“Explore, Dream, Discover.” – Mark Twain.
The writer certainly hit the nail right on the head with that statement. Backpackers live a certain lifestyle which is dictated by budget and lifestyle preference. Although backpacking isn’t confined to any social conformity and more people are going backpacking than ever before – it is not the vagabond, hippy thing of the 1960s. But here are a few things that most backpackers do – let’s see how many of them you identify with.
- You opt to take the bus or the slower mode of transport instead of flying to a certain location because it s only a fraction of the cost. And let’s face it, they have the time. This way they get to interact with locals who may be travelling in the same mode of transport and see more of the country as their transport takes them through the areas.
- Bargaining has become a skill – and this really comes in handy when you’re travelling. Locals tend to raise the prices for many items simply because you’re a tourist – but knowing how to wheedle out a bargain can save you big bucks over time.
- Packing has become an art. You know how to pack in all the things you need and leave room to spare. You know how to pack things and place them strategically in your backpack so that there is no wasted space.
- You take amazing pictures of your adventures and your Facebook/ Instagram pages look like they were off the cover of National Geographic.
- Similarly, your profile or cover pictures on your social media accounts change every few days because the pictures you take are always better than the last.
- You try to meet the locals – to know more about the place and make friends along the way.
- You’ve considered working in the local café just so that you can stick around in a place for longer. You have the freedom to make that judgement call and can stay or travel as you please.
- You realize what a small world we live in. You bump into familiar faces that you may have met along your journeys or met other travelers who may have some friends in common with you.
- You’re tanned by the sun from all your travels. The sun is your companion and your skin always look sun kissed.
- Your passport’s blank pages are slowly dwindling as more visa stamps get put on it.
- You’ve accumulated a huge bunch of museum passes, train and bus tickets and more as memorabilia of your journey in your bag.
- You have a collection of funny stories from your adventure – from people you met or places you’ve seen. You also know a lot about the places you’ve visited which you share with fellow travelers along the way.
- You feel frustrated when a place does not have budget accommodations.
- You prefer to go off the normal touristy path and discover treasures that only the locals know about. Of course, this doesn’t stop you from visiting the same touristy places too.
- You never complain about accommodation. Your budget doesn’t allow you to, and you’ve taken all this in your stride.
- You are familiar with researching places online and probably have Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet and Wiki Travel on your bookmarked sites.
- If a certain accommodation is truly awful, you won’t hesitate to write a scathing review on one of the online review websites to share your experience with the world. After all, you would appreciate it if someone else did the same thing.