They say travelling is the best way to find yourself. And while that’s absolutely the case, we’d argue it’s just as much about finding wonderful people, too.
Especially if you’re travelling Australia, where a cross-country flight from Sydney to Perth or Melbourne to Brissy or Darwin to somewhere down south will bring you face-to-face with some hilarious stereotypes and heartwarming humans. Here are some faves that you’ll most definitely run into on your next Qantas expedition.[related_articles]5270,71428,8742[/related_articles]
#1 The Extremely Local Guy
The Extremely Local Guy is an enigma – a combination of small-town contentment you’ve only ever witnessed in The Castle or in crowd shots from a big footy game.
While Extremely Local Guy makes an effort to experience things outside his city’s limits, he likes to remind you that he’s “from God’s Country” and he “misses things back home” – even if he’s surrounded by the azure waters of the Whitsundays or the rolling Adelaide Hills.
“Absolutely wouldn’t pay eight dollars for a beer in [INSERT REGIONAL AUSTRALIAN TOWN],” he laments (often).
In fact, his passion for his home town makes you wonder why you’re not living there, too. “Good for him,” you mumble, completely happy in your decision to keep travelling for as long as fiscally possible.
How to spot them: Either not wearing shoes or wearing thongs, at most, with facial hair and a novelty t-shirt. His bag was packed by his mum.
Where you’ll find them: At one of the many local pubs in literally any regional town in Australia.
#2 The Retirees
You likely ran into them on a group tour or at a local restaurant – some sort of well-rated activity you found online – in a dream-holiday destination like Noosa.
The Retirees will likely be trundling around in a hire car they’ve rented between cross-country flights, stopping intermittently to talk to small business owners or to stare thoughtfully from yet another roadside lookout.
They’re bougie and warm and have offered to show you blurry Facebook photos from the Great Barrier Reef and their grandson’s rugby game. You patiently oblige. They’re really looking forward to an upcoming trip on The Ghan.
How to spot them: Taking photos of uninteresting things on their iPad with their index finger, letting the protective case, and their straw hat, flap wildly in the wind. “What a beautiful day!” they say to no-one in particular.
Where you’ll find them: On extremely early morning walks around whichever neighbourhood in which they’ve pulled pulled up stumps for the night or on a group museum tour.
#3 The Gullible Tourist
Aussies can sniff a gullible person a mile away. One look at a well-meaning, Bambi-eyed tourist and the same old fibs start tickling at our tongues: drop bears, riding kangaroos to work, shrimp on the barbie. A story or two about your cousins, the Hemsworths. We all know the classics. You tell them all of this and then some.
But those sweet, gullible tourists – bless their souls – will respond with nothing more than a few questions and a faint but potent look of fear. Then they’ll spend the rest of their trip asking other Australians from Byron Bay to Broome and everywhere in between if you were telling the truth. To which those Australians will, of course, respond earnestly that you were.
Man, we’re mean (but also hilarious).
How to spot them: New and too-large-looking backpack, a plethora of reading material, and a generous laugh. Likely American or Canadian. (Sorry.)
Where to find them: Definitely not under any gumtrees, that’s for sure. Haven’t you heard there’s drop bears around here?!
#4 The Pseudo-Hippie Off To Find Herself
The Pseudo-Hippie picked that you’re an Aries “from a mile away”, but won’t tell you whether or not she thinks that’s a good thing.
She deferred her Bachelor of Arts (Theatre Studies) to set off on this trip and she’s absolutely stoked that her manifesting of good vibes has so far paid off. As has her parent’s recent bank transfer, if you were wondering.[related_articles]73855,73605,72652[/related_articles]
You later realise she’s a great Instagram follow, if for nothing else but the frequent inspirational quotes. (*prayer hands emoji*)
How to spot them: One or two feathers in her long hair, a reusable shopping bag used as a purse and a nose ring. Never picks up a round at the bar.
Where to find them: Just, like, wherever the energy leads her, man – it could be the vast Australian Outback or Sydney’s North Shore.
#5 The Chilled-Out Surfer
The Chilled-Out Surfer will always join for the hostel pub crawl but smokebomb at an annoyingly reasonable hour to get some shut-eye. By the time you peel yourself off the top bunk of your hostel bed, they’ve already surfed, showered and eaten a healthy breakfast.
While you think they’re probably a very cool person, you also feel completely stumped as to what you’ll chat about with them. “That swell, huh?” you pathetically reach. They give you a shakas and sip their smoothie.
How to spot them: Year-round tan, G-Shock watch, and a hankering for Japanese food. “Yeeew,” they caw.
Where to find them: Catching waves at Bells Beach, staring wistfully at the sunset on the NSW South Coast, or going barefoot at The Bucket List on Bondi Beach.
(Lead image: Toa Heftiba / Unsplash)
It’s the diamonds in the rough that make a trip. With 10,000 bonus Qantas Points and a $0 annual Card fee on the Qantas American Express Discovery Card when you apply, are approved and spend $750 in the first 3 months by July 31, who will you meet on your travels?
Terms and conditions apply. Visit here for more information.
Josephine is a staff writer at Junkee Media. You can find her words on AWOL, The Cusp, food she bagsed in the fridge.