10 Types of Backpacker

When you travel anywhere, you’ll always meet all kinds of people with great stories, you’ll find friends for life, and people to visit all over the globe (yahoo, free accommodation baby!) Unfortunately, you will also meet people you hope to never run into again…

1. The hipster

This guy has a topknot, lots of tats and is generally a little bit stoned at all hours of the day. This backpacker just wants to ‘be there’, you know, and ‘feel’ the country and the cultural ‘vibes’. Generally, this backpacker has paid an extensive amount of money to get high in hammocks for the duration of his stay…

2. The lobster

This one tends to be British (and tends to be me). We sun cream up every hour or so with factor 50. We wear large ridiculous sun hats that tend to be blown out of tuktuks and off scooters. We pop all the pills going (antimalarials, anti motion sickness, vitamins) and as soon as people are jumping off high ledges into water, we’re looking for life guards and life jackets.

3. The keenos

I don’t believe in being too friendly but these guys can come on a little strong. You’ll be eating dinner and some randomer, as he walks by the restaurant, will latch onto a part of the conversation you’re having with a friend. ‘Are you still talking about eyes?’ (A genuine question I was asked once). The ‘still’ makes it all the more creepy as you wonder how long he has been hanging around the restaurant waiting for an in…

4. The idiots

There are plenty of these to be found. The ones who get very drunk almost constantly and chant through the night in hostels everywhere. The ones who jump onto moving tuktuks, invite guys back to their 12 bed dorm rooms, eat pizza for the entirety of the trip and get turned away from temples for wearing nothing. It’s a wonder these people managed to get on the plane.

5. The researchers

These guys should be paid travel agents because they know all the best places to go, the conversion rates, the snags, the scams. They can recommend hostels based on your needs, they know which visas are required, they can tell you which mode of transport is best value for money and they can tell you all the best apps to download (maps.me was an epiphany for me). These people deserve medals.

6. The hungover

These guys often share a lot in common with the idiots but their zombie status gives them a whole new category. These people are constantly shut in dark hostel rooms, pale, purple eyed, full of regrets. I’ve often wondered why alcoholics bother to travel and the only reason I can think of is that alcohol is cheaper for them abroad.

7. The anxious

These guys go beyond first aid kit to walking pharmacy status. They have all the pills you can imagine, they have bottles of hand sanitiser, rolls of toilet paper, they set up their mosquito nets every night and they constantly bug spray up, telling horror stories about dengue fever as found on the internet. They hold their valuables to them as if carrying a new born baby and they check the sheets every night for poisonous insects. You wonder if the trip was worth all the pain.

8. The poor

This extreme budgeter will drag you around from market stall to market stall (by the way, they’re all the same), pointlessly attempting to barter down that half a penny. They’ll eat the simplest most disgusting item on the menu because it’s the cheapest (mmmm plain rice, again) and they’ll hound you for that 1000 kip you owe them for the tuktuk ride (which, FYI, is less than £1). This person should have saved up for longer before they decided to explore the world one penny at a time…

9. The oblivious

These guys tend to be lucky little assholes. They follow the rest of their hostel because otherwise they are constantly lost and they stumble upon beautiful things, like the Chiang Mai Festival of Lights or the South East Asian film festival, which other people have planned their whole trip around. They leave other backpackers frustrated – how the hell do they do they get so goddamn lucky?!


10. The bat shit crazy

These guys have bungee jumped, motorbiked up mountain tracks, they’ve trekked through jungle without a guide and have many stories about snake encounters, scorpion bites and near death tumbles over waterfalls. These types will get bitten by monkeys or dogs and they’ll shrug off the rabies shot (that money could go towards something else that could potentially kill them, instead). Again, sometimes, this category also overlaps with ‘the idiot’. But I guess that applies to us all hey.
Feature photo credit: Ed Gregory

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