What is your travel spirit animal?
You hop on the plane surrounded by other travelers, all of them inhabited by the same excitement which characterizes the beginning of well-deserved vacations. But have you ever wondered what happened to them once they left the comfort of the aircraft, once they were freed in the wild? A survey from website Travel Supermarket reports that 51% of British tourists say their personality changes when they're on a trip. What instincts are kicking in when everything becomes unfamiliar? Which spirit animal takes possession of their being? If being away from your comfort zone brings out a side of your personality that we don't see in everyday life, what kind of those travelling animal archetypes would you be?
The Paranoid Antelopes
They travel in herds, never far from one another. Their trip will be planned few weeks in advance so that it all goes smoothly and without any stress. Everything will be part of a prepaid package with enough local exotic to feel a little thrill but with all the comfort to feel right at home. They suffer from a severe panic attack if they can't spot one of their own and that's when you will probably see them running around and calling out random names. Luckily for them, they are all wearing the same colorful sticker on their clothes to identify them from the rest.
They always look for guidance and their alpha male is called: a tour guide. This very knowledgeable creature usually carries an umbrella or a flag to gather his flock. His weapon of choice: a megaphone. His travel method: a large and all equipped tour bus.
Where to spot them? Morroco, Southern Europe, Australia, the USA. Nowhere too out of the map but with enough kilometers to be able to brag to their neighbors.
The party monkey
He is young (or he thinks he is), and definitely wild. His hygiene might be somehow lacking but he is too busy to care. His time is filled with new adventures and encounters. He is a social animal and loves being the center of attention. His Facebook friend requests are piling up with new travel companions met along the way. He is pan-cultural in his style and in his mind. He loves to party and will be under the influence of alcohol (and other less legal substances) during most of his stay. Because he doesn’t have much money, but plans to live abroad for few months -or forever, who knows? -, he will try to find a part-time job to earn enough money to pay for his booze and crappy guesthouse room.
He doesn’t know where he will be tomorrow, let along in the next few weeks but one thing is sure, his guitar or djembe will always be by his side. He will start playing in crowded places to create some kind of interaction with the local population. Yes, he does believe that music and smiles are universal languages and he doesn’t care if you judge him for it. He is free and happy.
Where to cross his path? In India, Nepal, South America, Africa. Off the rails but with bars at sight.
The sunbathing sea lion
Holidays mean only one thing: relaxation! Nothing beats lying under the sun with a gossip magazine, a smartphone –for Instagram selfies- and a cocktail. The main goal of the summer will be to end up with the perfect suntan without any visible line.
From time to time, she will leave her beach towel to play some volleyball with cute shirtless guys, swim in the clear blue waters or practice some nautical activities. Banana boat anyone?
She smells of body oil and sunscreen and you will probably see her clubbing at night to show off her browned mermaid body and whip her beach hair back and forth. The least seasoned one is easily recognizable by her unusual skin tone, closer to a shy lobster than her Jennifer Lopez's inspiration.
Where to lazy under the sun with her? Brazil, Miami, Southern Thailand, the Pacific Islands, Ibiza, Croatia or Acapulco. Wherever there are at least two of the followings: Sea, Sex and Sun.
The grumpy cat
He didn't really want to go anywhere. He would have been happy just to stay home and relax in front of the TV. But here he is, a thousand miles away from the comfort of his living room. He wanted to be nice to his spouse or relatives but now he is trapped in a country he doesn’t know and has no particular desire to know more about. The cuisine is too spicy. The streets smell weird. Locals speak a language he can't understand and they look strangely at him. Not even the breathtaking views and the unanimously praised monuments raise any kind of interest in his eyes. Next year, he will fake being sick so that he doesn’t have to waste his time or at least he'll pick some vacations club he doesn’t have to leave and just stay by the pool, eating food he knows how to pronounce.
Where to spot him? Yawning and looking bored anywhere very touristy, where there is more tour buses than cars on the roads.
The culture vulture
Travelling is to learn something new, that could very well be her philosophy. It is not about the country she visits but truly about the worldly experience. She plans her whole trip on how many museums, world heritage sites and millenary cultural activities she can pack up in the shortest amount of time. She won't need the assistance of a tour guide to walk around the premises of this new world, she has already done her researches back home and brought up some books on the subject to cover the rest.
It won't stop her from getting lost but that isn't a problem. It is actually better that way. The road to the unknown is paved with hidden gems. Though she will not interact much with the local population, she will spend a lot of time observing them, from a distance, in their natural habitat.
Where to discover her? In France, Greece, Japan, Iran, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, China…
The luxurious Peacock
No holiday should be spent without luxury. Showing off her best assets, she always travels in style. If she is wearing sweatpants on the plane, you can be sure they are signed by a brand name and that they are back in trend. She has all the money she needs to splurge with la crème de la crème. She is traveling the world in first class and can only have a good night sleep in 5-star palaces. She doesn't mind trying the local food but it will be probably molecular or fusion and prepared by a Michelin star winning chef.
Where to have the honor of her presence? Dubai, Moscow, Paris, Los Angeles, Tokyo, or a resort lost in the middle of a clear blue ocean.
The lovely love birds
They will spend most of their time glued to each other. The destination doesn't really matter, it's all about them. They will take each other's pictures in front of any place of interest –you look so beautiful honey!- and probably ask you to help them out when they both want to be in the frame. They will socialize but mostly with other lovebirds, the only ones who can truly sing on the same note. They won't really look for company though. They are with each other and that's what is the most important.
They will try to get free upgrades or privileges everywhere they can. Why? Because it's their honeymoon, their anniversary or just because they are in love! They will feed each other at restaurants; padlock their romance on Le Pont des Arts in Paris or bungee jump with their ankle joined from Kawarau Bridge, in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Even if their budget is low, they will probably try to make the most of it, and treat themselves with some couple activities: spa treatments, shopping sprees or swimming with dolphins. They deserve it, don't forget, they are in love!
Where to witness their overflowing happiness? Romantic destinations such as: Agra, Paris, Venice, Bali, The Caribbean's, Rome. Anywhere at sunrise or sunset.
The Blending Chameleon
He doesn’t feel at ease back home and is all smiles when he finally sits on an airplane.
He is well travelled and has more miles in his frequent flyer program than the sum of the ones gathered by the other passengers. He won't use them for upgrades though. He wants to cross out more destinations on his travel to-do list. His passport –his third one already - is cluttered with immigration stamps that he collects proudly as trophies. He has already mastered the local language or can fake it by combining few words of other idioms he has learned from previous journeys. He will sample the local food and try to find his own little treasures so that he feels at home wherever he goes.
He isn't staying at a hotel, but with local friends who helps him to blend in the crowd. He is sharing every moment with them trying to figure out what this place is all about. He will spend his time as far as possible from other tourists, except when he feels the need to help out some lost souls… by pretending to be a resident.
Where to reveal his true identity? Middle East, Africa, South East Asia, South America. Anywhere culturally challenging.
The Hawk Eye
Taking pictures is all he cares about. He only looks at the world through the lens of his very expensive (and heavy) camera. This shutterbug carries all his gear even when he needs neither a flash nor a tripod. He will try different angles, different luminosity, with or without people, to make sure he catches on the film something exceptional, worthy of a thousand words. He is chasing after the sunrise and sunset and only goes back to his "nest" when he feels he has conquered his prey.
Where to bomb photo him? Crawling down or climbing up any photogenic monument.
The Kangaroo Family
It's not because they have children that they won't jump around the world together. They are still young and feel that travelling is a chance they give to their offspring. They don’t care if they are only 2 years old and will have no recollection whatsoever of this trip in a few weeks. It will be an unconscious enrichment for those future citizens of the world. It already shows in their outgoing personality. Just look how well they articulated their desires during the duration of the flight. It might have come up as a constant screaming for the narrow-minded next row passengers, but they know how excited they were about discovering this whole new world. They are so bright and are princes and princesses of any places they set foot in. They are adorable and you better acknowledge it, or you are in for a serious boxing match!
Where to praise their descendants? Everywhere could do. Nowhere is inappropriate for their exceptional progeny. Maybe the Amazon? With the correct baby stroller, they could totally do it.