I’m into my fourth month traveling and wow, it’s been a wild ride. What I’ve realized from place to place, is that people travel for a wide variety of reasons. Some are out for pure adventure, while others are out to see a specific historical site.
What most travelers have in common is their desire to see new locations and experience new cultures. We may stick out like a sore thumb, but on the ground level we’re soaking in everything like a sponge.
It’s interesting how a location can reflect the type of traveler you meet. In Rome, I bumped shoulders with every tourist imaginable looking into the Vatican while on the Greek Island of Andros, it was often difficult to find others who spoke English.
The more touristy the city, the more diverse the tourists will be. Rome had couples, families, and recent college graduates. Andros had solo travelers and risk takers.
All had reasons to travel and below are the most common reasons I’ve run into:
These are the people on summer vacation or getting a short break from work. They tend to travel for two-three weeks and visit three-four cities. They’ll know a lot about where they’re going, as most of their trip has already been planned out.
If this is you, I’d pick one country to travel and explore the well known cities, as well as the hidden gems. In Greece I met a small group of three French college students. They were traveling for three weeks and went to the typical locations of Athens and Mykonos, but also stopped by Andros, a local vacation secret. Their favorite spot turned out to be Andros because it wasn’t as touristy, yet still had some amazing hikes and beaches.
Ever see a older solo traveler mindlessly exploring? These are the ladies and gentlemen who want to find inspiration in their lives. They’ve worked for the past twenty years and want to do more with their lives. Traveling is a means to bring them new excitement.
When you travel with this reason you’re quite relaxed as you usually aren’t constricted to a budget, yet might not be able to be as active as your younger counterparts. You’ll probably plan ahead a bit, but you’ll still leave some room for adventure. The people I’ve met traveling for a mid-life getaway have been incredibly insightful, thoughtful, and creative. If this fits your repertoire, then my hat goes off to you!
This is the recent college graduate or person who just quit their last job. They typically travel for three-six months, as they figure out what they want to do with their life. Job Stallers don’t plan much in advance and live for the adventure. They stay out late and travel on their own time.
You know a job staller when you see one. They’re pretty slow paced and don’t have a set agenda. Instead, these travelers go where locals say to head. In Siena for example, I met a recent college graduate who told me about Follonica, a fisherman’s beach town located along the coast of Italy three hours outside the city. When I asked him how he had heard of it, a local had pointed him that way.
These are the type of travelers you read about― they can work remotely from anywhere in the world through the internet and often stay in one country for three months at a time. Their work/life balance is unique, as they get to experience a new culture while keeping up with their day job back home. They aren’t as eager to get out and about, as they aren’t rushed to see a place.
Digital nomads as some of the coolest travelers out there and if you happen to meet one, I highly suggest connecting with them. Chances are they’ve learned a lot about the area they’ve been working from, can show you some secret spots, and who knows, you may be inspired to become a digital nomad yourself!
Every traveler I’ve meet has been interesting in their own way. Some plan out every last detail, while others go where the wind takes them. Whatever you’re reason for traveling may be, there is one thing certain about traveling: it will bring you new insight, perspective, and experience that you never you were capable of having.