Introducing your group...

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The Perfect Group - Which One Are You? The Perfect Group - Which One Are You?
Ok, so you have booked yourself on a tour and you’ve done your homework so you know what you’ve let yourself in for (hopefully)… How exciting! But what will the rest of the people be like? Isn’t that the million dollar question? Tour leaders have no more say on who will be part of the group than you will. And much like the tour leader, you just have to get on with who is there. Patience, tolerance and flexibility are key attributes in any aspect of life when dealing with other people. But these factors are essential when you are travelling in a group. After many years leading overland groups around the world, it is safe to say the same characters present themselves. While you may think liberty has been taken with the stereotypes, I can assure you that mankind is a little more stereotypical at times than you might think. None more so than when people travel… A group of 20 people on a tour will naturally bring with them 20 different personalities. Among your travelling companions you will mostly likely find some or all of the following characters; Sensible Older Person: late forties, well read, well-travelled and generally the voice of reason. Wears his polished walking boots all day, every day. Older Independent Couple: in their fifties or sixties, retired, well off but down to earth, keen to see and explore every last thing and will probably know more about what there is to see than the Tour Leader. Natural Leader: in his late thirties, cool, calm, funny and one to turn to in a crisis if the crew are not present. Can also morph very quickly into a royal pain in the arse if he allows himself. Mother Figure: taking a sabbatical, has kids at home who are more worried about her than she is about them. Loving the new found freedom she has and will probably be the unexpected life and soul of the party. Single Hot Chick: in her late twenties, city girl, has money, up for adventure and partying. Bloody gorgeous and every man on the tour and off, will fancy the pants off her. The Baby: late teens or early twenties and the youngest on the trip. Normally a young lad who has been sent away to ‘toughen up’ and gain some life experience. First trip away and everything is so very, very new… Single Bloke and His Mate: two guys who are mates from way back. Late twenties, early thirties. Up for a laugh, constantly stitching each other up but good company to be with. Airhead: stereotypically scatty female in her twenties. Forgetful, funny and frequently opens her mouth without thinking. Man-Hater: in her thirties, running away from relationship problems. Hates men. No really, she hates men. She’ll tell you all about it… The Jester: single lad in his twenties. Doesn’t take anything, especially himself, seriously. Likes a few drinks but doesn’t know when enough is enough. Potential disaster zone. The Alcoholic: in his forties, loves the cheap booze as much as the sights to see. Quiet and morose during daylight hours, comes alive after a skinful. Nymphomaniac: late twenties and just out of a long term relationship. A party girl, up for anything. Literally. Numnuts: mid-twenties, the unfortunate one who will lose his passport, get mugged, chop his finger off and break his camera but will still find everything ‘absolutely amazing!’ The Whinger: early forties, has booked herself onto the wrong tour but won’t admit it. It’s always ‘too hot’, ‘too cold’, ‘too windy’ etc. Great to be with as long as she doesn’t open her mouth. The Oracle: been there, done it, knows it all. Male obviously, who loves the sound of his own voice, oblivious to the inevitable mickey taking he gets. Not a bad chap really, opinions aside. The Stingy One: rolling in money yet tight as a duck’s arse. Will quibble over 10 cents when paying the bill, reluctant to tip anyone, automatically knows at any given point how much he has spent on the trip. Will probably buy a Ferrari when he gets home though. The Veggie: there’s always one, normally a girl. Mid-twenties, generally a cool chick, funny but eats grass. And nuts. Silent Grafter: in her forties, always up early to put the kettles on, always mucks in, always on hand to help, never moans. A top lady all round. As scary as it sounds, this makes up an almost perfect group. Which one are you…? Have we missed any characters you have had on your tour?
Andy N Robinson

Freelance Overlander and Group Travel Expert.

Andy has lived out of a bag for 14 years. The last 8 have been spent working as an overland expedition leader and tour driver.

Long haul group travel in expedition trucks has taken him throughout the Middle East including Iran, the 'Stans in Central Asia, India, Nepal, Tibet, China and around South East Asia. He overlanded extensively for 4 years in South and Central America and survived 4 consecutive years at Rio Carnival

He has also overlanded twice with a Japanese film crew and driven a 1 litre Ford Fiesta from London to Mongolia and back. He has been shot at, arrested and had his leg sewn up in a hotel room without anaesthetic (not by choice!) Life for his passengers is never dull...

He champions the overlanding concept and writes/photographs about the more random and obscure side of travel on the Frog Blog:

www.

Website: www.blackfrogpublishing.com

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