With limited funds and an aim to “stay as long as the money lasts” there’s a few things all backpackers do to survive.
Whether it’s exploring Europe on a Eurail Pass, taking tuk tuks around Asia or chancing the chicken buses of Central America- these staple backpacker behaviours are one of the only guarantees in a world built on ‘seeing where the road takes you’.
1. You’re happy to exist on a diet of two minute noodles and cheap wine
For some travellers, becoming acquainted with local cuisine is the sole reason to travel.
These foodies will happily traipse through Thailand’s markets for the tastiest Tom Yum, queue for croissants outside Du Pain et des Idees in Paris and wouldn’t blink twice dropping 42€ on gelato in Rome.
You however, are more likely to be found in the communal kitchen kicking back with two minute noodles. After all, that $20 you could have spent eating out is another night’s accommodation in a hostel.
2. Hotel rooms are as foreign to you as the country you are visiting
While the idea of some privacy sounds great, the price tag of a hostel is just too inviting.
You might have to share a room with seven strangers, wear shoes every time you shower and carry around a silk sheet so you don’t become a bed bug bitten statistic, but paying only a fraction of the cost is worth it.
3. All your friends back home have careers and you’re not sure what day of the week it is
Being a backpacker doesn’t often coincide with climbing up the career ladder.
While all your friends back home are complaining that ‘the weekend went way too quickly’ you’re genuinely unsure which day it is. On the rare chance you do know what day it is it’s probably because the hostel bar has a “Monday night $5 steak night.”
4. You’re happy to sit on a bus for ten hours to save $50
Being a backpacker, there’s not many things you have a lot of.
Everything you own needs to fit in a backpack light enough to carry across a city when you undoubtedly get lost on the way to the hostel because you don’t have any data for Google Maps or money for a taxi.
One thing you do have a lot of is time. You are more than happy to get a long distance bus, train or take an indirect flight if it means you get to save some precious travel dollars.
5. Your Facebook friend’s list is full of people you don’t know
From the Chilean girl who slept on the bunk under you in San Francisco, to the group of British lads you played drinking games with in Cape Town – your Facebook feed has gone from being overrun with people you went to high school with to people you met backpacking.
Are you a backpacker? What do you think makes a backpacker?
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