Being a backpacker is more than just carrying a backpack; it’s a way of traveling. If you can relate to any of these or get a laugh out of them, you might be a backpacker…

1. Your room at home looks like a tornado ransacked it, but your backpack is so organized it would make Martha Stewart proud.

2. You get more excited about doing laundry in an actual washing machine than seeing another historical site.

3. You have a collection of WiFi passwords at least 8 pages long.

4. You’ve heard the question “so, where are you from?” so many times you start making up answers just to amuse yourself.

5. You’ve eaten so much street food the vendors know you by name.

6. You buy black socks instead of white because they ‘show less dirt.’

7.  Your backpack is permanently in a state of being half-packed and ready to go.

8. You can easily convert Celsius to Fahrenheit or miles to kilometers in your head.

9. You have mastered the art of getting dressed and undressed by the light of your cell phone so as to not wake your bunk-mates.

10. You can’t remember the last time you took a shower where the hot water lasted longer than 30 seconds – or you weren’t wearing your flip-flops!

11. You’re packing skills are Tetris Level: God.

12. You manage to find a free walking tour in every city that you visit (and make new friends to stay with during each one).

13. Plug converters take up more space in your backpack than anything else.

14. You can sleep anywhere. Literally. Anywhere.

15. However, you have also mastered the art of staying out until 5 am and still being up in time for a free hostel breakfast.

16. You’ve run out of pages in your passport. More than once.

17. You have changed your itinerary to travel on with the new friends you made over your 4th margarita last night.

18. Snoring in a hostel dorm room has started to sound like a gentle lullaby.

19. Couchsurfing and Hostelworld are the first apps in your phone & on the bookmarks bar in your laptop.

20. You pick a cafe based on how little you can get away with ordering while using the free WiFi (and whether they have an electrical outlet).

21. You know EXACTLY how much you can pack & still carry-on to a Ryanair flight.

22. Your bug bites have bug bites.

23. You routinely spend the night in the airport or train station to save on a night’s accommodation.

24. You know exactly which credit cards & banks charge no international or ATM fees.

25. You look down your nose at people with roller bags.

26. Forms that ask for your permanent address send you into a tailspin.

27. You only know what day of the week it is if there’s a special at the local bar.

28. Finding a hostel where you’re allowed to flush the toilet paper elicits a 5 star review on TripAdvisor.

29. You’ve worked a shift at a hostel desk in exchange for a free bed for the night.

30. Any clothes that don’t obviously smell are considered wearable.

31. If you had to choose between having your own bed and having free WiFi…well, you know what your priorities are.

32. You laugh at all those suckers buying souvenirs. The only souvenirs you need are photos and a hangover.

33. You don’t shave your legs until they practically start spouting leaves.

34. Guide books? What guide books? Your travels are planned from other backpackers’ recommendations (and wherever you have a free place to stay).

35. You shudder at the thought of getting a “real job.”

36. You have tan lines in the shape of your sunglasses (and flip-flops).

37. You don’t think it’s weird at all to wear the same 3 shirts for months at a time.

38. You have your passport number memorized.

39. You never worry if your accommodation plans fall through because you have friends in every country.

40. You have lived off pasta for longer than you care to admit. (But you’ve walked enough to burn off the calories.)

41. The sound of your bunk mates in the hostel getting it on doesn’t phase you. That’s what ear plugs are for.

42. $3 for a beer is totally fine. $3 for a meal is pushing it.

43. Your phone contacts list is made up of countries rather than names (hot Swiss girl, guy from Hong Kong, crazy Irish twins…)

44. You have over 20 country codes memorized.

45. You can say cheers in every language.

46. You know what a ‘visa run’ is and exactly when the next time is you will need to do one.

47. You have coins from at least 5 different currencies floating around in your pockets.

48. You barely even remember what it’s like to have a clothes dryer.

49. Discovering a half-full abandoned shampoo bottle in a hostel bathroom is like GOLD.

50. You gravitate to the word FREE like a bug to a blue light – who cares what it is?

51. You opt for an 18 hour bus ride rather than pony up another $50 for a flight.

52. When you get back home, you don’t understand why you can’t haggle prices.

53. You have perfected the squat toilet technique.

54. You can spot an open electric socket from 50 yards away and will camp that sucker all night if you have to.

55. You get a bad case of itchy feet after being in one place longer than 4 weeks.

56. You laugh at most government ‘travel safety warnings.’

57. You believe that any form of moving water constitutes a shower.

58. Hearing someone with the same accent as you will stop you dead in your tracks.

59.You consider your backpack a perfectly acceptable pillow.

60. You have your next trip planned out while still on your current one.




Mandie is a writer, rebel & web design junkie. In her spare time she enjoys drinking wine, traveling & working on her perpetually unfinished novel. She was a nerd before it was cool.

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  1. Corinne    

    Mandie, Love, love, love this list, especially numbers 20 and 42! I’m not a backpacker, but much of your list does resonate with me! Hilarious.

    1. Mandie    

      Haha, every now and then I have to write something completely ridiculous. 😉

  2. Wesley Travels    

    That´s so awesome to read this. I can relate to so many points.. I love number 30.. I know it´s dirty, but it´s so true.

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