I am reading a very interesting book by Laurence Sterne called A Sentimental Journey written in 1768 about travelling through France and Italy. At one point in the book he divides “the whole circle of travellers” to one of these types:
– Idle Travellers
– Inquisitive Travellers
– Lying Travellers
– Proud Travellers
– Vain Travellers
– Splenetic (angry) Travellers
– The Travellers of Necessity
– The Delinquent and Felonious Traveller
– The Unfortunate and Innocent Traveller
– The Simple Traveller
I can easily put myself in most of the categories including the Lying Traveller but I think nowadays the traveller category depends on the country and the type of holiday you take.
I am an Idle Traveller when I am lying on the beach by the seaside – you can’t be Idle Traveller for example in Hungary.
I am Inquisitive when served with some strange but delicious dish in the forests of Borneo. But if the dish is overcooked or burned I can be such a Vain Traveller.
During my last visit to Tunisia just before the “Arab Spring” I bought the latest edition of the guide book from a reputable publisher, carefully planning what to see and when. We stayed for a week and time was precious. On a hot day I uprooted the whole family insisting on culture instead of beach, to take them to the nearby Museum. It was listed in my “up to date” guide book and had very good reviews. Reluctantly my family came with me and we followed the guide book instructions only to end up in the red light district! The museum was never in that part of town! The Splenetic Traveller is an understatement of the way I felt at the time.
I haven’t been a Lying Traveller for a long time, since I was a student and forged train tickets to get to the seaside. I am a very Proud Traveller when natives ask me about my country.
I do travel out of necessity when going on long business trips and I have been a delinquent traveller, the last time during Rach’s stag night in Krakow when our drinking session ended with a handsome policeman’s caution. I can proudly announce that I have never ever been a felonious traveller.
Yes I have been an unfortunate traveller when my bunk bed was sold twice and I had to spend all night standing in the corridor as I didn’t have the heart to refuse an oldish lady and her plea that she bought her ticket well before me. Maybe that was my punishment for forging train tickets during my student days?
These days I am just a simple traveller.
Which kind of traveller are you?