THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS FROM WHICH WE MIGHT MAKE A COMMISSION.
Everyone lies when backpacking. Pretty much no one tells the truth 100% of the time when on the road. Whether you’re trying to impress other backpackers, one-up a fellow traveler, score with some foreign chick, or get a deal, lies are just part of the job. And the lies backpackers tell range from innocent white lies to giant elephants in the room.
I’ve seen backpackers lie about their age, relationship status, occupation, country count, flag count, and so much more. They embellish stories of where they’ve been; exaggerate how many countries they’ve been to, how many nationalities they’ve slept with, and how long they’ve been traveling; they fabricate stories of bravery and danger; and falsify personal information. Basically, you can never trust anything a backpacker says. Here are seven of the most common lies backpackers tell you…and themselves…on a near daily basis when traveling the world.
Seven Lies Backpackers Tell
I can afford this
Backpackers are known for their extreme budgets and small bank accounts. Most backpackers don’t leave to travel with enough money to fulfill their dream life on the road. It can be hard sustaining that backpacking budget with all the tempting flashpacker hostels, nights out, and seemingly cheap budget airlines. We convince ourselves that we can afford this life, and everything that comes with it. These lies are things like “I can afford to quit my job to travel,” “I can afford to travel for a year,” “I can afford to not get a working visa,” “I can afford the flight over the bus,” “I can afford one more beer,” and “I can afford dinner.” Truth is, you probably can’t, you probably can’t afford to quit your job to travel, you probably can’t afford to never work again, and you probably can’t afford to travel for as long as you hoped. But you’ll probably do it anyways,
I’m not drinking tonight
“I’m not drinking tonight.” How many times have you said this in your life? Countless probably. Maybe you can’t really afford to go out. Maybe you had a wild bender last night and probably should never drink again after all the bad decisions you made. Maybe you’re technically a recovering alcoholic. Truth is, at some point in your backpacking career, you’ll utter the words, “I’m not going to drink tonight.” And then you’ll be fucked. Because, inevitably, if you utter the words, “I’m not going to drink tonight,” you will drink tonight. You will drink a lot tonight. You probably will drink way more than if you hadn’t said those words in the first place. So do yourself a favor. If you ever really don’t want to/feel like you shouldn’t drink tonight, keep your mouth shut, just buy yourself a beer, and nurse it for as long as you can.
I’m leaving tomorrow
Sometimes, while backpacking, you’ll find yourself stuck in a place. Maybe it’s a beach town with epic nightlife. Or a city that just never sleeps. Or a chill mountain town. Wherever it is, you have no desire to leave. But you know you probably should. So you tell everyone, all your friends who are equally stuck, the hostel worker who has heard it all before, the bartender who has already heard your life story. But then maybe you go out to celebrate your last night, drink a little too much, and oversleep for the only bus out of town. Or maybe you meet a new girl who has just arrived and you want to get to know her a little better. Or maybe you just realize you’re not ready to move on. So you tell all your friends, that hostel worker, and that bartender, “Never mind.” But don’t worry, you’re surely leaving tomorrow.
I love you
Travel relationships move fast. A week with someone on the road is really equivalent to about ten years of real life. You go from meeting some chick in a hostel to moving in with her two days later (you kind of have to if you want to have sex without an audience). And you spend twenty-four hours together. Chances are though she thinks you’re “the one” and you think you’re getting laid: she wants happily ever after and you just want a happy ending. So, maybe you slip in a couple of “I love you”s to make sure she thinks you do. It’s OK. We’ve all done it.
I’m never going home
At some point on your travels you’ll look around and realize how perfect life on the road is: no responsibilities, epic adventures, amazing people, gorgeous sunsets, and parties all night long. It’s at that point where you will say to yourself, “I’m never going home.” And you’ll mean it. You never want to go home. What does home have? A job. Bills. Responsibility. Who wants that? But, as much as you never want to go home, as much as you really mean it when you say it, it’s a lie. You will run out of money. You will realize you can’t sustain yourself forever. You will go home. You can tell yourself, “I’m never going home,” as many times as you want, but, be warned, it’s just a lie.
I can handle it
The cheap hostel has rats? “I can handle it.” The bus ride is over 24 hours? “I can handle it.” I can only afford to eat instant noodles this month? “I can handle it.” No. No, you can’t handle it. You’ll see a rat and scream like a girl. You’ll go insane with 24 sleepless hours in an upright seat. And after 3 days of ramen packets you’ll be heading to the nearest McDonald’s. You can’t handle it. But keep telling yourself you can.
My life is perfect
Backpackers are living the dream. It’s a life full of constant parties, endless sex, cheap beer, and beautiful beaches. Of course, life isn’t always a beach. You have to constantly haggle. Your living situations often give you bedbugs or worse. You find out that girl you’ve been trying to have sex with all night isn’t a girl after all. Foreign countries are dirty and far from the picturesque postcard images. Life on the road isn’t perfect and is probably a lot harder than you thought. But keep posting those idyllic Instagrams. Your friends don’t have to know.
These are just some of the lies backpackers tell. Which have YOU told?