Wander is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
There are a number of different people you will build relationships with while travelling, and if you do as I did (a small group tour for eight weeks) you will form those bonds before you even realise you've formed an opinion.
While everyone is different, there are a few people you need to keep an eye out for—from my experiences anyway. They can either make or break your trip—so it's handy to be prepared before you go.
There's always going to be The Token Alcoholic. Not too bothered about seeing the incredible places, but simply always down for a party. To be blunt—they are the liability of the group, while also being the person that holds everyone together. They are the lovable rogue who you can't help but smile (sometimes laugh) at. Over time, you think about them you will look back with fondness on the nights you caved and joined them as the alcoholic 2.0.
Then there's The Parent, arguably the most important member of your group. Pharmacist and diagnostic miracle worker. They will be the person you go to if you're having problems with your stomach— a staple to a tour around Asia—or if you're confused about which Malaria pill you need and when you're supposed to take it. They're the sensible one in the group who looks out for everyone and doesn't have a bad bone in their body. You want to befriend this person—you'll find that you'll make a life-long friend.
Now comes the person you really need to look out for—The Bi**h. They come in all shapes and sizes, male or female, and they try to make your life a living hell. Very opinionated, if you don't agree you are wrong—and they will have no problem telling you that. They will happily blurt out the most hurtful things without even taking a second to consider how it will affect you. Most annoyingly, they will always find something to complain about. They don't like everyone on the tour, and if you do, you're dead to them. And God forbid—they want a relationship, you fall in love, you belong in the deepest and darkest section of hell. The list goes on and on. It;s too hot, it's too cold, it's too humid, there's not enough room on the bus, there's not a comfy bed, they didn't get a solid seven hours sleep, you make friends with someone on a different tour, you make friends with someone on your tour, I could go on and on.
My best advice—do as I say, not as I do. I nearly let this person ruin my trip. I listened when they told me I remind them of them two years ago (before they went on their journey of "self-improvement") and instead of telling them where to get off, I brushed passed it and laughed. For the good of the group. There is only so far you can go "for the good of the group." Looking back now, I realize there are a lot of actions I didn't take because I thought it would make life harder for the other people on tour, when in reality it wouldn't have made a difference to anyone but "the bi**h." They somehow get this power over you, and you'll do all you can to just live a peaceful coexistence with them. That is as I did... now, this is what I say. Screw them. You are on that tour for yourself, be selfish if you want to be. Do what makes you happy and don't let one person tint your opinion on what will be a life-changing experience.
And finally, the one you will never understand: The tag-along. This is the person who follows like a lost puppy. You're very lucky if this person follows "the alcoholic"—extra party time, or "the doctor"—another friend for life. Unfortunately, it's more than likely that they will follow "the bi**h." They don't really have their own opinions and will just agree with what is put in front of them. So understandably they're two-faced and hard to warm up to. For me, this is the person I now always forget about—I think back to the people who made me happy, and the people who made me sad, and they don't fall in either category. They're just a person who was there.
I could continue, but these are the most important people to look for. The main type I've missed from this list is The Lovebirds. I haven't included these because I'd be rather biased as I'm still very much in love with my travel bae (not too common—I'm a very lucky person). My suggestion: if you don't find yourself a travel bae, find yourself an alcoholic or a parent, or an alcoholic parent—either will do. They will be the friend that you still talk to in years to come.