How would you know if you’re really a backpacker? Travelling around got me meeting different people, different kinds of travellers, just tourists, backpackers, flashpackers, adventure seekers, etc. They all seem the same right? But they are not.
Who are you?
- Tourists just go to places to take pictures and see the place, splurge, stay for a short period of time to relax, wears fashionable clothes, carries lots of things, shops for souvenirs, then leave.
- Backpackers travel around without definite period of time, no itinerary, no plans, live the life of the place, learn things around, talks to locals, live like locals, do whatever it feels like (sometimes stupid), goes to wherever their feet wants to go, always on a budget, open minded, and fun.
- Flashpackers are backpackers with time restriction and therefore have itinerary to follow, but they will always be backpackers (wait sometime, prolly few months and they will backpack again).
- Adventure seekers travel for whatever adventure, may it be for food, sports (extreme or not), experience, actually anything. Backpacking is also an adventure so do not be surprised if backpackers are naturally adventure seekers too.
But really, now that you know those kind of travellers. You think you’re really a backpacker now? Then check out if you have some points from the list…
You’re a real backpacker if …
- You see ethnic things, food, people and you recognize where they are from.
- You know at least few words of a language or two (or probably know and speak it) from places you’ve been to.
- You start converting currencies everywhere you go (even back to your country).
- You save most of your salary to your next trip.
- You always think of how to extend your trip.
- You miss travelling around after few months of being back in your country.
- You began missing those things when routine starts kicking in.
- You’re back to your country, you starts cooking exotic foods you met during your travels.
- You can’t keep yourself checking promo airfares, destinations, visa runs, and accommodation rates.
- You always want to pack light wherever you go.
- You don’t stop researching about places to go to for possible next stop.
- You start getting rid of things in your room that you survived not using when you left for your trip.
- Your OC (Obsessive-Compulsive) behaviour is gone.
- You don’t care about ironing clothes much.
- You wear comfortable clothes more.
- You want to see your friends in the country like you’ll be leaving the next day(because really you don’t know if you are…:D).
- You become less serious and more fun.
- Your bargaining skills are sharper.
- You recognize more country flags, currencies, language, capitals, places, means of transportation, what to do or see in that place, etc.
- You blog, write a journal, or write for a travel company.
- You tried using traditional toilets without toilet papers but water.
- You’ve been sick from eating something weird.
- You can walk a lot.
- You have travelled more than 10-15 hours on a bus, boat, or plane (beating motion sickness).
- You slept in the airport.
- You slept along the highway waiting for a bus in the middle of nowhere.
- You’ve been lost many times.
- You sleep in the cheapiest accommodation you can find.
- Knows how to travel cheap or if not, always finds a way.
I don’t know if I missed something, share it here if I did but so far, these are what I remember how backpacking changes people. This is according to the observation of my backpacker friends and we all agree in unison!