50 Signs You’re A Backpacker In South East Asia


I just stumbled upon this fun list: link

It’s basically about the South East Asia backpacking experience, and it definitely took me back! Oh, how I miss the sweet pineapple, cheap pad thai, cute children waving and proudly saying the only English word they know, which is “HELLO“, and my friggin awesome tan. Seriously, I was like a golden Buddha. Well, I decided to share the list with you, along with some super important comments from yours truly.

50 Signs you’re a backpacker in South East Asia

1. You have a flip-flop tan.
Well, duh.

This is technically a hiking sandal tan line, but I didn’t take that many pictures of my feet, okay?

2. You’ve been through at least five pairs of genuine fake Ray Bans.
True dat. I just broke my last pair of fakes, and it’s making me miss Thailand. All the fake Ray Bans back home don’t fit me at all.

3. You’ve been through a similar number of fake Beats headphones and Havaianas flip flops (thongs, jandals, sandals).
Beach parties are the worst, ’cause you always lose your flip flops, and the next day you will have to pay way too much at the first shop you see, because you can’t stand to walk barefoot in this heat anymore.

4. Shoes have become less and less compulsory to you.
You’re not even allowed to wear shoes most places, so all you need is a pair of flip flops for crossing the street. Hot concrete = ouch.

5. You have a strong inkling towards getting, or already have got, a travel tattoo and/or piercing.
I decided against this. In India, I felt a strong urge to have my nose repierced, seeing these women with impressive golden studs. In Koh Phi Phi there were tattoo shops everywhere I looked, but I wasn’t too sure about the quality and hygiene.

6. It’s really exciting to you that the harem pants fad is catching on back at home because then you never have to stop wearing your Southeast Asia garb.
Who cares, I wear my harem pants with pride! They got me through a month of the Indian heat and modest dress culture. Unfortunately, I had to throw one of my pairs out, after I threw up on them on a 12-hour bus ride. Yikes.IMG_9604

7. You have more or less forgotten about the existence of eyeliner and concealer.
NEVEEEERRRR! I live on those.

8. The mere concept of a blow dryer and curling iron have become laughable.
With that humidity, your hair’s always gonna be wet anyway.

9. You either already have or are suddenly inexplicably amenable to the idea of dread locks.
Nope, not at all.

10. You can be very easily persuaded to spend 75 cents on a fruit shake.
Fruit lassis <3

11. You cannot be very easily persuaded to part with more than $3 for a beer.
It’s all about Kingfisher, Chang, Beerlao and Angkor Beer.

12. You know how to say “hello,” and, “thank you,” in about five different Southeast Asian languages.
I forgot most of these, so I had to look them up, and now it’s all coming back to me.
Indian: Namaste, śukriyā
Thai: Sawasdee Krab (male)/Ka (female), Kob kun Krab (male)/Ka (female)
Lao: Sa-bai-Dee, Kaup Chai (like a cup of chai, get it? haha)
Vietnamese: Xin chào (sin chow), Cám ơn (Gahm uhn, almost sounds like come on)
Khmer (Cambodia): Jum-reap Soo-a, Or-koon

13. You may also have figured out how to say “beer.”
A Vietnamese chef taught me how to say “two more beers, please”, but I totally forgot. He would be so disappointed.

14. You arrange your plans around the next full moon.
Of course!

15. There’s still neon paint stuck to your Megan Fox tank top from the last one.
Just on my Full Moon Party shirt, but alright, I’ll take it.

16. It’s okay because you totally have more than one Megan Fox tank top.
I actually don’t have a single one!

17. “Bucket,” suddenly has one meaning, and one meaning only: one-beverage inducer of black outs.


18. You no longer find monkeys to be cute or even tolerable.
After the monkey temple in India, I am actually sort of scared of monkeys. The little ones are still cute, though.

19. You’ve become an expert at sitting on chairs and stools that hover mere centimeters off the ground.

20. You’ve become some kind of an expert at communicating with your hands and facial expressions.
Did I ever really become an expert? 

21. Your daily routine involves a morning ritual of DEETing from the feet up.

22. Instead of seeking out mirrors, you slink by, trying not to look at the dirty vagabond you’ve become.

23. You’re totally going to learn how to play guitar.
Nope. I wish.

24. You’re totally going to take up fire dancing.
Kirstin and I were veerrry impressed by the firedancers in Koh Tao, and wished we could do the same.

25. You’re positively giddy if you find a bathroom with a western toilet, toilet paper, AND soap inside.

26. That said, you’ve mastered the required movements for the squat toilet. Out of necessity.
Meh, not in harem pants, at least.

27. Hot water is no longer a strict requirement for your showers.
You can say that again, sista.

28. Neither is shampoo.

29. …and sometimes neither is soap.

30. You’ve tried (and later regretted) some kind of rice liquor.

31. Someone, at some time, has taken you for a ride on a tuk tuk or taxi, and you’ve overpaid like crazy for it.
Too often, really.

32. You’ve eaten street food you never would have considered previously.
I didn’t go too crazy with the street food, although that would probably have been fun. Yum, spider!

33. You can’t believe how delicious it was and how much you want to eat it again.

34. You’re seriously considering taking up a teaching job so that you can stay.
I was considering taking a job at the school in Koh Tao, but I passed it while walking from the pier to the hostel, and there was nothing in this world that could make me return to that area after that walk.

35. Your bamboo bungalow doesn’t even have proper walls, yet it makes you happy.
It didn’t, ’cause there was a huge spider hiding in there.

36. You can totally go, like, three whole days without Wi-Fi.

37. Yet once you find it again you’ll be glued to your phone, even if it does take an hour of painstaking refreshing to finally load a single Facebook message.
Wi-Fi time is sacred time! Some people would sit in a corner and try to stream the latest episode of Game Of Thrones, while I caught up with my friends back home.

38. You keep reassuring your family that you’ll buy your plane ticket home, “tomorrow,” which never seems to arrive.

39. Yes, fried rice IS a food group.
I miss fried rice everyday.

40. You are the Jenga-freaking-master of the universe.
I actually only played Jenga once.

41. You’ve, like, wholly tapped into your spiritual side.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. No.

42. All you need are good vibes, good people, and a daily dose of Ujjayi breathing.
What the hell is Ujjayi breathing? Other than that, I’m totally with you on that.

43. Lotus flowers are so thoroughly inspiring.
I was all about the Frangi Panis.


44. You’ve become all willy-nilly with your passport.

45. The random hostel guy has kept it overnight.

46. So has the visa service guy who took it to the capital for you when you didn’t feel like leaving the beach.

47. You’re used to eating really, really well for very, very little money.
If fried rice, veggie burgers, pad thai and fruit lassis are considered healthy, then yes.

48. You don’t even really need electricity.
Some light so I can at least read a book at night would be nice.

49. You now have friends from all over the world.
Or mainly Canada.

50. You have the painful task of leaving a piece of your heart in the coolest part of the world, ever.
Em yêu và nhớ anh, South East Asia! (someone said it means “I love and miss you”)