Contributing Writer: Alyssa Gregory
They are infected with the travel bug, an often fatal and long duration disease that has no known cure. Like an addict, every trip they take just seems to increase their desire. They are driven by an insatiable curiosity and wanderlust that makes routine unbearable. They are sure of themselves because they’ve gotten lost in Rome at night, lived out of a carry on for months and dealt with jet lag, time differences, conversions and exchange rates, and solved all their problems solo. They’ve been so many places and seen so many things that they aren’t your average girlfriend/boyfriend next door.
- Nobody stays a stranger for long. People who travel are constantly meeting people. Their friend list on Facebook is full of people with whom they shared a one-time adventure. They can start a conversation with anyone, from the person in the grocery line behind them to the creepy old lady who lives in the abandoned looking house that everyone is afraid of. Half the time you’ll have no idea who they are talking about in their stories because when you travel a friendship can be forged on something as simple as being in the same market stall and reaching for the same thing.
- They are really good at goodbyes. Things come and go. Nobody knows this better than a traveler who is constantly leaving things and people they’ve met behind for their next adventure. They don’t become too attached because they know you can’t take everything with you when you go. Though they never really say goodbye it’s more like see you later even though they are aware that most of the people they leave behind they will never see again face to face.
- They are never there. Even if they are there physically, mentally they are gone. Forever planning their next adventure, they live in a day dream full of far off places. Any chance they get, vacation days, sick days, holidays, they are gone. Day trips or month long journeys, they don’t care as long as they are free to explore.
- They have a story for every occasion. Traveling morphs people into storytellers. Everything reminds them of somewhere else in another time. They will want to share the stories. They will rivet the crowd with their tales of getting lost on a Vespa in Italy or zip lining through Brazil’s jungle. Some might feel like they are trying to one-up everyone else when really they just want to share the wonders they’ve seen hoping to inspire you to go see them first-hand.
- They don’t look at the world the same way as everyone else. They have a unique way of seeing the world influenced by all they’ve seen. They don’t always agree with others and aren’t afraid to argue their side with facts and real life stories to back it up. They aren’t the favorite of all because some people find their constant curiosity and questioning exasperating.
- They are spontaneous. You never know what you’re in for. Plans are mere suggestions. They can always be broken if something better comes up. Travelers thrive on adventure and love trying new things. Routine kills them; last minute invites are one of their favorite things. If you let them plan dates, they won’t be your average movie and dinner. You’ll be dragged through the dirt at a local mud run supporting cancer or kidnapped and made to hike up huge hills lugging a picnic basket.
- They are easy going to the point that it is maddening. They don’t sweat plans that fall through. Instead they are prepared with their things-to-do list ready to go. Plans are whatever because they know the best adventures are unplanned. They don’t measure time by hours and minutes; but, instead by moments. They show up late because they got sidetracked by a road that looked too inviting not to drive down or by a street concert they stumbled upon.
- They are independent. They’ve gotten lost in countless cities, ridden on trains full of strangers and shopped in stores where they couldn’t read a single thing. They’ve problem solved their way through countless trying situations. They can handle things on their own. They won’t need you; but, they’ll want you. They’ll want you to share in the adventure as a co-leader, not a passive tag along.
- They are considered selfish by many. They’ve spent a lot of time alone, discovering themselves. So they know what they want and will pursue it despite the constant criticism aimed their way. Their priorities are different. Often times they don’t care about having a big house or a fancy car. All they want is the ability to travel. They save up months for a week long journey to an exciting new place.
- They push you out of your comfort zone, mainly because they never stay in theirs. They purposely leave the comforts of home to explore the world. They eat things they can’t even pronounce, they squat over holes for public restrooms and they place themselves in countries where their only way to communicate is by energetic hand gestures. Normalcy scares them more than hopping a plane to anywhere ever could. They crave new and different things on a pretty daily basis.
- They have commitment issues. They can’t commit to one place because they’ve had a glimpse of how big the world is. They find it hard to settle. If you ask them their favorite travel destination they won’t be able to name just one. They’ll just get a dreamy faraway look in their eye and the stories will start pouring forth. They will always have to travel because the only people they’ve found that really get them are fellow travelers.
These traits are the baggage carried by most travelers. But if these personality snapshots leave you curiously intrigued and you’re thinking of beginning a relationship with a traveler, prepare for spontaneity and adventure because they’ve become an adventure themselves. Be mindful though because once you get the travel bug there’s no known cure. Get your bags packed… because you’ll be going on the most exciting adventure of your life.