What kind of backpacker are you?

Updated: four/eight/2019 | Initially Posted: 07/29/2009

Note: So a lot has changed considering that I initially wrote this post 10 years ago (also, is not it crazy that I’ve been blogging for so lengthy?) that I believed that this funny tiny post required an update. The Flashpacker is lengthy gone. The Digital Nomad has risen. Other people have remained the identical.

I redid this whole post on the curious species that is the backpacker just after obtaining embedded myself in their culture and discovered their curious methods.


You usually hear about the distinction involving vacationers and backpackers, but even amongst backpackers, we really like to group every other into categories by who is the “better” traveler. Verify into any hostel, and you will uncover a wide variety of travelers wearing their distinctive tribal gear and men and women going “Yeah, that guy more than there? Undoubtedly the partier.”

So who are the backpackers? What type of kinds have I identified in the hostel jungle? Following years of investigation, numerous!

Right here are some of the a lot more frequent species of backpackers that can be discovered in a hostel’s jungle:

The Spiritual Traveler

spiritual traveler

Typically white, Western, and from time to time young (although there are a lot nevertheless trapped in 1969), travelers spiritus have come to uncover themselves. Exploring neighborhood religions and customs, they invest their time reading books on Buddhism, Kabbalah, or yoga and speaking about how connected life is. They’ve accomplished ayahuasca in South America. They’ve accomplished yoga in Bali and just “looooooove” Tulum.

Jaded by the materialism of their homeland, they have come to reconnect with the globe, uncover inner peace, and find out some tantra amongst the tourist centers of India, the hill tribes of Asia, or the shamans of the globe. Travelers spiritus forgo material possessions, except for a computer system, which they use to weblog about the healthier snacks they are consuming and inform men and women how a lot freer they are now that they have been to six retreats in Bali and went on a juice cleanse.

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These backpackers are ordinarily discovered in South America, India, and Southeast Asia.

The Hippie

Hippie traveler

Not wanting to be held down by the man, the hippie can be discovered wearing fisherman pants, dreadlocks, and lots of necklaces, and has a distinct “I haven’t showered in two days” smell. This species of traveler is frequently thumbing a nicely-worn book on social justice.

Hippie travelers use neighborhood transportation, consume neighborhood meals, and speak about cultural imperialism when watching the most current Hollywood films on their Macbook and begging for income to get to the subsequent location. They ordinarily keep away from most tourist destinations due to the fact “they’re also industrial, man.”

Largely discovered in India or other establishing nations (due to the fact they can not afford anyplace else).

The Gap Yearer

The gap yearer

Traveler gap-yearius is ordinarily college-aged, English, Kiwi, or Aussie. This backpacking species tends to be traveling for precisely 1 year appropriate prior to or just after university. They adhere to the principal round-the-globe ticket route, spending most of their time in Southeast Asia, New Zealand, and Australia.

Gap-year travelers like to celebration a lot, see the principal attractions, sleep in dorms, and have a tendency to stick to the beaten path. They are out to have a fantastic time, meet other travelers, and come household with a handful of fantastic stories prior to they begin their profession.

They can be discovered wherever a round-the-globe ticket will take them.

The Partier

Party travelers

Sporting sunglasses, shorts, flip-flops, and a Lao beer T-shirt, travelers partyoholic invest most of their time receiving drunk in every nation. Most of their day is spent nursing the hangover from final evening when avoiding loud and nicely-lit locations. You will most likely see them nevertheless in bed when you verify in at 2pm. But they’re the 1st 1 at the bar every evening. Incredibly loud, these nocturnal creatures bounce from 1 celebration location to the other.

Largely discovered in “party destinations” like Amsterdam, Thailand, Barcelona, and Prague.

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The Couple

a couple taking a selfie

The backpacking couple spends most of their time sightseeing, touring, and performing activities. They keep away from most of the backpacker ghettos and parties and have a tendency to gravitate toward other couples or older travelers. The younger version frequently goes the opposite route and tends to celebration a lot when breaking up about ten occasions on the road.

They are discovered worldwide.

The Greater Traveler

the better traveler

Even though sipping on a drink in a hostel, this traveler will inform you how insincere and hypocritical all other travelers are and how they actually are just vacationers and not attempting to uncover the “local culture.” He will speak about his practical experience taking neighborhood transportation, and that 1 time he spent living in a village for 1 day. He waxes on about the death of neighborhood cultures, globalization, and how he’s actually out there traveling to be component of the globe and not force his culture down other people’s throats.

This species is discovered getting hypocritical in hostels all more than the globe.

The “Remember When” Backpacker

the better traveler

Traveler living-in-the-pastus has been traveling a lengthy time (and ordinarily to the identical destinations). He’ll inform you all about how he remembers when the Complete Moon Celebration made use of to be fantastic and how Laos is also found now.

He’ll speak about how Ios made use of to be quiet and no 1 had heard of Queenstown. He’ll describe the time when he was the only individual in Costa Rica or sailing the Amazon. When asked why he’s nevertheless right here if he hates it so a lot, he’ll promptly modify the subject.

This depressing species can be discovered in the identical destinations he says are ruined now.

The Digital Nomad

flashpacker travel

Traveler flashpackosaurus has evolved into a new species referred to as digital nomadosaurus. These creatures operate on the internet to afford their travels, frequently clustering with other folks of their species in spots like Bali, Chiang Mai, or Medellín.

Carrying laptops, cameras, video cameras, and iPads, they invest a lot of their time behind their computer system touting their absolutely free life-style and/or current startup when frequently by no means seeing a lot of the location they are at. Their 1st query is usually about the Wi-Fi.

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They are discovered behind their computer system, speaking into their telephone, and wherever there is fantastic world-wide-web access and a low-cost expense of living.


Life in a hostel on the backpacker trail positive is intriguing. There is a lot of diversity out there in the hostel jungle!

To additional investigate the habits of these fabulously intriguing creatures, I shall continue to travel the globe and remain in hostels.

Ya know, for science!

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