him.
BEST MATCH: a heavy sleeper, or a deaf person – aka NOT me.
TIP: Never travel without a good pair of earplugs.
What are the odd of having a socio or psychopath in a group tour? According to my experience, high. This “mildly” bipolar Dr. Jekyll – Mr. Hyde appears to be a perfectly pleasant, witty, sociable and funny person during the day and may well be one of the nicest people met when traveling, but will turn into the worst nightmare at night, when for some mysterious reason he will start screaming and banging on walls and doors, waking everyone up – unless the snorer has been doing that already.
LIKES: one of his multiple personalities.
BEST MATCH: one of his multiple personalities.
The one that never stops talking
FACT: No matter how talkative you are, there’s always someone that talks more than you. Some people are interesting although intense, some boring, some plainly annoying. The talker may have some good stories to tell, but will never stop talking, even at the cost of suffocating while coughing. A proper talker will have something to say at any time, to anybody.
You may pretend to be asleep, but a good talker is hardly put off, and will soon start a monologue to the next person listening.
BEST MATCH: A good listener.
TIP: Wear the earplugs that at night help against the one who snores, and try not to sit next to the talker on the bus.
The one who has travelled widely
This may well be me, God forbid! That’s the one kind of people met when traveling that is actually quite common. This world traveler casually pops in each discussion a recollection of the time he has been to whichever country – you name it, he’s been there. In fact, he’s also been to the Moon. Oh, and to Mars.
The “interesting” fact about this world traveler is that experience has not taught him or her to pack lightly or to evaluate how much money should be taken to dinner (ok, that is definitely not me).
LIKES: Sharing traveling anecdotes.
BEST MATCH: The talker, but only when s/he listens.
The one that checks everything on TripAdvisor
Shame on me, I regularly check hotels and restaurants on TripAdvisor, and even write reviews for it! But, I know that TripAdvisor is not the ultimate site to evaluate how good a place or even an attraction is. There are some, however, that before going anywhere will check each possible hotel used by the tour operator, and base their decision on that.
They won’t agree to a restaurant, hostel, attraction, service company, unless it is highly rated on TripAdvisor. They will keenly read all the comments and carefully evaluate the best options, only to be inevitably disappointed that the best rated and most expensive restaurant in town had a terrible service and mediocre food.
LIKES: Reading reviews.
BEST MATCH: Anybody who has sufficient means to go to the supposedly best places.
The picky eater
Fine, I admit I am guilty of being the picky eater (but hey, it’s only because I have so many allergies, I promise!) so I feel for any of them. I have a very sensible palate, I am lactose intolerant and I have some terrible food allergies that may cause me a trip to the emergency room.
There are picky eaters who would not be so picky, but they have embraced a vegan or vegetarian diet – not too practical when on a tour of Argentina best estancias, where beef is on the daily menu.
Then, there are the unreasonable picky eaters who have a real fit of rage if they are served chicken legs rather than chicken breast and ruin the mood during any meal during a trip.
LIKES: Complaining about the food.
BEST MATCH: The TripAdvisor – he is surely able to point out a good restaurant in the middle of the desert.
The one that always disagrees
I usually take it easy when I travel – I don’t really have a strong view on what we do, and I follow the decision of the leader and the group. But here’s a fact: some people met when traveling always make it a point to state that they’d rather do something else.
Generally a shy or reserved person, the one who always disagrees spends most of the time by himself – reading his guide, taking pictures, browsing through the site on his own.
He never fully agrees with the program of the tour. When everybody in the group wants to spend the last night on having some sunset drinks at the beach, he wants to shop for souvenirs. His room is too dark, but the bathroom too bright.
BEST MATCH: None – he disagrees.
The one on a diet
I forego all my healthy eating habits when traveling. It is my time off, to have a good time and even one too many drinks or a bit of junk food. Besides, what’s the point of traveling when you can’t try local specialties?
But there are people who are convinced that there is no better time to diet than when on vacation. I am not arguing their intents, but their methods would make a nutritionist shiver. These are people that skip dinner because their diets only allows them two meals per day.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so they will pile up their plate with anything in sight. In order to keep hydrated, they will drink much as possible, preferably mocacchinos with whipped cream.
LIKES (but will never admit to it): Food.
BEST MATCH: An eating buddy.
I like a good drink at the end of the day, when I am traveling. It is rewarding after a difficult hike, and relaxing after a long day on the bus. But there are people met when traveling who take their idea of holiday and relaxing a bit too far.
Drinking a pint of beer while the rest of the group are having coffee, the alcoholic usually stresses that he is not an alcoholic. He goes into a rage when he realizes that there is not a single bar along the Inca Trail. He’s proudly found the cure for travelers’ diarrhea, which consists in disinfecting his bowels with conspicuous amount of margaritas.
LIKES: Anything that has alcohol.
BEST MATCH: Anybody who gets him a drink.
The beauty queen
I am pretty, or so they say. But traveling is not my time to shine. I take it easy on the make up, I go for comfortable clothes, and just take a break from glamour. But there are some people you meet when traveling – or in fact, even at home – that can never be seen au natural. They are normally the first to wake up and rush to the bathroom to fix their pretty face, causing a traffic congestion in any hostel shared bathroom.
Whether touring London in search of afternoon tea or hiking through the jungle, their make up is always impeccable. My tip is not to pay too much attention to beauty queens met when traveling. Chances are they will hate the well traveled for stealing the stage.
LIKES: Receiving compliments.
BEST MATCH: A good flirt or a beauty queen wanna be that can be trained to stardom.
Photography is one of my passions. But there are some who take their photography passion a bit too far at times.
A proper photographer never leaves without his precious bulky camera, he takes pictures of just about anything and anybody. He may detach himself from the group in search of the perfect shot, but will need help upon realizing that, while being totally concentrated on his pictures, his wallet has been stolen.
LIKES: Taking pictures.
BEST MATCH: A random local he can take a picture of.
What are some of the funniest people met when traveling that you can remember? Let me know in the comments below!