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When you decide to backpack around the world you probably think about epic parties, the grandiose beaches, the iconic sunsets, the friends you’ll make, and the countries you’ll tick off your bucket list. You probably don’t think about the shit, the puke, the garbage, the bedbugs, the rats, and he stenches that come along with it.
Yes, backpackers are disgusting and the life of a backpacker is pretty gross.
Here are ten of the most disgusting things backpackers do…
1. Go days (or weeks) (or months) without a shower
When you’re backpacking the world hygiene isn’t always your number one priority. Sometimes you run out of soap and forget to replace it for a few days, sometimes you forget to shower, sometimes you can’t stand taking one more cold shower, and sometimes you just plain don’t care. Whatever the reason there will be times when you go days if not weeks or months without a shower. So I hope you look good in dreadlocks. And brought some strong deodorant.
2. Never wash their clothes
If you think backpackers can go a long time without showering, you should see how long they can go without washing their clothes. It gets worse. If you’re at home and don’t wash your clothes for a few weeks, you’re probably fine. You probably have a closet full of options and drawers full of underwear. But when you’re backpacking you’re limited to what’s in your backpack. So no matter how unwashed that shirt (or that pair of underwear) is you will keep wearing it. No matter how many mountains you hiked, volcanoes you boarded, or buckets you spilled, you will keep wearing it.
Cigarettes are a dime a dozen in many foreign countries. Literally. They’re so cheap that everyone takes up smoking while traveling. So be prepared to smell like ash and develop lung cancer.
If you’re backpacking the world you’re going to have to deal with a lot of puke. Like massive amounts of puke. Maybe you’ll puke from one too many buckets at a full moon party. Or one too many turns on the road from Chiang Mai to Pai. Or tainted street food in Cambodia. Or the altitude in Peru. Whatever the case, you’re going puke. A lot. And all the backpackers around you are going to puke. A lot.
5. Have sex in public
At some point in your backpacking career you’re going to want to have sex. And since you probably didn’t splurge on a private room your options are pretty limited. Do you have sex on the beach with people walking by? Yes. Do you get it on in a 20-person dorm? Of course. You’re obviously going to have sex no matter how many people might be watching.
6. Get sick. Really sick.
You may think you’ve been sick before but trust me, it gets worse. If you’re sick at home you have a clean bed, a private bathroom, chicken soup. If you’re sick on the road you have a top bunk dorm bed, a bathroom shared with twenty people, and soup that probably has dog meat in it. You’ll probably get the dreaded delhi belly at least once if not once a month and spend a night shitting yourself. And don’t forget you’ll be living with dorms full of people who get sick too.
7. Eat bugs
As a backpacker you’re going to want to try it all and do things that would make your friends at home squirm. And that usually involves eating some pretty gross things. Bugs on Khao San Road. Snake hearts in Vietnam. Dog in China. Think of the worst thing you can think of to eat. Backpackers probably eat it.
8. Sleep with rats
Backpackers don’t care how nice a hostel is or how clean a hostel is. All backpackers care about is how cheap a hostel is. But sometimes cheap comes with consequences. You’ll sleep on dirty sheets, you’ll get bedbugs, and maybe you’ll have a rat or two in your bed.
9. Piss yourself.
Whether it’s on a 24 hour bus with no bathroom breaks, on a top bunk after a debaucherously drunken night, or anywhere with a UTI chances are you’re going to piss yourself while on the road. Just hope you’re never on the bottom bunk when the guy on top is in that situation…
10. Get STDs
Who knows what most backpackers (or locals, ladyboys, and foreign prostitutes…) have picked up out there. Herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis. All of the above. You’re bound to wake up in a dorm some morning with sores on your dick, massive itching, and/or a smelly thick discharge. Thus is the life of a backpacker.
What would you add to the list of disgusting things backpackers do? Which of these have you done?
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