10 awful people you will have met on holiday
1. The “I’m here to find myself” woman. She’s just come from a meditation retreat and she’s staying in a Buddhist temple tomorrow. She’ll tell you how she can't wait to be away from WiFi and “really get back to nature”. She’s in the middle of a juice diet or a vegan week right now and she‘ll buy anything with the word “detox” in it. Back home, she probably works in marketing, but she’s just a “wandering soul” at heart.
2. “Lads on tour”. These guys are basically indistinguishable from a stag party. They’re all wearing white Supreme t-shirts and black Adidas shorts like it's some cult uniform. You can spot their sunburn from down the street - that's if you didn't hear them first. Their “prank” stories sound a bit gay, but they claim they're just being “lads” living their "best lyf”. They’re all called George or Alex or Ben but you’re going to have to buy into their nicknames for each other to tell them apart. Either that or remember the colours of their bucket hats.
3. The gap-yah girl. She claims to have “done” over fifty countries, but most of them are just airports. She’s planning on doing an arts degree at a midlands university you haven’t heard of, but really travelling is "the dream”. If she’s alone, it’s probably because of some drama with her friends. She loves it because she can now say "it, like, totally gives me anxiety" - even better if she can turn it into an Instagram hashtag.
4. The festival goer. He’s got bracelets from his wrist to his elbow. Half of them are sun-bleached and falling apart. Don’t ask him about them because he’ll probably start the next sentence with “this one time, when I was totally wasted...” or a story about how he smuggled E across borders in his anus. He spends most of his time at his hostel on the sofa and he books everything last-minute so he can "live in the moment, bro".
5. The couple. She’s a wannabe model. He’s an aspiring photographer. They hunt out the most picturesque spots so he can take photos of her with his new tripod, making sure to get in the way of as many people as possible. Her suitcase is full of flowing dresses, make-up, and sunglasses as big as her face. She’s probably complaining about something that may or may not be his fault.
6. The thru-hiker. They’re just “passing through” on their way to somewhere intimidatingly impressive, go-pro in hand. They have ego-trippy stories about climbing waterfalls and breaking legs on the Great Wall of China. They haven’t showered in a week and their hair looks like it’s turning into natural dreads. You won’t see them much because they’ll be up at a ridiculous time to catch the sunrise from the nearest hill.
7. The hopeful bachelor. He’s a white English guy, about fifty, and overweight. He lived in Thailand for a bit, then the Philippines, and now he’s travelling around. He has at least one Hawaiian shirt and shorts that were designed to fit a slimmer build. He’s convinced he’s mastered the local language, but none of the native speakers can understand him. He’s full of ‘expert’ tips about places to go and things to do, but he’s really just here to find a wife.
8. The family. They all wear fair-trade clothing because the parents are the hippie vegetarian types. The kids are wild, out of control, and trying their best to ruin your holiday. There’s a layer of white suncream covering each of them and they’ve definitely suffered through a few days of food-poisoning. They all can’t wait to get back home to their four-bedroom house in Surrey and for this hell to be over.
9. “Lads on tour” - European version. They’re not as loud as the British or American lads and they’re normally less ugly. You can spot them from the well-groomed stubble and the chest hair protruding through their shirts. It’s hard to tell when they last washed because they’ll be using cologne and chewing gum to hide the smell. They’re incredibly flirtatious with each other and with women, although most of them will have girlfriends back home.
10. The trust-fund kid. They’re out here on their parents’ or grandparents’ money, but they try their best to hide it. They weave words like “fam” and “sick” into their Queen’s English to trick you into thinking they’re common. They won’t barter at local markets because it’s “effort” and they’re happy to part with cash if it’s “weighing down” their wallets. You can find them easily at night: they’re the only white people at the RnB club with magnum bottles of Champagne.