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The Four Personalities Everyone Will Meet When Travelling

The Four Personalities Everyone Will Meet When Travelling

To help you navigate the murky waters of group travel, I come to you with a handful of common travel partner conundrums, some personal anecdotes, and a few vaguely helpful solutions.


The Type Who Can’t Be Silent

Image: Jakon Owens / Unsplash

The situation: Unlike the silent type who is generally mentally stable, the travel partner who can’t be silent is as unpredictable as they are annoying. On a recent trip to the UK, I decided to spend the day with an old high school friend. We met in the ancient Roman town of Bath; a truly beautiful town, steeped in history.

Within 10 minutes of disembarking the train, I had listened to endless stories of love, loss, relationship gripes and, bizarrely, favourite dog breeds. As sympathetic as I was, I couldn’t help but notice that not a single question had been asked about yours truly.

My solution: Alcohol. Not much more to say here. By the end of the day, and a lengthy trip to the pub, I felt like we had truly bonded, though I’d be surprised if I said more than two sentences.

The Brooding, Silent Type

Image: Ihor Malytskyi / Unsplash

The situation: Nothing drops spirits faster than the heavy, simmering silence that comes with a discontented travel partner. Back in the day of Myspace, when I was 16 and it was still not at all acceptable to meet strangers online, I decided to fly to Sydney and rendezvous with an internet friend.

In my mind, we’d spend the weekend taking thousands of selfies in cringeworthy cliché locations, our weird emo haircuts blowing in the harbour breeze. In reality we spent 48 hours in silence, wandering the city aimlessly, stopping only at the Circular Quay McDonalds for two McChicken Meals – the one interest we ended up having in common.


My solution: Sometimes, the only way to deal with the silent type is to take a time out. Soon after consuming my last fry, I looked my newly-made internet friend in the eye and said, “It’s been nice.”

I called my cousins who picked me up and within 40 minutes I was belting out bangers at an inner-city karaoke bar.

The 24/7 Partier

Image: Anthony Delanoix / Unsplash

The situation: While day drinking can be fun, opening a case of sparking shiraz at 9am is a recipe for disaster, as I found out on a recent trip to Auckland with a good friend of mine. The day progressed with a boozy brunch and ended at a club that resembled a sewer. Returning to my hotel, I breathed a sigh of relief, glad that the experience was over. When I woke up the next morning, my 24/7 party pal suggested we do it all again.

The solution: Enjoy, in moderation. The good thing about the 24/7 partier is that they cannot be stopped. If your desires do not line up with their party agenda, they are often happy to release you into the wild.

Partied-out I spend the next day at a museum, where my hangover truly set in and I came dangerously close to vomiting in a bin. Returning to my friend’s place, I was greeted with a glass of wine and a concerned look. “Wow, you look awful,” he tut-tutted, before downing his glass and pouring another.

The Hermit

Image: Igor Cancarevic / Unsplash

The situation: I end with a story not of my own, but from a dear friend. Let’s call her Jennifer. Jen was invited to tag along on her housemate’s interstate work trip but had never seen him wearing anything other than pyjamas, and wasn’t actually sure if he was employed.

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The day of the trip was upon them and Jennifer’s housemate – let’s call him Colin – arrived at the airport in a onesie. He demanded that they check into their hotel immediately, where he turned on the TV, watched the informercial channel for three hours, FaceTimed his cat and fell asleep, waking up only to attend his “work conference”. Jennifer prayed for salvation.


The solution: Bring the action to them. While Colin slept the early hours of day two away, Jen rallied a group of mates, pieced together a cheese platter (god bless), picked up some bottles of bubbly and took matters into her own damn hands. When Colin awoke, the party was in full swing. He grumpily retreated to his room. Jennifer had a fantastic time.

The Ultimate Solution

While it’s easy to put-down a travel partner who is particularly tricky, the truth is that there’s a little bit of one (or more) of them in all of us.

The only true solution for dealing with other people’s travel demons is to make peace with your own. I’ll let you know when I’m at that point. In the mean-time you’ll find me alternating between long periods of angsty silence and non-stop chatter; pulling all-nighters and refusing to leave my hotel room.

Check out Qantas flights and begin your next adventure.


(Lead image: Tiago Rosado / Unsplash)
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