10 People You Should Never Travel With
We’ve all experienced it. You and a good friend decide to go away on a trip together and it doesn’t pan out exactly as planned. That Dr. Jekyl you got along with so well with at work or at school is suddenly a Mr. (or Mrs.) Hyde and your entire trip is a nightmare as a result.
Whether they’re arguing with you over their share of dinner, bitching about the locals, or just refusing to do anything more adventurous than walking down to the beach – we’ve all travelled with one (or more) of the following unsavory characters. Hell, I’ve even been one of them on at least one occasion.
So, here are the ten people you should never travel with. But heck, if you do, it’ll at least make for some funny anecdotes once the dust has settled over the inevitable break-down of the friendship…
#10 – The Self Taught ‘Expert’
With a copy of Lonely Planet in one hand and Wikipedia set as the homepage on their iPhone, the self taught expert isn’t a bad person – they’re just annoying. They mean well and may even come in handy when you’re trying in vain to make yourself understood to your taxi driver, but their rigid adherence to the Gospel according to Frommer may make it hard to get them out of the shiny tourist district and into a hole in the wall restaurant.
“Lonely Planet says…”
may be their favorite way to start a sentence, and you’ll have a hard time convincing them that a world exists beyond the Insadong’s of the world. Insadong is Seoul’s tourist district, by the way.
They’re going to be a lot of help in plotting out your trip and in making it happen, but have a word with them before you leave about your desire to see something that doesn’t have a mile long queue. The world is bigger than even the weightiest Lonely Planet tome can illustrate.
#9 – The Homebody
You’re halfway around the world and they’re in the darkened hotel room watching movies on HBO and leafing through a book they picked up downstairs.
“I’ll be down in a little while,” they promise you, “You guys go ahead with me”.
But as the sun is setting on another wonderful day exploring some exotic new land, you’ve seen no sign of them. And maybe later that night you’ll stagger back into your room just a little tipsy and they’ll still be there.
The homebody is a close relative of the coward, except they don’t even make the effort to look like they’re game to try. They’ve come all this way to basically do the things they would have been doing at home. They’ll have excuses like “Oh, it’s too humid” or “I’m feeling a little under the weather”, but basically – they’re terrible human beings. Perfect candidates for post birth abortion.
You have my blessing.
#8 – The Patriot
“This shit would not happen in America, I’ll tell you that”.
Your reservation at a Fijian resort has been lost and you’re understandably frustrated. But then some loud mouthed Yank or ocker Aussie is shouting about their outrage and all you want to do is find the nearest blunt object and redecorate the reception desk in brain matter grey.
The patriot loves their country – and that’s admirable, but their blind love prevents them from finding fault in their own country and – worst of all – it forces them to project their own country’s values onto whichever place you’re visiting.
They’re the ones who flinch away from the local food, complain about the people who spit in the street, and are horrified to learn that the bar you’re in doesn’t have Budweiser on tap.
“How dare this country with its own culture and history not better emulate the country I left behind?”
It’s normal to find things you dislike when travelling and it’s not uncommon to draw comparison from time to time. But when the entire trip is basically seen as one giant slight against one person’s delicate sensibilities, it gets old and it gets old fast.
Ditch them in a dark alley in down-town Vladivostok. I hear they’ve got uses for people you should never travel with.
#7 – The Whore (or Man-Whore)
My good friend (who shall remain nameless to protect the innocent) had a less than enjoyable experience when a friend of his visited and basically enlisted him as the sexless innkeeper as she proceeded to go out and hook up with a different drunken local every single night of her visit.
You know the kind I’m talking about. After a few drinks they’re into the lap of the nearest muscle bound figure of dubious intelligence, only returning to ask for money for a drink or to confirm that they’ve got the right directions to tell a cab driver after tomorrow morning’s walk of shame.
And of course, it’s not just girls either. The man-whore is much worse. At least the female equivalent doesn’t boast about her conquests the following morning.
It’s not that you begrudge them finding a little ‘summin’ summin” on the road. It’s that they’re doing it every night and basically ignoring you while they do it. And it gets so much worse if their one night stand turns into a constant travel companion – an annoying ‘local’ with an inflated sense of self importance who seems intent on basically steering you and your friend towards the nearest bar as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
Get them a shot of penicillin, wish them well, and go about your business. That pretty girl at the bar looks like she could use a vodka cranberry.
They all drink vodka cranberry.
#6 – The Coward
The coward is an unfortunate beast. They may not be doing it intentionally, but that doesn’t really make it any less annoying when they girlishly squeal and back away from the ticket booth.
The coward just isn’t built for travel any more dangerous than a guided trolley tour or a presentation given in an air conditioned auditorium. Put them out in the real world and it’s all just too scary for them. The streets are too dirty, the carnival rides too poorly maintained, and the food too poorly prepared.
The world is basically one terrifying labyrinth of rusty nails, diseased water, and crumbling buildings. They’re fine travel companions while you’re exploring museums or visiting well run tourist traps, but take them out of their comfort zone and they’re jumping at shadows.
Best to leave them at the hotel if you’re planning to venture off of the beaten track.