Friday, May 25, 2012

Things Backpackers Do

Throughout the course of my travels, especially over the past few months since I left Sippy Downs, I've noticed some funny things about backpackers.  Much like college freshmen, young travelers on a budget often do things or find themselves in circumstances that would be socially unacceptable, or at least frowned upon (not to mention frequently illegal) by most of modernized society.  The following is a list of things that backpackers do to save or make a few bucks (yes, I'm including myself here) that they would probably never dream of doing on their home turf.  If you ever get caught doing one of these things, It's probably best to use one of the following phrases to explain your actions: "I'm a backpacker" or "I just wanted to remember the good old days when I was backpacking around (insert continent here)"

Ready to board the train at Nambour Station.  Maybe I should call myself a suitcaser.

Ok here goes...

When you are backpacking, it is perfectly acceptable to:

  • Earn travel money by doing back-breaking physical labor, no matter what qualifications or previous job experience you may have.  Even better if it's on a farm or involves 'housekeeping', a.k.a. cleaning hotel rooms.

  • Sleep on the beach, in your car, on a park bench, in the woods/bush, or on any other surface where you can lay out a sleeping bag or tent.  Hopefully you've been smart enough to avoid well-patrolled areas, otherwise you are likely to get arrested or fined.

  • Sleep in super sketchy hostels that cost $10 per night for a bed in a dorm room that you share with 19 other smelly backpackers.

  • Sleep on couches that belong to random people that you met on the internet.  It's called couch surfing, dude.  It has the word 'surfing' in it.  That makes it cool!

  • Hitch-hike.  I think that one is self-explanatory.

  • Walk really far distances carrying ridiculous amounts of stuff on your back and/or in your arms.

  • Buy a really cheap unregistered car from a complete stranger and hope that it doesn't fall apart before you make it to (insert city or land mark here).

  • Stuff said car full of everything you could possibly need for your trip until it starts to resemble a homeless man's shopping trolley.  Make sure it's so full that you can't actually find anything when you need it.  Also, a real backpacker would never, ever clean their car.  Ever.

  • Heat a tin of beans on a portable camping stove and then eat it straight out of the pan.  For a backpacker, this is a perfectly acceptable and healthy dinner alternative to McDonald's.

  • Go to events or night clubs just because they are offering you free food.

  • Actually eat the sketchy looking free pizza or sausages that they give out at aforementioned events.

  • Get drunk on wine that comes in a silver bag.  This is called goon.  Goon is your friend.  Drink it straight out of the bag, because you most likely won't have any cups around.  It would also be acceptable to pour the wine out of the bag and into a bowl or coffee mug in order to enhance your goon-drinking experience.  Make sure you finish the whole bag of wine in one night.

  • Inflate said empty wine bag and use it as a pillow when you pass out for the night.  On a picnic table in a public park.

  • Not shower for a few days at a time.  Same goes for shaving and tooth-brushing.

  • Find wild-growing fruits, nuts, and veggies and eat them.  Or 'buy' them from unattended produce stands that have been set up along the side of the road.  These stands usually operate on the 'honor system' but we already know that backpackers have no honor, so usually these foods can be procured for free.

  • Hook up with a different person every night.  Even better if they don't speak your language.  Even betterer if you play European country bingo... you know... one from each country in Europe.  Wait, is that slutty?  Oops.

This is all  I can think of for now but feel free to add your own in the comments.  I will keep adding more as I think of them.  Backpacking is awesome.  Yay!  Also, this doesn't mean that I have actually done all of these things... or does it?

In other news, it's rainy and cold in Dingo Beach today.  That makes me an unhappy camper.  After nearly a solid year of non-stop summer, I had almost forgotten what it felt like to be cold.  Me no likey!  Also, it's looking like I will finish working here after the Queen's birthday long weekend, which is the weekend of June 10th.  After that, I will stick around for a few days and hang out with all of the awesome residents of Dingo Beach before I head of on my next adventure.  Hopefully it won't rain the whole time.



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