This is not the common What Is Your Travel Type? post with an obligatory fun quiz, but it will give you a deeper concept about the possible ways of arranging your traveling life.
There are many articles out there that categorize travelers, and all of them are different, unless it is a syndicated or reblogged piece of writing it all depends on how creative is the person writing it. What is common in these lists, is that they are made around two topics or attributes, namely:
A. How much is your travel budget, how do you spend your money. This way, you can be a Backpacker, Flashpacker or Poshpacker, Luxury Traveler, and there are a few other types, like Last Minute Hunters.
B. What are your main interests and activities when you travel, how do you spend your time. This way, you can be an Adventurer, a Party Animal, a Culture, Food or Business Traveler, a Beach Bum, a Lone Wolf, an Explorer, and some more.
These two kind of categorizations sound interesting and sometimes will give you your right type, you can recognize your travel habits – sometimes not and you just have to figure it out for yourself. You maybe need to take several tests and combine their results to see that you are a Lone Poshpacker who loves Art and Wine, for instance.
However, these quizzes and lists are all limited and cannot be applied to every and any types of travelers. What is more important: at the base of all these categories, there is another list that you should look at and determine what is your BASIC travel type, which is fundamental in planning (or designing, that is such a fashionable word…) your life of travel.
I have been following Andrew Henderson at Nomad Capitalist for a while, and he is the only one that I know of who writes about what are these basic traveler types. You want to read his full article Four ways to live as a Nomad, from expat to perpetual traveler to digital nomad first.
It is rather a lengthy read, but please, grab your cup of coffee and study the article, because it is chock full of info and worthy of every of your minute. (It’s totally fine with me if you wander off to his site and dig further in the links, because you will want to come back here to read about one more category that I added, and a little bit of my own story, so that you can see another example of how this all falls into place.
According to Nomad Capitalist, these are the four types of how you can live as a Modern Nomad (their site is obviously not specialized on occasional travels, like holidays and such, so we don’t talk about that). And these four types are not really types as to how are you like as an individual regarding travel, but they are strategies, along which you can build not only your travels but basically, your life.
- Perpetual Traveler Strategy: hopping from country to country, town to town, living out of a backpack or a suitcase, without a permanent home. Sure you have heard about all these travel bloggers (maybe you are one of them) with their laptops and flip-flops, working from this beach one week, then another one next week. That is awesome, isn’t it?
- Base Cities Strategy: you have several cities that you can call home, where you store your stuff, you know your way around, you have more connections to locals, where you can just sit down if you don’t feel like being on the road, and you rotate your stay between them. A few months here, next few months there, another few months at another place, you come back to these locations all the time.
- Base City + Focus Cities Strategy: you have one city that you call home, which is your stable base for your connections, belongings, legal things and so on, and you have a few more places in the world that you spend more time at than in other cities, for your business and/or leisure.
- Expat Strategy: when you spend more than 3 months in the same place, you would be already living an expat life, you settle down for some time, outside of your home country.
Again, I do encourage you to read the original article for all the details of these four types, before going on. Andrew Henderson gives you great legal and other advice to each of these categories.
And here it is the fifth type that I came up with, when trying to fit myself into the right category:
- Base City + Perpetual Traveler Strategy: this could be for artists who do have a home in their country but are touring a lot. Or perhaps certain types of business people. You have a place that is your home, you have most of your family, friends, colleagues and other connections there, you know the town etc, plus you go on performing tours that might take several months at a time. But you then return to your cozy nest, after having visited fifteen towns. You take a breath, wash all your clothes, catch up with your folks and with sleep, prepare your show, gear and materials for the next round – then on the road again.
We must admit that this is a specialized scene and it will not apply to a big majority of travelers. Nevertheless, it might exactly apply to you. In this case, you have the stability of what having a home base can give you, plus, you get to see as much of the world as you wish (and what your schedule allows, if somebody else is organizing your trips). In ideal scenarios, you will be treated to gorgeous hotels and meals – other times, you might be sleeping in your van and eating noodles, depends on what are you going for.
With the time, our priorities can change between these 5 strategies. For example in the past 18 years, I have been mostly living number 4, the Expat Strategy. With shorter or longer breaks at home in my beloved Hungary and occasional trips to other countries, I spent most of my time in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, England, Sweden and now in the Czech Republic.
But recently I realized that although I love to discover different cultures off the beaten path, sitting in one place is a bit boring for me and I even tend to get lazy, I don’t make as much effort to go and absorb everything I can in a place, than when I only spend a few days somewhere. Boring is probably not the ultimately correct word for it, but I am missing the kick and excitement that I always get when I go out to discover the unknown. Therefore I am looking at some new adventure very soon and be a Perpetual Traveler for a while.
And for a longer term, I still have the option of choosing between 3, Base City + Focus Cities and living the 5, Base City + Perpetual Traveler life, already having my Base City in sight. (Did I tell you? I am a performing artist, a singer, that’s why I figured out this 5th category).
Do you see why are these categories are more essential than all the other lists at the beginning of this article? You have all the fun things in mind that you like to do when you travel, and when you already have the concept of what is your Basic Traveler Type according to this list, it will be easier to plan your trips with budget, activities and everything else, and also, then you can play with all the travel type quizzes, if you wish.
So what is your Basic Travel Type? I am curious to hear, please tell in a comment.