ATVing anyone?

You know you’re a traveler when…

by Heather on 23 April, 2014

You know you’re a traveler when:

1. You have more than two currencies of money in your wallet or purse at any given time. Probably three, four, or five.

2. You can differentiate between a hostel and a hotel. And you probably haven’t seen the inside of the former for months or even years.

The cheapest accommodation I could find near Semporna in Malaysia.

The cheapest accommodation I could find near Semporna in Malaysia.

3. You can count to ten in several different languages. Uno, dos, tres…

4. You’ve used your phone to function as a calculator when negotiating a price with a foreign seller because you can’t understand prices over ten. Thank you higher being for a universal written number system.

5. You negotiate the price of everything, even if you think it’s a fair price in your home country, because you know the seller is overcharging you by double or triple because you’re a foreign tourist.

I didn't argue on the price of this. $2 US for a bottle of rum that tastes just like Malibu. I was sold.

I didn’t argue on the price of this. $2 US for a bottle of rum that tastes just like Malibu. I was sold.

6. You’ve stopped caring about things like WiFi, hot showers, air conditioning, or even clean sheets. You’re now happy to find that your accommodation has electricity twenty-four hours per day and running water.

7. You’ve stopped worried about whether or not your plane, train, bus, or boat is on time. You’ve resorted to being happy if even shows up at all.

8. You know the exchange rate between not only your country, but you also know the exchange rate between some of those countries.

9. You’ve been to more countries than you can count on your fingers (and maybe even your toes).

10. You’ve tried the local “delicacy” of another that none of your family or friends would ever even consider eating while in your native country. Fish brains, chicken feet, ox tongue anyone?

Care to try any of these delicacies at the fish market?

Care to try any of these delicacies at the fish market?

11. You know it’s often necessary to fly into the capital city of a country because it’s much cheaper. But you also know that you probably won’t spend much time in said city.

12. You’ve lost track of the day. Okay, let’s not lie. You actually forget what month it was.

13. You pack ear plugs before you pack clothing because you seriously considered strangling one of your dormmates on your last trip.

14. You can’t remember how many modes of transportation you used to get from Point A to Point B. It was somewhere around five, but you lost count when you traveled via mule.

Tricycle races in the Philippines? No, just another day in Puerto Princesa.

Tricycle races in the Philippines? No, just another day in Puerto Princesa.

15. You know what the electrical outlet looks like for a handful of countries. You also know what voltages these countries use.

16. You’ve had to pay someone to wash your laundry because you’ve run out of clean underwear, but you still have several weeks or months before you’re going home. And if you’re being honest, you probably went without undies for a week before you finally paid to have your laundry washed.

17. You realize that travel days are meant to catch up on sleep from your daily adventures and boozy nights.

The sleeping buses in Vietnam were invented by the Gods or really smart backpackers.

The sleeping buses in Vietnam were invented by the Gods or really smart backpackers.

18. You’ve booked a flight for the wrong day or a hostel in the wrong city. Okay, you actually booked a flight for the wrong day and a hostel in the wrong city for the same trip.

19. You know how to greet, thank, and say “goodbye” to the locals in their native tongue in more than five languages.

20. You try to buy products that use the same charger because it means bringing one less charger during your travels.

21. You know that the “authentic” food in your home country tastes nothing like the authentic food in its home country because you’ve been to that country and you’ve tried the actual authentic version.

Making legitimate curry paste. Owned it!

Making legitimate curry paste. Owned it!

22. You’ve had traveler’s diarrhea. Enough said.

23. You cringe every time you have to exchange money between currencies because you know you’re losing money on every dollars, yuan, peso, dong, or whatever other currency you’re converting.

24. You’re running out of non-stamped pages in your passport. And you really don’t have the money to buy another passport.

25. You have travel-sized versions of everything from shampoo and conditioner to your body wash and deodorant to your toothpaste and your hair brush because you realize how much extar weight the full-sized versions would be.

26. You can sleep – almost – anywhere. Or can you actually sleep anywhere?

She was sleeping during music that you're clearly supposed to stand for. Naughty old  woman!

She was sleeping during music that you’re clearly supposed to stand for. Naughty old woman!

What do you think?
How many of the “you know you’re a traveler when” statements apply to you? And do you agree with all of my statements?

Chris May 19, 2014 at 9:53 am

Fun list! The only ones I have any disagreement with would be #2 and #6. You might know you’re a budget traveler then, but I don’t think being poor and on a tight budget makes you any more or less of a traveler than anybody else.

I can definitely relate to the rest, though. My wallet has four currencies in it right now, and I’m still trying to get the conversion from UK pounds to Aussie dollars to Chinese RMB out of my head.

Corinne May 20, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Yep, yep, and yep. I think I’ll always care about wifi…and Hey, I’ve never been on a Vietanmese overnight bus…darn! I’ll have to go back!

Heather June 18, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Hi Corinne,

If I’m being honest, Wifi is a difficult luxury to live without when you’re traveling. I try to only use Wifi when I’m at a hostel so that I’m not spending all of my time traveling on my phone or laptop though. Vietnamese overnight buses are pure bliss! I would get on those buses and have the most sound night of sleep. Plus, I didn’t lose travel time and I didn’t have to pay for a hostel for the night. Win win!

Thanks,
Heather

Tori June 18, 2014 at 9:26 pm

Great read and fun facts. However, I think you should rename this world traveler, because obviously, you deserve this title!! Your chosen lifestyle is one that can never be duplicated, only shared.
Be safe out there!
– Tori

Heather June 26, 2014 at 9:57 am

Hi Tori,

Thank you for your kind words! I could even change the title to “You Know You’re a Broke Backpacker in Asia When…” because all of my travel prior to moving to Australia was done in Asia on the cheap. I thought “traveler” sound more catchy though.

Best,
Heather

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