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The Different Types of People You Will Meet Abroad

The People You Insult By Accident

My best friend and I backpacked Europe this past summer and yes, I am still talking about that trip. We arrived in Frankfurt, Germany and the first person we talked to rolled his eyes at us when we asked him where the nearest Starbucks was. We still laugh about it to this day because we didn’t understand what was so offensive. I guess arriving in a foreign country and immediately going to Starbucks isn’t exactly immersing ourselves in the culture. We probably looked a little stupid, but we didn’t expect the first few minutes into the trip to go so poorly.

The Other Backpackers

Depending on the time and the place(s) you visit on your trip, you’re going to come across a few backpackers that will probably join you for some activities. It’s always fun to meet new people and spend the day exploring beautiful, new places together. I would highly recommend letting loose while doing everything and anything on your trip because, honestly, you’ll probably never see these people again. Ask them whatever you want (unless it’s offensive) and open yourself up to them.

The Fun Locals

Picture this: my best friend and I have decided to go all out for our last day in Italy. We’re staying in a hostel that’s a short drive to Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre is a bunch of centuries-old seaside villages on the Italian Riviera coastline and honestly, it’s the prettiest place I’ve ever seen. As we were walking through the village, we got approached by a man that works for a boat tour company. I can’t recall the exact price, but I want to say it was around $100 Canadian. This wasn’t exactly in our budget, but how can you refuse a boat tour on the water surrounding Cinque Terre? Oh, and did I mention there was bottomless wine? It was a last-minute decision but one of the best decisions we made that trip.

The characters on that boat ride were incredible. We have Luca, the young Italian boat driver, the New Zealand couple who watched us slowly get more drunk throughout the ride and, finally, we have Roberto. Roberto was actually on a different boat than us but halfway during our ride, he JUMPED onto our boat because we were having so much fun and he wanted to join in. Roberto then proceeded to propose to us and threaten to kill my boyfriend back home (in a totally joking kind of way). Let me remind you that there was bottomless wine on the boat. We had too much and had to stop the entire boat so we could hop off and piss in the “nearby bathroom”, which was literally just a hole in the ground. This ended up making us a little bit late coming back and we weren’t exactly sure if we would make the last car ride to our hostel. In our panicked state, Luca sees that we are clearly stressed and offered to drive us home on the back of his… scooter. Luckily, we booked it back to the car ride, but I will never get the image of Luca scootering us back home out of my mind.

The people you meet abroad will make your trip memorable. Be open-minded to the places you visit and the different people you encounter, and you’ll be sure to have the trip of a lifetime.

Mary Shanahan

Wilfrid Laurier '21

Mary is a fourth-year English student at Wilfrid Laurier University.
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