On my travels I encountered a wide range of people from different walks of life, this is what made my experience so valuable to me. However, some patterns did emerge and I always seemed to find myself with at least one person from the list below. I thought it would be fun to run through some of the different people you meet backpacking.
Disclaimer: To all the people I met travelling. If you recognise yourself in any of these descriptions I neither confirm nor deny that I took inspiration from your character, but if you wish to sue me then you should know that I have no money (“Help me I’m poor”). So don’t bother.
The less polite term for the Casanova is ‘sex tourist’. He or she is there to do the horizontal cha cha with someone different every night. Often found at the bar, scoping out their next victim – usually behind a pair of sunglasses.
Refer to my blog post here for inspiration.
Often heard saying: “Who did I sleep with? Oh, I don’t remember their name”
“I don’t double dip”
This is someone who has come out to join the backpacking scene for a week or two, before flying back to their financially secure and rewarding career. Will normally slum it for one night in a hostel in order to meet backpackers, and will then stay in a hotel for the rest of the time.
Often found saying “Oh don’t worry, I’ll get these drinks”
“I am moving to a hotel tomorrow”
The flashpacker seems to have an endless supply of cash and is staying in the best hostels or even splashing out on a private room. The flashpacker’s friends are always quietly wondering if he or she is being funded by their parents.
Often overheard saying: “That hostel only has a 7/10 rating, I am not staying there!”
“This hostel only costs £15 per night, BARGAIN!”
The person who has come out travelling with only £1,000 to their name. Nobody knows how they are still travelling three months later. Ironically, the shoestringer knows 100 different uses for a shoestring and is often found wearing one as a belt.
Often overheard saying: “I can’t afford to eat anything today because I bought all those shots last night”
“Can I have a bite?”
The Party Animal
This person has the stamina of an ox and is out every night. The party animal is always found with a beer in-hand, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. Often seen drinking out of the bum gun.
Often overheard saying: “I’m here for a good time not a long time”
“Who wants a shot?”
“Shotguns for breakfast?”
“Hell yeah! You should drink!”
The yogi is a spiritual being, often found sporting a mystical tattoo written in Sanskrit, wearing prayer beads, eating vegan food and not wearing any shoes. The yogi puts you to shame with his or her self-control, getting up at the crack of dawn to attend sunrise yoga or eschewing a night out for an evening yoga sesh.
Often overheard saying: “I really like his aura, we have a great connection”
“This place is giving me such great vibes”
Almost fresh out of the womb, the baby-faced fresher is normally 18 or 19 years old. Has just finished their A Levels and has flown half way around the world to see if they can survive on their own. The fresher always seems to get themselves into potentially very hairy situations, but somehow always seems to land on their feet. When they lose their shit like their phone or their bank card, it always gets returned to them.
Often overheard saying: “Yeah, I met this random guy lurking in a bush last night who invited me to smoke crack with him, so naturally I said yes!”
“On my way home last night, a car full of guys pulled over and offered me a lift home, so naturally I said yes!”
The Jackson Groves wannabe
These backpackers do not travel light. They have their laptops, DSLRs, drones and Go Pros with them to capture all those amazing sights and memories for their personal Youtube channel. Count yourself lucky if you manage to make it into one of their edits.
Often heard saying: “Damn, I wish I brought my Go Pro”
“Do you mind filming me with my Go Pro?”
“Damn I wish I charged my Go Pro”
The Token Weirdo
There is always one. No matter how open minded you try to be, you always find yourself a little bit on edge around the token weirdo. This is because they ask you strange questions or end up contradicting their own character. I once met a guy who said he was vegetarian, but then proceeded to eat some ham, and then denied that he had ever eaten it! Yeah… weird.
Often overheard saying: “The ATM ate my card. Can you lend me some money?”
“I’ve been to prison”
The veteran is 40+ years old and has never grown up. Very easygoing and fun to talk to, the veteran is often overlooked, but has some of the best stories.
Often overheard saying: “I once lived with some Tibetan monks for a year…”
“During my first marriage…”
“My kids are all grown up now”
Do you recognise the above types? If so then leave me a comment below! If you also have another type that I have missed out then also let me know!