The most surprising thing that travelers DON’T have in common?
Having learned more than 1 foreign language.
One would assume that a large portion of travelers would know lots of foreign languages, but most travelers we’ve met know their own language and English.
If English is their own language, then they usually haven’t learned a foreign language.
English is definitely the easiest language to get around with (although spontaneous sign language (language invented on the spot out of necessity) can go a long way too).
Clarification: For this post, I’m using the term “traveler” to refer to anyone who has ever traveled outside their home country for a period of longer than three months.
(If you’re from Texas or Alaska, your state is big enough to count as a country.)
1. Travelers are connected to family
Almost every traveler I’ve met has a strong connection to their family.
I would think this wouldn’t be the case as it seems paradoxical to say that the people who feel comfortable leaving home seem to be those with the strongest homes. But maybe that’s just the kind of traveler I meet since I come from that kind of background. In any case, it’s been my experience that when you get a traveler talking about their family back home, they talk lovingly about their brothers and sisters, moms and dads, and especially the adventures and exploits of their grandparents.
2. Travelers are physically in-shape
I don’t mean muscular or not overweight…
I just mean that travelers, by their nature, either are or develop into people who are physically capable of (and don’t get to bothered by) lugging a backpack up 6 flights of stairs in 105 F degree (41 Celsius) heat.
3. Travelers are planners who also go with the flow
Back home, I can think of a couple people (in particular) who are planners.
If something is going to break up the plan, they won’t do it.
If anything gets in the way of the plan, they experience extreme levels of frustration.
I also know people who won’t make any plan and instead just always go with the flow.
Travelers have to play both roles, sometimes planning schedules down to the minute to catch planes, trains, buses, etc., but then having to be very “go with the flow” to experience whatever life’s bringing to them at the moment, and for those times when the whole plan goes pear-shaped or wonky.
If you are a traveler (per the definition of this post), or someone who likes to travel, what are some commonalities you’ve discovered with people you’ve met in your travels?