So let’s play a game called backpacker spotting! They’re very easy to spot in major cities and hippie havens in most travel countries. Easy clues are that they’re carrying a backpack but there’s also a subculture associated with it and with every culture, there’s a certain way that people talk and dress to show that they are “hardcore” backpackers. I’m in no way bashing backpackers in any way, as I too rather carry a backpack than a suitcase any day but rather, this is based on observations and meeting some of the nicest people backpacking.
There are also some more subtle clues of a backpacker that I’m sure we’ve all encountered here and there:
- fisherman/parachute/linen pants
- scruffy beard and scraggly hair
- leather or string bracelets/necklaces/anklets
- either neutral or colourfully-patterned clothing (either ends of the extreme)
- Birkenstocks or Merrell shoes
- bandanas around their neck or on their head for guys and handkerchiefs/scarves for girls
- constantly dirty feet (not smelly but black bottomed)
- hanging around train/bus stations or hostels
- travel book in hand or readily available
- have either a DSLR camera or a lomography camera (again another extreme)
- and finally, a thin layer of grime/dirt that covers their skin all the time (even after showering)
If you have any more clues, please feel free to add in the comments section. So go out there and find your own backpackers and chat them up because they can be the nicest people you’ll ever meet!