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The (Wo)man With A Plan
Sleeping in on vacation? Inconceivable! This type-A traveler has a jam-packed itinerary that leaves no stone — or rather, museum, monument, or mildly interesting site — unturned. She will get the audio guide. She will see everything. She will have reservations, appointments, and all the proper paperwork tucked into a leather folder. She may also collapse from exhaustion and need a vacation to recover from her vacation.
The Social Media Star
Some might accuse this person of being so caught up in getting every moment on record that she's not truly present. Her travel buddies are used to holding still for a few minutes as their gelato drips onto their shoes so she can get the perfect shot. They're accustomed to fake-pushing the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Being struck by wayward selfie sticks and having awkward moments surface on Snapchat are par for the course. But, momentary irritations aside, having an official vacation photographer is a stroke of luck when you're not too enthusiastic about taking your own photos or, really, are just reluctant to drain your smartphone's precious battery.
It's not what you've seen, it's what you've eaten. This person religiously pores over restaurant reviews before any trip, books the elusive reservation first and then figures out the rest. This type would rather starve than dine in a pricey tourist trap that doesn't ooze authenticity. She can tell you where to find the best gumbo in New Orleans, the freshest oysters in Ireland, and the finest pintxos in the Basque region. Befriend this person if you can, or at least ask her for dining recommendations. Sometimes experiencing a new place through word of mouth is the best way.
The Party Person
This breed's native habitat is the hostel, simply because A) you can cram countless friends into one room and B) there's no better place to get social with complete strangers. His rules are simple:
1. Relax/sleep during the day.
2. It's always 5 o'clock somewhere.
3. Solitude and silence are overrated.
4. Ordering shots is crucial to maintaining friendly international relations.
And, lastly, if you haven't seen the sun rise over la Sagrada Família/the Space Needle/Christ the Redeemer as you stumble home from the clubs, you haven't truly lived.
Been there, done that. If visa regulations were a bit more lenient, this guy would never leave destination X. As it is, he settles for visiting time and time again, and scoffs at rookies who dare to share their own naïve observations. He speaks the language fluently, rolling his Rs and correcting those who say "Barcelona" instead of "Barthelona." He doesn't waste his time sightseeing, because that's for tourists. His role model is Hemingway, and his Achilles heel is the possibility of ever being called an "ugly American." You can't decide if you're charmed, annoyed, inspired, or all of the above.