~ This may seem like an odd question to ask, but knowing what kind of tourist or traveller you are will help you and your travelling companions enjoy your trip or vacation more than you might imagine. Essentially, there are four main types of travellers: Recreational, Experiential, Experimental, and Existential.
Recreational Travellers usually like nothing more than to unwind, and free themselves from the stresses and strains of modern life. They are not necessarily interested in local flavour or customs, or even the culture of the country they are visiting – if they travel abroad at all. Recreational travellers may just want to sit around and relax reading books, and generally resting. They are not against travelling to foreign locations per se, but neither are they interested in immersing themselves in new cultures. Often they just want to recharge their batteries before another year at the grindstone.
Experiential Travellers search for meaning within other cultures. They tend to be inquisitive and inquiring; always interested and curious about the places they visit. These travellers like to get beneath the exterior of strange new worlds and try to get the most experience out of a destination as possible. They are willing to risk a little bit in order to gain experience and insight. They like to connect with different cultures and find as much meaning within them as they can.
Experimental Travellers are not only willing to try new things but quite often actively seek them out. They may also be looking for meaning outside their present existence and way of life, and are willing to try new destinations that others may never have considered. In marketing terms, Experimental travellers are the ‘early adopters’ of the travel world. They are people who like to be among the first to visit remote regions of previously unpopular travel destinations.
Finally, Existential Travellers are those who find great meaning in a new culture, and who now want to engage in it as much as possible. When they return home from their travels, they may spend weeks and months pining for a favourite city, country, or remote location. No sooner are they back home, than they begin saving for another trip to the same spot or somewhere close to it.
So, what type of traveller are you?
Clearly, if you are a recreational traveller, you are going to have a lot of problems travelling with a partner or group of people who love to experiment as much as possible when they travel. Knowing what type of traveller you and your travel companions are, should make they whole travel experience much more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Of course, you could always go on vacation by yourself – as I did. This has many advantages – and disadvantages – that I will explore in another entry.