Travel By Number: How Each Enneagram Type Approaches International Development

During my most recent excursion outside the US, I was drifting to sleep one night and musing on how each Enneagram type approaches international development, as well as traveling abroad in general (yes, these are the types of things I think about when trying to fall asleep). Aggregated here with memes for your enjoyment. If you know your type, let me know how well my descriptions match you!


Type 1: I’m here to help right all that’s wrong and bring about justice—but I’ll do it in the proper way, unlike my forerunners and many of my colleagues.

Souvenir: T-shirt with catchy slogan expressing my sentiments of the world (ideally created in a Fair Trade factory).


Type 2: I’m here to love on everybody—so many people in the world just need love and I’m here to serve them in any way possible.

Souvenir: Photo of me with a child.


Type 3: I’m here to start a movement lead by local, indigenous leaders—though it had better be successful or it won’t look good on my resume.

Souvenir: Gifts for my team of family and friends made by members of the organization I helped start.


Type 4: I’m here to explore the arts and music, the poetry and ancient philosophies of this civilization—and if I come across the dark, morbid side of their arts, that’ll inspire my own creative expressions even more!

Souvenir: Several unique statement pieces of clothing or jewelry to incorporate into my wardrobe.


Type 5: While I’m here, I will learn everything I can about this culture and civilization—the history, politics, languages, religions, sports and popular opinions about all of the above.

Souvenir: Book purchased at historical museum or replica of ancient artifact.


Type 6: I’m here to do my job well like I’ve been instructed. Please don’t ask me to leave home after dark though because it probably isn’t safe.

Souvenir: Item I could have purchased at home but got for a fraction of the price here.


Type 7: I’m here for the adventure and the more bizarre it gets the better! I’m here to experience it all—the risks, the fun, the excitement!

Souvenir: Gift from a local friend I just met yesterday.

water fight

Type 8: I’m here to fight injustice! And I will do anything to defend protect my family of local friends who now look to me as a parental figure.

Souvenir: Prize I won in a game or competition.

my people

Type 9: My main goal is to blend into the local culture as much as possible so as not to be conspicuous or create waves. Please teach me everything I need to do in order to be sensitive to people here.

Souvenir: Local clothing worn while there to blend in.