A definitive guide to everyone you’ll meet whilst travelling
Stay away from the Barney
Week 5 getting you down? Spending all your lectures looking at one way flights to Cuba? Well, why not satisfy all your wanderlust dreams with this list of all the different people you're bound to meet when you go travelling? Bring on next summer.
The most awful person you will meet when you go travelling. The Barney is the infinitely creepy man who works at the hostel. Initially you'll think he's just a nice sociable chap, but him trying to force free shots down your throat and following all the young solo female travellers around gets incredibly disconcerting. He alludes to date rape like it's a fashion trend, and makes everyone incredibly uncomfortable when playing "never have I ever".
He boasts of being a free spirit, but his never-ending gap year translates into not having any friends or connections, and he hasn't seen his family in five years. His bedroom has nests of termites and the floor is covered with broken pieces of electrical equipment – just from standing outside it you'll think you have hepatitis. Avoid at all costs.
Lovely Irish people
Irish people are all-round fantastic, and when travelling in a strange foreign country, they are an absolute delight. You'll go on nights out with them and stop feeling homesick, they'll be the perfect balance between absolutely ratchet and sensible enough not to get detained in a Thai prison. You'll remain Facebook friends and smile when they post throwback pictures on their Instagrams – an all-round great time.
A staple everywhere you go. They have wonky ideas about their goals in life, will tag along with randoms, and have little interest in seeing anything cultural. They'll get absolutely smashed every night and they're a great time, but it gets a tad concerning when you walk past them passed out in their own vomit back at the hostel, or on the street. You adopt a "keep doing what you're doing hun" philosophy, but at the end of the day you're glad it's not you who's vomiting on the floors of people they're going home with.
The college graduate who's running away from their problems
An ubiquitous travel cliche. They might've just graduated, quit a job they got straight out of uni, or they're about to sell out and work for a major corporation – and they've decided that travelling somewhere, drinking too much and spending every penny to their name is the way to solve their problems. They're a great time, and much more adjusted than most people that you'll meet – but God forbid you bring up anything that relates to relationships or jobs, because a subsequent emotional breakdown is inevitable.
They have the best hair, they're managing to rock the "I haven't showered in six months" look, and their super zen attitude is completely authentic. They'll drink cheap beer with you and say meaningless shit like "as a woman I just find riding on a motorcycle so empowering". You'll be both baffled by, irritated with, and incredibly jealous of them.
The couple that everyone hates
Sure, they'll be fine to begin with – they'll make conversation, they might join you for a few beers – but the conversation will quickly degenerate into how incredible their other half is, and no matter how evidently you don't care, they keep going. Either they'll end up shagging in a 12-person dorm room, or they get sick of slumming it and end up staying in a hotel. You will never see them again.
Psychotic Welsh people
Obviously, everyone from the UK disgraces themselves when they go abroad, it's practically a right of passage that we know we wear as an un-ironic badge of honour. But when you meet Welsh people travelling – and I hope you do – it's a different level of chaos altogether. 20 of them will suddenly emerge at four in the morning in a mountainous village in South East Asia, screaming, crying, enthusiastically debating whether or not it's a good idea to cuddle the pack of rabid dogs. Their anecdotes are seriously disturbing, and like a flash they disappear off into the night, leaving everyone around them completely shook.
A proper BFF
Travelling with someone makes or breaks a friendship, and after weeks of stinky hostel dorms, 16-hour buses, and trying to negotiate with terrifying taxi drivers, still liking the person you went away with is pretty rare. They'll nurse you back to health when you inevitably get food poisoning, they won't judge when you decide you need to buy another book even if you're already carrying twelve, and they'll accept the temporary "gap yah" personality you adopt, just like they accept your awful high maintenance uni self. By the time you're back in the UK, they're your favourite person.