Why You Shouldn’t Categorise Yourself While Travelling

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It would be fair to say when it comes to travel I think a little bit differently than the normal traveller, nomad, backpacker, soul searcher whoever you may be. I place myself in a different category of travel; something that you may find so simply strange. Hence the name Sir Wanderlust. Throughout my many years of walking the globe, I still to this day have not come across someone parallel to myself in their vision of travel. Every traveller seems to categories themselves from the moment they leave their front door into a stereotypical group of travellers or establish themselves within this category whilst out exploring.

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Lets paint the picture; You leave the house as:

  1. A traveller is someone who would usually travel for work or pleasure seeing those things along the way they wish to see mapping out their every move. Usually resting up in Hotels and not afraid of spending a few dollars. These are stereotypically the older generations ‘fossils’.
  2. A tourist is someone who walks around looking almost confused, holding an extended pole with a camera on the end taking photos of anything and everything. Usually resting up in Hotels or stay with relatives/friends. Travelling in packs of 20 plus.
  3. A nomadic traveller is someone who spins the globe and sees where they end up. Makes plans to not make plans. Not one to spend a lot of cash or finds it hard to dish out a large sum. Nomads usually would find other avenues to attain accommodation working for accommodation in hostels or Couch surfing. Laid back and take each day as it comes.
  4. A backpacker is someone who is looking for the closest bar and good times. Has saved a set amount for a wild trip jumped on the bus tours and isn’t shy of blowing a little bit of money if it means having some serious fun. “Backpacking” tends to be a trip funded by mummy and daddy.
  5. A soul searcher is someone who travels for love or to find love somewhere around the globe. This may be from meeting that special someone online to just taking a chance and flying to Paris, standing under the Eiffel Tower and hope she arrives and sweeps you off your feet.

I find it hard to categorise myself amongst these groups of travellers as I feel so utterly unique in my adventures. I would never identify myself as any of the above however a combination as I hold certain elements. I hold this mentality that I need to work hard, to travel harder.

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I have no boundaries or limitations when I travel because I have worked and juggled a handful of jobs at the same time to get to where I am. I am not talking working a 9am-5pm – I am talking sunrise until 2,3,4am for weeks on end with little to no sleep. Sacrificing time with your family, friends and significant others. We all know in order to put our full devoted attention into something we need to sacrifice time, however for me I have always wanted to make the most of my life and this desire to travel the world trumps everything.

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With my approach to travel I am happy to tuck into a cozy hostel 32 bed mixed dorm room; however when I am looking for that change I will check into a luxurious hotel. The difference between myself and nomadic travelers and backpackers is they seems to be on this extreme budget and if we get so caught up on how much we can spend each day I feel this takes away from the experiences and memories you can make. While I’m all about the couch surfing to save a few dollars, work aways or just working for accommodation for a few nights to experience something different, I never want to feel I have limitations when I travel and it all comes back to the way you wish to travel. You never need to categorise yourself amongst the stereotypical groups so go out and create something different just like I have.

Experience the world, work hard, travel harder and create your own identity.

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Sarah Elizabeth
    April 8, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Great post!! Never categorize yourself at all, and I love the honesty and openness here!! 😀

    • Reply
      sirwanderlust
      June 8, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      Thanks so much! Glad to hear you enjoyed it 🙂

  • Reply
    Nick Darlington
    May 1, 2015 at 12:56 am

    Hi Sam,

    I like this post man and can relate to many of those categories in my travels over the past 16 months ( and counting). I’ve just started my blog and I’m deciding what I want to do with it. I really like the avenue that you’ve taken. Keep up the good work!

    Cheers
    Nick

    • Reply
      sirwanderlust
      June 8, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      So great to hear you liked it. Love hearing about fellow male bloggers, as well! If you need any help along the way, feel free to reach out. Cheers!

  • Reply
    Ruth
    May 29, 2015 at 10:15 am

    I totally agree that you shouldn’t categorise yourself. I find that there’s often a snobbery about how you travel and what kind of traveller that makes you – are you a ‘proper’ ‘traveller’?! It’s crazy and when you start imposing those ideas on yourself you restrict your options and risk not doing what you want to or what would make you most happy for fear of being judged.

    • Reply
      sirwanderlust
      June 8, 2015 at 4:50 pm

      I agree 10000%. Just do what makes you happy, and make like-minded friends along the way! Great to meet you, Ruth 🙂

    • Reply
      Hazer
      June 21, 2015 at 4:20 am

      The path has as many directions as options to take it, there is no right or wrong, as long as you don’t end up dead, and if you die living for what you love, that isn’t even the wrong path. They say the good die young, but others say that because if you live long enough you will always end up alone. Everyone dies, might as well live and die on your own terms, and spend time with the people that make you the happiest. Every day you wake up, if you have something ahead that will be a struggle, you know it’s 100% of your own choice. Those are the days I live for. Knowing that for one tiny period of time, my life is 100% good or bad because of my choices. No depression, no procrastination, no excuses. No ability to blame anyone.

  • Reply
    Hazer
    June 21, 2015 at 4:14 am

    We are all unique, We do what we do temporarily. I want to experience something new every day, and it has become compulsory to me. Every day I spend in the same place is a day I’m not spending learning. Eventually everyone that travels with me finally hits a spot where eating pack foods, or not sleeping, or going to new places with new experiences is outside their comfort zone.

    I do it, so they can’t say its too hard, which means they can’t make excuses. If they say it’s not the life they want, I will accept that, and move on.

    I just left my true place a couple months ago, I want to go back one day, but I have businesses to talk about and ideas to spread first. Currently a nomad, because I don’t stay one place long enough to get known for my work, because then I get gigs I don’t want and I get strapped for cash.

    After a time, I type cast to being a photographer, being a marketer, being a video guy. I wasn’t that a year ago, and I won’t be that a year from now.

    When your on the go all day long, days blend into weeks and weeks into months, it’s all good, so time flies. I would rather take a month with no days off than send a week in a room with nothing to experience. Everything shuts down. My mind, my body, my drive, even my dreams start to fade.

    An unstoked fire analogy comes to mind, but I don’t remember the words. I am all of those things and a million more. When I am by myself, I’m free to tell stories, some stories have villains and some have heroes. When people know you, they only want to know about the villains, the people that make them feel they made the right choice in staying where they were.

    Not being able to tell the story of the amazing people I have encountered frustrates me, and I always want to tell the story of the heros.

    When I’m on someone else’s timeline, when they have no understanding of how I operate except prior ideas about who I was 5-10 years ago, it becomes very difficult to be myself.

    I have discovered that money comes and goes, but when I need it the most, is when I work the hardest to get it. When you have nothing to offer but time, a story, and a trade. Life isn’t very restricting. I’m free to sit somewhere till I can decide what I want to do, I always have so many options.

    The people from my past see it, as I’m only coming back to take something from them or ask something from them. I just want to spend a little time with them. I would gladly sleep in my car. They feel that makes them a bad host though, it doesn’t I don’t offer to do something if I’m not ok with doing it.

    I am trying to make as positive an impact on as many people as I can.

    I’m NOT trying to be as little impact as possible.

  • Reply
    Karin
    October 12, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    I completely understand your perspective here, as I don’t fit neatly into any category either. As a travel blogger with a disability, I have to plan things out in advance more than others might, but I also like to be spontaneous. I was asked to fill out a survey about wheelchair travel in which there was an assumption made that people with disabilities would want all-inclusive types of vacations, but those repel me. I don’t want to go to another country just to sit around a pool sipping drinks served to me by exploited natives. I want to experience the real culture of any place I visit. But, I have certain limitations due to purely practical reasons. I would have no problem with couch surfing or Airbnb-ing, but most people’s homes aren’t wheelchair accessible. Having to stay in hotels is a major cost and limitation for me. I’m becoming something of a foodie, so I prefer to experience unique local restaurants even if they cost a bit more than eating at chains. I never miss an opportunity to go see live music or theater. I say, travel the way you want and don’t judge yourself by someone else’s standards. There is no right or wrong way to travel, only what works for you!

    • Reply
      sirwanderlust
      October 17, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      Hi Karin,
      You are a true inspiration to all those who travel and I completely agree with everything you have said! To overcome this hurdle and make things work for you should be motivation for others to do the same! People will always go for the easy option or dine with the large chain restaurants to ‘stay safe’ however miss the great opportunity to really engulf themselves into the culture and cuisine on offer in this foreign country. Really enjoyed reading this comment so thank you!

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