50 signs that show you are a backpacker

On 5 July 2014 by From elephants to kangaroos

Forget the daily life subway-work-sleep, a backpacker is more bus-guesthouse-sandwich. And in the middle of that, some things keep coming back, obviously. So here is my list, not exhaustive, of signs that make you, us, real backpackers.

You know you are a real backpacker when:

  1. Having hot water in the shower is not important because you’re used to the cold water and / or it’s too hot outside.
  2. You always have in your bag your sunglasses and your camera.
  3. And toilet paper. And if you don’t have anymore, you steal some in the GH (you can admit it now).
  4. You spend some nights in the bus / train / airport to save a night’s accommodation. Even in parks when you arrive in the middle of the night (do not pay a guesthouse for half night!).
  5. You can sleep anywhere: buses, trains, planes, boats, airports, cafes, parks
  6. You see a cockroach and it doesn’t scare you anymore (it just continues to disgust you). It also works for lizards, ants, geckos and other nature lovers.
  7. You know what a gecko is. And also the noise they make. Even tell from the extent of their noise their size and where they are.
  8. Your concern for the housing is whether the place is clean, what is the price and if they have wifi. If in addition they have a free breakfast and pick up option at bus station / airport, it becomes your favorite guesthouse. Imagine if in addition they have a pool
  9. You forgot what fasion is because anyway, you wear the same 4 t-shirts, 2 pants and shorts for 9 months. And you realize that actually, it is not that important.
  10. You’ve decided to actually throw this t-shirt that was completely used and perforated and agreed to buy a new one at $1 at the market.
  11. You are going to bed at 6am after partying but you wake up soon because you do not under any circumstances rates complimentary breakfast of the GH that is from 7am to 10am.
  12. You know the wifi passwords of the 5 closest places next to your guesthouse, which doesn’t have it.
  13. You can go into a dormitory at night when everyone is asleep and put in pijamas with the light of your phone without waking up anyone.
  14. You can eat anywhere, preferably in the street. Til it is not expensive, it suits you.
  15. Pay $3 for a cocktail that’s OK, however for a meal, it’s too expensive.
  16. You ordered dishes completely random because either there was no menu or it may be translated into English, bu tyou didn’t understand what it was.
  17. You are in the common shower of your guesthouse completely wet and that’s the moment you realize you forgot your towel. So you end up using your shirt to dry you.
  18. You got ripped off by dozens of tuk-tuk, richshaws and other local transport.
  19. You searched for T-shirt that stinks the less to wear today, while you give the rest of your clothes to wash because you have nothing to put on you.
  20. You have a top guesthouse or a good hotel and you leave with all samples of soap, shampoo and toothpaste they put at your disposal because it’s good timing, you didn’t have anything anymore (and after all you paid for it!).
  21. You listen to music during a journey or waiting for your bus and you smile stupidly because it makes you think about something or someone.
  22. You watch a video on your smartphone when you wait for your flight at the airport (preferably lying somewhere where there is an electrical plug) because there you have a good wifi and time, and this video makes you exploded with laughter. Causes: you afraid of the people around you, who are in the stress of travel. For you it’s your time relaxing. For them you’re real crazy person.
  23. You see travelers who go on vacation for two weeks with big suitcases on wheels that weigh 25kg when you have your life in a 50L backpack  that weighs 15kg max and you travel for 1 year.
  24. You have no travel plan and you decide your next destination based on encounters that you have made ​​today or what you heard yesterday during a conversation.
  25. The first thing you ask a traveler is not his name but where he came from, since when he travels and where he was. The name comes only after a few hours, or even days.
  26. You have friends all over the world. You can go visit someone on every continent, in almost every country in the world, and no need to use couchsurfing.
  27. You do not know what day it is or what time it is. And sometimes, you stop in the street, and you wonder in which country you are because right now, you really can’t remember (true story).
  28. You know how to say hello and thank you in over 10 different languages.
  29. You have coins of at least 3 different countries in your purse (because in exchange offices, they do not take coins).
  30. Customs have trouble finding an empty page on your passport, which is stamped memories.
  31. You know your passport number by heart. And also the date of issue and expiry.
  32. Someone asks you your permanent address on official papers and you don’t really know.
  33. And when someone asks you your job, you want to write “professional traveler and happy to bebut you finally write “Unemployed”.
  34. Your wrists are filled with bracelets of each country you’ve been through.
  35. You don’t have to worry about driving on the left side with the right hand drive.
  36. You avoid travelers who come from your own country.
  37. You’re proud when people tell you “You‘re French, really? Because you do not look like a French and you have a very good English accent, it’s unusual.”
  38. You know what a visa-run.
  39. You know to locate on a map a number of world cities like Varanasi, Mandalay, Auckland or Sapa. And you know where are Khao San Road or Utopia, backpackers spots.
  40. Secretly when someone says he is on vacation for 2 weeks, you pity him and you think he will not have time to see much of the country (it does not prevent you from spending good time with him though).
  41. You’ve never had so many new friends on Facebook in such a short time.
  42. Your bag is very light, only 1012kg. Without the souvenirs that you couldn’t not buy along the way.
  43. Your family and friends have dozens of postcards on their fridges that you sent them.
  44. You heard hundreds of travelers say that you were lucky to do this long trip. And you said hundreds of times that they too could do it too if they want to (and have the courage to).
  45. Your bag is worn, holey, but you can not replace it because it has gone through all the good times with you. It was your (only true and faithful) travel companion after all…
  46. With a Swiss Army knife, you can do wonders, going in and out of many situations, you fix everything. If in addition you have a sewing kit and a string, then you become MacGyver.
  47. You have no bad memories of trip because you managed to make the best of every situation and in the end, the hardest moments, your mind has completely forgotten them.
  48. Your next trip is not a world tour to meet people, your next trip is to go and see all these people you met during the 1st trip but this time, discovering their country.
  49. You’re still traveling but you are already thinking about your next trip. Because just thinking to setlle for more than 3 days in a row at the same place seem complicated to you right now.
  50. You read this article and it made ​​you laugh. It reminded you of your trip. In short, the backpacker, it’s you.

PS: I wrote this list on my way for a few months but I know there are other hallmarks of backpacker. So do not hesitate to add them with a comment on this article!

Photo credit: Australie Guide Backpackers

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