The one who’s done everything first, or a truly great and eccentric explorer – which of these 10 types of traveller best describes you?
- The Collector
A sophisticated hunter-gatherer, a hoarder of the exceptional and exotic but not of endangered species or looted antiquities. He or she travels with a butterfly net, swishing it this way and that in order to gather up uncommon experiences in out-of-the-way places.
- The Conformist
A dreary universal type. The Conformist travels not for personal satisfaction but for social acceptance and perhaps even finds personal satisfaction in social acceptance.
- The Thrill-Seeker
Not so much of the adventure-sports variety, though of course there’s no shortage of those willing to tie their ankles to a rubber band and leap off the highest bridge. As with The Conformist, The Thrill-Seeker exists along a continuum that runs from the ticket-purchasing slum-tourist or frequenter of dodgy-looking dive bars to the professional war correspondent.
- The Escapist
Fugitive from the familiar. An intriguing type, labouring under that most delightful of delusions, namely that anything at all – boredom, worry, heartbreak, guilt, fear, failure, conflict, one’s own reflection in the mirror – can be lost with distance. It cannot yet it always seems worth a try.
- The Self-Improver
Admirable if a little dull. Up early, out late, cheerfully making the most of everything a new place has to offer. Tremendous stamina. Sensible shoes. Likely to do a lot of research beforehand, to pack a lot of books and to return with even more. A second cousin of… .
- The Pilgrim
Follower of trails and visitor of shrines, religious and otherwise. The most devoted Pilgrims can be seen at Beatrix Potter’s old house, Hill Top, in Cumbria. These days certain shopping streets and malls seem to exert a similar fascination.
- The Pioneer
Almost extinct in the wild. Like most endangered species, The Pioneer is running out of habitat, since so much of the world has been pioneered already.
- The Occasional
There for a reason – an event, a honeymoon, a do, a football match. Half-sibling to… .
- The Oblivious
The saddest type of traveller. The one not paying attention, not remotely interested in where he or she is. I was shocked, many years ago, to hear someone ask Ruth Prawer Jhabvala about her fabulously glamorous life as a celebrated novelist and screenwriter responsible for several wildly successful Merchant-Ivory movies. “Most of the time I don’t even bother to look up and see where I am,” she drawled from behind a pair of enormous sunglasses, or words to that effect. I was floored. “Room with a View” indeed!
- The Genuinely Curious
Eyes, ears, mind all wide open. Rare and precious and beautiful.
Source: Conde Nast Traveller. Image: Pixabay