Perhaps you’ve met them? Those people who seem like they were born to travel. They glide through airports effortlessly; they eat every roadside delicacy with an iron stomach; and they can recite the word for bathroom in 26 languages. You’ve probably also met those other people too – the ones who leave you wondering why they ever left home. They are irritated that there isn’t a McDonalds in Tuscany; they ask you to assist them with the 80-pound bag they are trying to fit in a small train compartment; and they want to instruct the locals in the American way.
Most of us who travel probably fall somewhere on the continuum between these extremes.
So, what are the commonalities among those we would label as the best travelers? We’ve shared some of our choices here in our list of the “Top 10 Traits of Good Travelers.” How would you say you you rate according to the characteristics on our list? Are there any we have missed?
Good travelers love to investigate and explore new ideas, foods, people, languages, and places. Being “out of their element” is exciting and fun.
Good travelers know how to alter their expectations quickly if things don’t go according to plan.
Good travelers are able to identify what is essential and what is not. They know how to pack light, prioritize, and make tough choices.
Good travelers have a modest opinion of their importance. They are willing to submit and serve out of courtesy and respect for others.
Good travelers know that there is more than one way to see things and do things. They are willing to receive new information and are capable of learning from others.
Good travelers do their research and are keen observers and interpreters of culture. They use that knowledge and experience to make sound judgments in new contexts.
Good travelers look around at their environment and readily recognize kindness, beauty, and service that others may miss. This is demonstrated through a spirit of gratefulness.
Good travelers make friends in every place they visit. They offer warmth, hospitality, and a quick smile. They are approachable and open.
Good travelers are openhanded and unselfish. They are willing to offer their time, talent and resources to better the lives of others… and they are willing to overlook faults.
Good travelers see the opportunity to explore, encounter and embrace the world as a privilege and a great source of happiness.