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You Know You’re a Seasoned Backpacker When….

Essential Items for your Backpack

Backpacking or travelling for a long period of time is an incredible experience – rewarding, exhilarating and life-changing.  However, when travelling for a long time, there are some things that start to affect your daily life, and that people recognise in you even if you don’t see it for yourself! Here are just a few things I realised I have started doing after spending a long time on the road!

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  • You take spare napkins at dinner to use as emergency toilet paper
  • You can sleep anywhere, from the back of a car to a bench in an airport, and no longer care if people see you snoring (and/or dribbling over yourself).
  • Your favourite clothes shop is the lost & found box at your hostel
  • Your Facebook feed is full of travel photos and wanderlust quotes
Long term travel, seasoned backpacker
inspirational travel quotes are everywhere on my social media!
  • Your friends’ whatsapp messages always begin with ‘So, where are you now?
  • You can say ‘hello’, ‘please’ and ‘cheers’ in at least 10 different languages
  • Chatting to random people on the subway is no longer taboo
  • You find coins from several different countries every time you open your bag
seasoned backpacker, long term travel, round the world trip
picking out change for my next trip gets harder each time!

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  • You don’t care if people see you changing in the dorm room anymore
  • When you go home to visit family it is great to see them but you can’t imagine living there for longer than a week.
  • You have friends from almost every country in the world.
  • Your Instagram account reads like an atlas
  • All you want for Christmas is cash for your next trip, or a Lonely Planet book
  • Clean clothes from the laundry feel like the best thing that happened all week
  • You own two pairs of shoes, and one of them is a pair of havaianas flip flops (thongs for you Aussies).
  • When someone compliments your necklace/earrings/scarf/bag you launch into a tale about where it is from & how you came to buy it
  • There is still nothing like your mum’s home cooked food.
A taste of home - my Mum's Fry Up
A taste of home – my Mum’s Fry Up

I hope these made you smile – did I miss any ‘typical’ backpacker behaviours?  Are there any you disagree with?

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18 thoughts on “You Know You’re a Seasoned Backpacker When….

  1. Bonnie Truax says:

    I literally LOL’ed here in the library at the first bullet point. TP is hard to come by in some places!

    I have change that I don’t even know what country it belongs to.

  2. Paige Wunder says:

    YES YES YES YES! I can personally attest to agreeing with every single one of these things. The Lonely Planet Book for Christmas resonates with me especially because my mom will ask me where I’m heading the next year every Christmas! HA! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Nisha says:

    So funny yet so true. I was smiling as I read this. I guess most if it i because travelling broadens our mind and things which were forbidden in a cloistered life back home, seem childish or at least not to relevant.

  4. Patricia says:

    LOL!! I can relate as a traveler even without the backpacking experience! For instance, I totally save spare napkins for bathroom emergencies — and I learned that the hard way. I have coins from countries that don’t exist as those countries anymore. And I always launch into tales about where something is from. The list definitely put a smile on my face!

  5. Stephanie says:

    The best hostel lost and found pick up we ever made was a pair of crutches. My friend desperately needed them! I’m not quite a backpacker, but this list reminded me of my younger days for sure!

  6. Gina says:

    I like the point where you don’t care if people see you change in the dorm room. The older I get, the less I care. I’ll take it one step further because after living in Japan and going to onsen, I don’t care if people see me naked. Hahaha.

  7. Joella (RovingJo) says:

    These are all great and not just for backpackers but for all travelers. I bet you have great stories of all the souvenirs which I bet are all practical. I can so relate to each one of these and yes you made me smile.

  8. Shane Prather says:

    So true of my massive 18-country Eurotrip! I got used to showering every couple days and finding random coins from different countries in my bag. Take me back!

  9. Sandy N Vyjay says:

    ‘When you keep ticking places off your bucket list and can’t wait to tick off some more!’
    These are so apt for all the backpackers! And yes, it really brought a smile on my face. Many of the points listed by you, brought a sense of Deja Vu!

  10. Carrie says:

    Sadly I am not a fully fledged backpacker (there is time yet) But the reminder of how good fresh laundry feet when I was travelling did bring a smile to my face and also also how good the simple pleasures are that we take for granted! Happy travels x

  11. Tamara - @ Girlswanderlust says:

    Haha, these are some really fun facts! Although I’ve never really backpacked myself (omg I would love to just do it one time!), I can regocnize many of them. I love to keep some of the coints from the destination I went to for example.

  12. thecandidnomad says:

    Spare napkins!!! Very true!

    I’m not sure I can claim to friends from almost *every* country in the world (197 I wish…), but the spare change is definitely true. I was GUTTED to come home to find my Mother had thrown out my jar of spare change from eastern Europe – I had hope to frame them one day!

  13. Cori says:

    This list really highlights how different it is CouchSurfing versus staying in a hostel! It’s a totally different experience staying with families, rather than a bunch of kids on gap year. I do relate to learning to sleep anywhere, anytime when I had my eurail pass!

  14. Anne says:

    I have the permant coin situation going on. That and lots of different notes in my wallet. As much as it annoys me, I can’t bring myself to remove them as each tells it’s own little story.

  15. The Adventure Ahead says:

    This gave me quite the giggle. Our little traveling family can relate to a lot of these- probably too many to admit ;). Thanks for the laugh 🙂

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