Earlier this year, my friend Trisha wrote a hilarious article titled The 7 Men You Will Meet On The Road.
Of course I could never let the boys endure this slanderous exposé (okay fine, most of it was true) without a response. So ladies, here is what it looks like from the other side…I got you, fellas!
The 7 women you will meet on the road:
1. The Broken Hearted
Profile: She’s in her 20’s, travelling alone, probably on a whim and is a little nervous about it. Her recent relationship of 2 (or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 or 7) years has just ended and she’s looking to the road for comfort and new beginnings. Why? Because she recently watched that famous horror movie, what’s it called again? Oh yeah, Eat Pray Love. Now she’s on her way to Bali in search of a personal sequel. She spends a lot of the time on the laptop, Facebooking with friends and writing emails. You find it weird how early she wakes up.
Where you will meet: In the hostel dining room
How you will meet: She’s reading a book and drinking coffee when you wake up for breakfast. You sit next to her and say hi, and soon find out she’s already been up for four hours.
The scenario: You ask her what book shes reading (it’s a Nicholas Sparks novel), and that segues into all sorts of conversations. She’s fun to talk to. She’s not really a drinker, so the time you spend with her is spent chatting away in the hostel lounge, eating lunch or maybe even a visit to a few churches and temples. It’s been a while since she’s had to read signals so she might think you like her, but you really just enjoy her company. She’s a breath of fresh air, compared to those airhead 17 year-olds in your dorm.
The ending: No tears here. Just a hug and a smile and off she goes. You’ll keep in touch.
2. The Australians
Profile: There’s two of them. One’s a blonde, one’s a brunette. They wear tanktops everywhere, but never the same colour. They know everyone in the hostel, and it won’t be long before you overhear them telling someone else the exact same story they told you two days ago. You’ll always know when they’ve arrived back for the day because you can hear them laughing as soon as they enter the front door. You probably won’t even know their names, you’ll just refer to them as “those two Australian girls”, and everyone will know who you’re talking about. One day, you’ll see one of them without the other and it will stop you dead in your tracks. It’s like seeing Mary Kate without Ashley.
Where you will meet: In your mixed dorm.
How you will meet: As soon as you arrive and sit down on your bed they’ll talk to you as if they’ve known you since high school. They talk super fast, and always seem to finish each others sentences. You’ll be wondering whether they’re high, but they’re not. They’re just really friendly.
The scenario: You’ll be at the hostel for a week, and you’ll see them every single day. They’ll always stop and ask about your day when you see them in the hallway. Deeed ya go to tha temple today? Deeed ya? Oh how good izzit!? They’ll ask you to join them when they head out for dinner, and you’ll find them drinking in the hostel bar every night. Most likely they’ll be at a table with a group of guys, teaching them all their favourite drinking games. Each night while you’re chilling in the dorm they’ll bombard you with personal questions, and tell you all their travel stories. They have a lot of inside jokes, and they’ll laugh hysterically at every single one of them. The accent will grow on you, and you’ll eventually enjoy kicking back with their meaningless banter each night.
The ending: You’ll be sadder than expected when it’s time to leave. They’ve actually been a lot of fun. You’ll give them each a long hug and they’ll leave you with a smile on your face. You still don’t know their names.
3. The Solo Adventurer
Profile: She’s a machine. She’s travelled to over 50 countries and has every day planned out to a T. She’s older than you. She has a surprisingly small backpack but always seems to be wearing clean clothes and has an outfit for everything: sightseeing, gym, yoga, going out. You’ll notice she has really toned legs, probably because she’s obsessed with hiking. She reads every single night. For some reason you can’t quite put your finger on, you’re not really attracted to her. She’s pretty, though. And she’s probably the nicest person you’ve ever met. Oh and she’s a vegetarian too, obviously. But she still eats fish sometimes.
Where you will meet: In the hostel bathroom, brushing your teeth.
How you will meet: You’ll walk in and she’ll be flossing vigorously. She glances at you and smiles, and naturally you start to chat with a mouthful of toothpaste.
The scenario: She’s way too cool for you. She’s been to places you’ve never even heard of. You’ll sit next to her a lot, especially during meals, because she has so many interesting things to share. You’ll invite her to join everyone for a drink, and she will, but she’ll only have one or two, and then the next morning, she’ll smile knowingly at you while you nurse your hangover like an idiot. She’s really easy to talk to, but conversations with her are different. They feel so serious all the time, but you find yourself learning something new from her every day. But eventually you stop asking her what she did today, because it’s always something like, well I woke up at 6, did some yoga, read 100 pages, wrote in my journal, went on the walking tour, ran 6 miles, climbed a mountain, submitted my research paper and now I’m here eating tofu with you, and it makes you feel dumb because you just woke up two hours ago. Even though you talk to her every day, she always seems to remain somewhat a stranger.
The ending: One day, she just disappears. She left early and you were still asleep. You didn’t even grab her Facebook.
4. The Charlie’s Angels
Profile: There’s usually three of them, and they’ve been friends since childhood. There’s a 99% chance they’re still in university or have just graduated, and this is the big adventure they’ve been saving up for. Two of them look like sisters and the other one looks completely different, e.g two short blondes and a tall brunette. They do absolutely everything together – they wake up at the same time, drink the same drinks and probably even share clothes. They’ve planned their entire trip in meticulous detail, to the point where they’ve assigned specific ipod playlists to each of their upcoming bus rides.
Where you will meet them: In the hostel lounge.
How you will meet them: You’ll sit at their table and start chatting with them because one of them will be on “the laptop” and the other 2 will be sitting there looking bored.
The scenario: You’ll become an honorary member of their group. They’ll always want to drink with you and will invite you to join them everywhere they go. You’ll become better friends with one of them than you will with the other 2, but that’s alright. Even before the trip is over, they’ll add you on Facebook and tag you in all their photos of their “Epic trip” album. Of course, you don’t approve them.
The ending: Big hugs all round. Years later, they still send you stupid messages on Whatsapp.
5. The How Did That Happen
Profile: She has a gorgeous smile. She’s from some faraway country, like Sweden or Brazil. She’s fun and bubbly, and has been on the road for a while. She works out, even while travelling, and you sometimes see her in her yoga gear as she’s arriving back at the hostel in the morning. She’s still in university, but already has her whole life figured out. You can sense her attitude the moment you meet. Something’s going on here..
Where you will meet: At the gringo bar.
How you will meet: You’re playing a drinking game and she calls you out on something. You study her eyes, wondering if she’s serious. Is she flirting with you? You don’t know. Next thing you know you’re all out on the town. She catches you at the bar while you’re topping up your drink, and it seems natural to offer her one. You stand there talking for a while. Now she’s flirting with you. Flash forward and you’re suddenly dancing with her. How did this happen? You have no idea. The cheap booze has bid your inhibitions goodbye. Before you know it, you’re kissing. Your friends are watching thinking you’re having the time of your life, but it’s all so ridiculous you’re actually trying not to laugh. As the night goes on, you somehow manage to exit the bar and find some privacy. And then it’s morning.
The ending: You wake up. Where are you? Oh right, now you remember. When the two of you are finally conscious you start recapping how everything happened. It’s not even weird. You laugh about it. She’s really cute. But she’s flying out tonight. You spend the day together, nursing your hangovers and sharing a few laughs. Goodbyes are sealed with a kiss, and there’s no regrets. A few months later, you see she’s gotten engaged on Facebook.
6. The Best Friend
Profile: She’s cute, and you click straight away. But it’s not the lustful, romantic, gaze into her eyes click. It’s the platonic, comforting, we’ve been friends forever click. Maybe it’s because she looks a bit like Natalie Portman, and your type is more Alicia Keys. She laughs a lot. She’s travelled a while and is comfortable on the road, which makes her easy to hang out with, and she never talks about her ex. It’s all very Haley and Lucas.
How you will meet her: You arrived on the same day, and bumped into her while she was lugging her bag down the hall.
The Scenario: You’ll talk for hours and don’t even realise it. You’re not really attracted to her, but the next day you’ll find yourself looking for her, wanting to hang out. Unfortunately she wakes up super early, so she’ll be out somewhere already. Later in the day she’ll find you when you least expect it. You’ll eat all your meals together, have D&M’s, you’ll probably even take a trip together. You’ll share a bed, since you’re both nearly broke. But the night will just be laughing at each others muddy feet and you falling asleep while she’s blabbing about something. Soon you’ll be such buddy buddies that you’ll start sharing water bottles and she’ll do your laundry for you when you pretend to not know how. After about two weeks, everyone you meet thinks you’ve been friends since childhood.
The Ending: You might’ve wondered if you liked her, but you didn’t. Of course, nothing happens. The goodbye isn’t as hard as you thought it would be, and years later, you’ll still be in touch.
7. The One That Got Away
Profile: In the words of Taylor Swift, you knew she was trouble when she walked in. Her voice is strong and reassuring, yet vulnerable. Sexy. She has long wavy hair, just the way you like it. She’s tanned to a sun-kissed bronze. You love the way she dresses; simple yet sophisticated. You don’t want to admit it, but she’s taking your breath away. Eventually you crack a joke, and she laughs. Wow. What a beautiful laugh. That’s the moment you know it’s all over. You’re head over heels in like with this one.
Where you will meet: Somewhere innocent, like a walking tour or a Couchsurfing meet.
How you will meet: She’ll be travelling with a group of guy friends and you’ll shake hands amidst all the introductions. But she catches your eye. There’s something about her.
The scenario: She’s been on your mind from the moment you met. You get to know her, and she’s just as lovely as you imagined. After dinner one night, you take a walk. One hour turns into two, into three, into four. She hugs your arm as you both wander aimlessly, laughing at each other while arguing about who’s home country is better. It’s the most fun you’ve had since you left home. That night, you text her goodnight, but fall asleep before she replies. Turns out she stayed up waiting for a while, which is a great excuse to text her in the morning (to apologise, kinda). From then on you start spending the entire day together; breakfast, lunch and midnight snacks. You haven’t felt like this for a while. But you’re older and wiser now, and surely this can never be what you want it to be. Can it? But before you know it, you’re travelling together. One month. Two months. She’s smart, and funny, and looks incredible in that red and white bikini. Are you in love? No, you can’t be. Don’t be silly. But it’s slowly starting to feel that way. Maybe you are. Stop kidding yourself. You totally are.
The ending: It’s time for her to go. She’s already pushed her flight more times than you can remember, and she’s due back at work in two days. You spend your final day together laying cuddled up in bed, wide awake, but silent. You don’t even know how to feel. And then she drops the B word. Baby? Bahamas? Bar Mitzvah? No, idiot, the other B word. That’s who she’s been Whatsapping with every night out in the hallway. She runs out of the room crying, and you’re too stunned to even move. Instead, you stay in bed and turn on the TV, catching up on the replay of last night’s NBA playoff game (the one you couldn’t watch, because she wanted to go to that night market thingy). The following day she disappears, and the next time you see her is in her wedding photos on Facebook.
Now, where’s that Katy Perry CD…