Travelling is not all about the places you go, it’s largely about the people you meet. Whenever I hit the road I meet a whole range of eccentric, sexy, hilarious and downright wonderful people. Unfortunately, the nation of Backpackistan is cursed with a stubborn horde of assholes who you will want to do your best to avoid. Luckily for you, avid explorer, I have designed this list of the worst offenders so that you can identify your foes from a distance and steer well clear.
Perhaps one of the most annoying people you will meet on the road, the Yoga Mystic tries way too hard to be cool and is somewhat obsessed with doing yoga in as crowded a place as possible. Unfortunately, yoga mystics tend to be rather good looking so you may find yourself lured into an idiotic conversation by accident. They are a fan of patronizing, non-sensical comments and are usually out on a short trip to ‘reinvent’ themselves. When drunk, the Yoga Mystic has a tendency to dance in a floatey, rather hilarious, manner and flash everyone.
Catch Phrase: “It’s OK that you don’t want to try Tibetan Chakra Rain Dance Massage today, everybody has to take their own journey and one day you will arrive at the higher level of being at which I reside”
A frequent visitor to the fast food stalls, Captain Pancake is often obscured in a haze of marijuana smoke. He is a great person to hang out with for an afternoon, just don’t get stuck – he’s really quite boring and in desperate need of a shower.
Catch Phrase: “Hey man, shall we try a weed pancake?”
God knows why these guys decide to go exploring in the frigid mountains of Backpackistan. Usually these loud, obnoxious, creatures will travel in groups. They scare easily, but they’ll be back, and in greater numbers. Avoid at all costs if they are drinking, they will at some point whip off their England shirt to show their England tattoo plastered across their stomach. They are often one of the stars in our sex in hostels post.
Catch Phrase: “Engalaaaand, Engalaaaand, Engalaaaaand! Oi Geezer, where’s the footy on then!?”
Dreadlocks should be your first warning. A guitar slung across the back is your second. If they have tattered Ali Baba trousers, run… you’re in for a full blown douche-bag attack. The wannabe adventurer is obsessed with being ‘the best’ and will aim to outdo everyone they meet with a long list of the places they have travelled and the deeds they have accomplished. If your really lucky, you might be able to get away from them before they start showing you how many stamps they have in their passports or telling you which countries they have ‘done’.
Catch Phrase: Yeah man, Burma’s pretty cool, of course you had to go ten years ago to really feel the culture, you know?”
One of the quietest offenders but nonetheless a dangerous adversary. Be careful when choosing where to sit on the bus, if you sit too close you will be stuck with this person showing you literally every single piece of kit they own.
Catch Phrase: “Have you seen my solar-powered-dildo-camera, it’s a really neat bit of kit, let me take you into this darkened room and show you how it works”
Avoid at all costs. These are the backpackers who give the rest of us a bad name. Convinced that they are being ripped off, even when they aren’t, they will argue for up to an hour over ridiculously small sums of money. They usually travel in packs and seem uninterested in learning anything about the place they have come to visit. They have a tendency to get loud, drunk and aggressive.
Catch Phrase: “No, no, no! I know for a fact that the price is under one dollar, I was here ten years ago and that was the price then!”
Convinced that all the locals do in fact speak multiple international languages this specimen will ask the same questions again and again in gradually louder tones. Do not be near them when they start to shout, it gets embarrassing. They are usually found in international restaurant chains and are fond of bright shirts and stupid hats.
Catch Phrase: “You tell me – good price – nice McDonalds – where?”
Writer and entrepreneur. Adventurer and vagabond. Master of the handstand pushup. Conqueror of mountains, survivor of deserts and crusader for cheap escapades. Will has been on the road for thirteen years, travelling to far-flung lands on a budget. Today, he runs a number of online ventures, including The Broke Backpacker – the world’s largest budget travel blog. He is passionate about solving the plastic problem and cleaning up the oceans. Currently, Will is based in Bali where he plans to open his first Tribal Hostel in 2020.