We like to travel.
We do it as much as we can within reason. My partner prefers having just the two of us go off on our own, but sometimes I like traveling with friends. I think it makes it more interesting. Or at least, I used to. Lately, traveling with friends has felt like having visitors in from out of town. Two hours is great, over the weekend is fine, but when all that togetherness stretches out to more than five days, I start coming unglued. I don’t remember it being like this before. Maybe being older and set in one’s ways makes shared travels more difficult.
Case in point: Last year we went on a trip with four other people. Two were very alpha males, one was a dish rag, and one was a wine aficionado. For the first few days one alpha guy tried to out-macho the other until one of them broke his ankle. For the rest of the trip we had to walk around at half speed, so that he could keep up with us. And his wife kept ordering a second bottle of wine and then drinking most of it herself. During the last four days, neither one of these people could stand up without assistance.
I have compiled a list of traveler “types.” Have you ever vacationed with someone who:
Has an opinion on everything, including politics, religion, and chemtrails
Is a back-seat driver
Understands no boundaries and talks about anything… Everything from sex and dirty stories to toilet practices is fair game
Belches as if in a contest
Constantly interrupts everyone all the time
Always turns the conversation around to being all about them
Has already done everything and been everywhere
Is impolite to wait staff and service people
Gets whiny and thinks you don’t like them if you want a little “alone” time
Complains about everything, and everyone, all the time
Is cheap, cheap, cheap
Everything they see is the most beautiful they have ever seen
Keeps disappearing so that you have to go look for them
Is a really slow walker
Is a really fast walker
Always waits to see if someone else will pick up the tab
Is a vegetarian
Only eats meat and says insulting things to vegetarians
Wants to run, run, run, when you want to sit and watch
Keeps suggesting a visit to a nude beach (At 60, I don’t think so…)
At the beach, their “business” is visible from where you are sitting
Complains that the back seat is too small, and that you should have rented a bigger car
When they say, “Bathroom, soon!” they mean in two minutes, not twenty minutes
Every other word out of their mouth is the F word
Needs a beer within two minutes of sitting down or gives the wait staff a hard time
Makes you listen to every joke they know, several times over
Always takes the bill splits it to the penny
Thinks it’s funny to fart in the car
Brings a couple of mixed CD’s of awful music
Thinks 5% is more than enough for a tip, and that is all they are giving
Has every possible medical ailment imaginable and talks about them ad nauseum
Is a fast-food junkie who won’t pay for fine dining
Is a heavy drinker at dinner who wants to split the bill evenly
Never adds tax and tip to the bill and then wonders why the numbers don’t add up
Won’t leave the bar when it’s time to go, and starts partying with the table next to you.
Has bladder-control problems that can make a road trip “interesting”
Can you think of more?
Pick your travel companions carefully or things can get real crazy real fast. And here’s one that gets real old real fast…
Always leaves his wallet “back in the room.”
Ecuador George was born and raised in Southern California. He then spent 20 years in the Phoenix area, first going to school and then building custom homes, mostly in the downtown historic districts. He then moved back to California to be close to family, and started building mountain cabins in his new home town of Forest Falls. In 2014, he retired and moved to Cuenca, Ecuador where he is very slowly learning to speak Spanish, is writing a couple of books, and has a popular blog called www.ecuadorgeorge.com. And if you wish to continue the conversation, you can contact Ecuador George through his blog.