I’ll admit, I’ve been a little obsessed with the Enneagram since I was pegged a “4″ by a therapist about seven years ago.
I take that back. When she first said something, I smiled and stifled a yawn, thinking it was just another “personal work” thing I didn’t have the time or inclination to look into. It came back around a year later when I started school, and I was forced to go back and tell her, “Sooo, about that four thing…yeah, you were dead on.”
What the hell is the Enneagram, exactly? It’s a personality typing system divided into nine numbers. It seems like more people have heard about Myers-Briggs, and though they fall along the same lines, I feel MB is more business-oriented. On the other hand, the Enneagram, and learning about your “type”, can help you in areas ranging from work to romance, personal fulfillment to travel.
With an influx of Enneagram talk lately amongst friends, I started to think about the connection between personality types and travel. I then proceeded to do a quick Google search – as we all would – and nada. Seriously? No one has written about how the Enneagram could help you figure out what kind of traveler you are?
Which made me think it’s time to do a little experiment. I’ll start by giving a brief overview of each type below.
Once you figure out what number you are (there is a short, free test at the Riso-Hudson Enneagram site) and determine what type of travel most suits you, write down both of these in the comments section below.
Seriously, I think we could get some good scientific data going on here.
Here’s the overview:
(1) The Reformer (also sometimes called the “Perfectionist”; often has a Type-A personality)
(2) The Helper (sometimes referred to as the “Giver”; that person who always seems to be doing something for someone else)
(3) The Achiever (goal-oriented, but very personable; tends to be able to mold to any situation)
(4) The Individualist* (otherwise known as the “Romantic”; usually creatively-inclined, but also very emotional)
(5) The Investigator (scientific approach to life, very intelligent; often watches others from afar)
(6) The Loyalist (a person who believes whole-heartedly in something important and often follows it without question)
(7) The Enthusiast (sometimes referred to as the “Peter Pan” of the Enneagram; likes to keep moving in life)
(8) The Challenger (someone who is very clear with others about their wants, needs and desires)
(9) The Peacemaker (also know as the “Mediator”; one who can often act as a bridge between two conflicting camps)
So as an Individualist, I actually do like to travel solo. I also enjoy traveling with other people, but seriously need time where I just take off on my own. The best kind of trip for me is visiting someone in a place they are either from or have lived in for a while, and where they have a job. That way, I can take off on my own during the day, and meet up with them at night and on the weekends. Plus, they’ve got the inside, non-touristy track, which appeals to my creative, unique side. Bam!
Alright, now I need your help to figure out what type of travel is best for each of the other numbers. After a couple of weeks, I’ll pull together the data and post the outcome.
What’s your Enneagram type and what type of travel do you like best? Share them below!
It’s not only about determining your travel personality, but also other aspects of the self, as Sarah Menkedick muses in the piece, What’s Your Language Personality?
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Christine Garvin is a certified Nutrition Educator and holds a MA in Holistic Health Education. She is the founder/editor of Living Holistically...with a sense of humor and co-founder of Confronting Love. When she is not out traveling the world, she is busy writing, doing yoga, and performing hip-hop and bhangra. She also likes to pretend living in her hippie town of Fairfax, CA is like being on vacation.