How tolerant a traveller are you?

Airport sign from

When you’re off exploring the world, whether it be backpacking, touring in a campervan or travelling in luxury, it’s inevitable that you’ll meet many fellow travellers with different habits to those of your own. The way in which you react to their habits shows just what kind of a traveller you really are!

Are you pretty tolerant when it comes to other people’s habits, no matter how much they might offend you? Or perhaps you can’t even bear to be around others who are acting in such an offensive manner?

Take a couple of minutes to ask yourself the following questions and total up your score at the end to find out how tolerant a traveller you really are!

a = 3 points

b = 2 points

c = 1 point

1: You’re standing at a bus stop when you hear a young traveller in the queue behind you, loudly clearing her throat and spitting what seems to be a gallon of phlegm onto the pavement at your feet.

Do you:

a)   Stare at her in disgust, shake your head and inbetween tutting furiously, tell her not to be so vile

b)  Try and hide your revulsion while you move as far away from her as you can

c)   Ignore her and tell yourself that she must believe her behaviour to be acceptable


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2: You’re treating yourself to a spot of posh nosh in a swanky restaurant, when you hear a woman belching loudly at the table behind you.

Do you:

a)   Turn around and tell her that she’s putting you off your meal; would she kindly refrain from being so rude in public

b)  Ask the waiter if you might be able to move tables, using the draught from the open window as an excuse

c)   Do nothing and carry on eating your expensive meal


Spitting signs from

3: You’re wandering around a market looking for souvenirs when you notice a local woman staring at you; when you smile back at her, she simply stares back.

Do you:

a)   Flounce over to her and demand to know what she finds so interesting about you

b)  Stare back briefly, letting her know that you’ve seen her, then carry on browsing the stalls

c)   Take no notice of her and tell yourself that she’s the one with the problem, not you 


4: Having ignored the rude woman at the market, you then encounter a particularly persistent stall holder, who won’t accept that despite picking up one of his products, you have no intention of buying it.

Do you:

a)   Tell him that you’re entitled to browse and that actually, you wouldn’t have anything from his stall even if he was giving it away

b)  Say that although his products are lovely, you really can’t afford them and that’s the end of the matter

c)   Smile apologetically and purchase the product, even though you really don’t want it


Airport sign from

5: You’re waiting patiently at the airport check-in desk, when a woman pushes past you with a small child, and makes her way to the front of the queue.

Do you:

a)   Follow her and ask if she’s purchased a priority boarding card, when she tells you that she hasn’t, you tell her loudly that she can wait in turn like everybody else

b)  Look around to see if anybody else has noticed this appalling lack of respect for the rules, then shake your head but say nothing

c)   Let her pass and remind yourself how you might feel if you were travelling with an infant


So, just how tolerant are you? I’ll tell you my score when you’ve told me yours!

12 – 15  Wow, it looks as if you may have some tolerance issues! You often find it hard to understand how your fellow travellers can behave in a manner that you deem to be rude and unacceptable, and you’ve no qualms telling them so!

8 – 11 You may be prepared to let some bad habits pass you by, but you can’t ignore them altogether

5 – 7 Congratulations, you’re a terrifically  tolerant traveller! You appreciate that not everyone shares the same views on acceptable behaviour, and you’re prepared to live and let live. A gold star to you!

NB Should you feel you may benefit from some form of therapy to help deal with your traveller intolerance, please be aware that there are a number of excellent services available, and full listings can be found in the ‘Intolerant Travellers Handbook’ available at all good book stores.


Kate Blanchard
Kate is an English woman currently living in rural Morocco with her husband, Ben, and their mischievous mongrel, Douglas. They moved out there three years ago after Ben was offered employment as the manager of a large fruit farm, and although life can often be challenging for them both with cultural differences and language barriers, they see this as more of a reason to stay, than a reason to admit defeat and leave. Kate tries to find humour wherever possible in life, and finds herself blessed (or as her husband would say, ‘cursed’) with an irrepressible desire to see the beauty and the positivity in what others may see to be ugly and negative. Most of all though, she has a zest for travel and exploration and finds it incredibly satisfying to share her stories of adventure with others, even if it does nothing more than transport the reader to a distant land for a few minutes.

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