You know you’re a backpacker when…

1. You take (gladly accept) the “complementary” individual sized packets at every opportunity. Ex: peanut butter, mustard, jam, sugar, honey, nutella and my personal favorite… the packs that come with a napkin, mini utensils, salt and pepper!

2. You have to use your pillow case as a hair towel… After using your hair towel as the only clean thing to stand on when you forgot to bring your shower shoes to the bathroom.

3. 6 people entering your bedroom at 3am is normal.
… And when 1 of them decides to pack their entire backpack on the bunk above you.

4. You double your shampoo for body wash, conditioner, shaving cream, clothes detergent and the occasional eye make up remover.

5. You cut off the bottom of a shirt to use as a belt for your only pair of shorts that happen to be way to big.
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6. You have to sit on the floor to hold the knob of the broken oven so your food will bake.

7. Giving away shoes, clothes, and/or books to lighten the load on your back.

8. You are bartering with other backpackers to create an entire meal.

9. Dinner at an actual table is now “fancy”.

10. With no wine bottle opener, you simply stab it through and just avoid the floating cork pieces.
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11. You have put on an entire outfit in a tiny, wet standing shower… after holding the dispense water button for the past 15 minutes and washing your entire body with one hand.

12. You have combined 10 different bags of noodles off of the “free food” shelves to make one pot of pasta for yourself.

13. You have adapted Australian sayings into your regular, working vocabulary.

14. It’s not unusual to carry a bag of dirty clothes through a foreign city, asking (through made up sign language) where the nearest laundry is.

15. You hide in a van of another backpacker to split the cost of a ferry ride.
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16. You take time deciding rather to shower in the river or the community restrooms.

17. You walk into a hotel with all of your belongings and they point up the road while saying “The backpacker hostel is that way!”

18. You’re eating breakfast in a room with 2 mullets, 3 sets of dreads and a head half shaved with the other half in a rainbow colored braid.

19. You cut hair in exchange for accommodations.

20. On your back you have a kitchen, bathroom, closet for clothes, accessories, shoes, a liquor cabinet, first aide kit, hidden identification, several plastic bags in foreign languages, a painted rock given to you as a gift from a passing traveler, and random clumps of sand that probably came from either the rock or your last shower.
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21. Sleeping in bed #27 within 90 days.

22.The word “privacy” means you only have to share with 3 other people instead of 12.

23. You jump backwards after seeing yourself in a mirror for the first time in 4 days.

24. You’re eating dinner out of a can… Again… And you had to use a steak knife to open it.

25. A safe hitch hike ride is not only a success but your means of transportation.
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26. Your flip flop tan washes off in the shower.

27.You have a tic tac container full of black pepper in your food stash.

28. The only change in your pocket consists of 4 different currencies (which does you no good at the bus station).

29. Swapping clothes with another traveler feels like A holiday!

30. You wake up to a smack on the head from the ceiling because the tiny hostel ordered over sized bunk beds.
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31. On your arm you have 3 or more wraps (that may include yarn, leather, beads, rubber, braids, stones, strings or traditional bracelets) representing a person, place or event that you’ve encountered along your journey.

32. You have a backpack tan line.

33. As you’re getting dressed you say to your fellow hostel mate, “Woh, I look like a homeless broke backpacker today.” And they respond with, “Well, that IS what you are… Right?”

34. You walk right into the kitchen of a hotel assuming it’s the “common area” where everyone makes their own food.

35. Instead of an alarm, you’re woken up by a support block of wood to the ribs from the bunk bed above you.

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36. You meet a Dutch girl in Spain and reunite with her Argentina.

37. Having a plan really means, “That might work out if perhaps things possibly fall into place and potentially allow it all to come together at that given moment… Maybe”.

38. You are still throwing your used toilet paper in the garbage.

39. Ice is considered a luxury.

40. You feel the need to return to school and study English as you’ve learned and practiced the universal “simplified sentence” as your base of communication. Example: “We go lunch?” – “I pay $10” – “Later we dance… you join?” – “No thank you, I have”.

41. You’re using the toilet counter to hold your backpack so that you can properly do your business without falling over.
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42. You turn into MacGyver by creating a make-shift stand with an assortment of items in order to charge your electronic device. (Compliments to Mel… Well done my friend!)

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…or duck tape.

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43. You know 6 words in 14 languages.

44. Your peanut butter and jelly sandwich consists of a cracker, peanut butter and a grape.

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I ENCOURAGE ALL FELLOW TRAVELERS TO COMMENT WITH THERE OWN EXPERIENCES TO ADD TO THE LIST!

5 thoughts on “You know you’re a backpacker when…”

  1. 11. You have put on an entire outfit in a tiny, wet standing shower… after holding the dispense water button for the past 15 minutes and washing your entire body with one hand.
    12. You have combined 10 different bags of noodles off of the “free food” shelves to make one pot of pasta for yourself.
    13. You have adapted Australian sayings into your regular, working vocabulary.

  2. LOL!! I loved reading these, it puts a smile on my face to hear about your adventures and the little details of this new life you are living! And I love that you’re holding onto a painted rock! 🙂
    I admire you so much! Miss you!

  3. Have never backpacked, but expect that ‘washing your hair once a week seems like a treat’ might apply. 🙂 Continued joyful and safe travels!

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A journey led by a smile