Stuff Backpackers Like. 101 Things…

After having travelled South East Asia extensively and now embarking upon an adventure in South America, to launch South America Backpacker Magazine, we find it very interesting that despite being on a completely different continent, there are surprising similarities between backpackers all over the world, regardless of age, nationality or experience. You don’t even realize that you’re part of a distinct subculture until you start to look at all of the things you have in common with your fellow travellers, from mindset to clothing to food choices and lifestyle preferences. Put us all together in one place and we’re like whole new country by ourselves with our own rich culture intact! Aaahh…. Backpackersland – where beer is cheap, massage courses are mandatory, coffee is Fair Trade, happy hour lasts all year, yoga is free, beds are abolished in favour of hammocks and no one ever wears shoes. We decided to put together a list of 101 things backpackers like… Can you recognize yourself amidst the list? Can you add any more stuff backpackers like?
  1. Book swaps
  2. Haviana flip flops
  3. Textiled goods
  4. Taking a Thai massage course
  5. Paying to volunteer
  6. Happy hours
  7. Cross body hemp tote bags
  8. Getting a bamboo tattoo in Sanskrit language
  9. Hammocks
  10. The Power of Now by Eckart Thole
  11. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
  12. Burma
  13. Beer
  14. Drinking alcohol out of buckets
  15. Rooftop reggae bars
  16. Wife beaters (as in the singlets)
  17. Beards
  18. Fast WIFI
  19. Spinning poi
  20. Cheap street food
  21. Colourful markets
  22. Travel photography courses
  23. Showing locals photos you take of them
  24. Journaling
  25. Sarongs
  26. Studying Buddhism
  27. Free breakfast
  28. String bracelets
  29. Flag patches on your backpack
  30. Stamps in your passport
  31. Knowing everyone at home is getting up for work
  32. Fruit shakes
  33. Capturing five people and a dog on a motorbike
  34. Fried rice
  35. One night stands
  36. Indigenous tribal villages
  37. Silent meditation retreats
  38. The juxtaposition between east and west
  39. Monk chats
  40. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  41. Teaching English with an NGO
  42. Blogging
  43. Bagels
  44. Yoga
  45. Spirulina
  46. Playing the ukelele around a bonfire
  47. Writing ‘World Traveller’ in the occupation space on forms
  48. Documentary films
  49. Wheatgrass
  50. Fisherman pants
  51. Headbands / bandanas
  52. Scooters
  54. Collecting beer labels and bottle caps
  55. Fresh spring rolls
  56. Reiki
  57. Facebook likes on new travel pics
  58. Learning to say ‘cheers’ in different languages
  59. Bamboo huts
  60. Waving at smiling children
  61. Sticky rice
  62. Local moonshine
  63. GoPros
  64. Comparing tan lines
  65. Solid poos
  66. Comparing mosquito bites and motorbike scars
  67. Tribal prints
  68. Feather earrings
  69. Elephants
  70. Discussing the effects of malaria tablets
  71. Having photos taken with tigers
  72. Organic, Fair Trade, vegan food
  73. Skype
  74. Criticizing the Lonely Planet
  75. Free maps
  76. South East Asia Backpacker Magazine (we couldn’t miss that out)
  77. Movie nights at the hostel
  78. Tofu
  79. Local chicken buses
  80. “It’s about the journey not the destination”
  81. Authentic experiences
  82. Happy hours
  83. Home-stays
  84. Being barefoot
  85. Absorbing the culture
  86. Going to South America next
  87. Flyering / bar-work for accommodation
  88. Asking fellow travelers “Where you’re from?” “How long have you been traveling?”
  89. Jumping fire ropes
  90. Helium balloons
  91. Instagram
  92. Local festivals
  93. Paulo Coelho books
  94. Having ‘local experiences and connections’
  95. Triangle cushions
  96. Competing about how strict your budget is
  97. Talking about writing a novel
  98. Bottled water
  99. Giving something back
  100. Going to places where they haven’t seen a foreigner before
  101. Villages with no electricity
Nikki Scott - Founder South East Asia Backpacker
Nikki Scott | Founder & Editor

Nikki is the founding editor of South East Asia Backpacker and The Backpacker Network. In her early twenties, she left her home in the North of England on a solo backpacking adventure and never returned! After six months on the road, she founded a print magazine that became legendary on the Banana Pancake Trail. The rest is history.

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24 thoughts on “Stuff Backpackers Like. 101 Things…”

  1. Shaun's Cracked Compass

    #65 – epic! I think that one squeezed by most people reading the list.

    Usually there’s a bunch I don’t agree with but some good thought went in to this one. #20 for sure. #30 is like crack to me… and I could go on. Great job!

  2. What an awesome list! I left for my first backpacking adventure through south east asia around this time last year. Went for 3 months and it was the most incredible experience of my life! This list has just brought back so many great memories!

  3. Jonathan Look, Jr.

    Great list! I only backpack part time now, alternating with good hotels from time to time but it seems we all like similar things while we are out there.

  4. Michael Baynes

    Add ‘telling people you don’t use the lonely planet but have a suspiciously well thumbed copy in your backpack’ 馃檪

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