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Travel: There Are Two Kinds Of People

When traveling, there exists a fundamental divide, resulting in two very distinct types of people. There are those that elect comfort, the guaranteed air conditioning, the prepaid meals, the housekeeping. And there are those who choose the unknown, the spontaneous, the hostel. Where exactly you will spend your time away from home, work, responsibility, routine, (with or without family) is an understandably weighty decision.

It is an unfortunate reality of the lives of most Americans that vacation is incredibly limited. It is simply not possible for the majority of people to take months, even weeks, to go backpacking across Europe or hole up in Bali. So what you do choose to do with your very precious time, ends up being incredibly telling. However, before I get into this, I want to make it clear that I’m not bashing the family of 4 who go to Gulf Shores over their spring break for a week. I understand perfectly well that kind of travel can be very relaxing, and provide the perfect escape away from school and work that is integral to sanity.

That said, those who pile into a car, due west, much too small for themselves and their luggage are a different kind of traveler. Their first thought when they find time to get away is not to seek comfort, but discomfort. They look for adventure, regardless of whether or not they come back well-rested and with a tan. To me, having only a rough estimate of where you’ll end up, and not a picturesque idea of exactly what/where/when it is you’ll be doing, is admirable.

The same type of traveler that takes a spontaneous road trip, is the same type of traveler who is willing to stop at any interesting stop along the way. They’re more than happy to stop at the scenic overlook. Or pass through two lanes at a time to pull over and read the sign explaining something historical

It can be difficult to describe the two types without examples, luckily they’re able to be boiled down to a lot of binaries: national park vs resort, tent vs hotel, carry on vs checked bag, the wind vs an itinerary, hikes vs bus tours. I’ll let you guess who is who. But to leave you with one piece of advice, You can never go wrong with the one way ticket, well wait.


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