A Backpacker's Manifesto- Southeast Asia

by Alex

I originally sat down to try and sum up the things that backpackers represent, their mission statement so-to-say, a backpacker manifesto - but they’re a crazy breed, those backpackers. And if you’ve ever been one or even known one, you’re probably lacking as many words as I am to describe them.  Actually, I can think of lots of words but they’re not flattering enough to write and most of them are synonyms of savage.  So - I’ve reached a dead-end and I think I’ve realized why:  Backpacking is a personal adventure.  Every savage backpacker composes their own manifesto as they forge their path toward self-actualization (Remember! Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs? From 5th-grade health class??).

This is why backpackers keep journals, curate blogs, and record their wild and worldly undertakings.  I did this!  During my 4-month tour of Southeast Asia, I charged from one destination to the next, composing my own manifesto that materialized itself inside my phone as a Google doc titled The Things I’ve Learned.  What did this document contain, you might ask?  Well, for my own sake of a future presidential candidacy, I probably shouldn’t share, but for all of our entertainment, I’m going to give you all a sneak peak...

(some of ) The Things I've Learned:

  1. They really do say "same same" in Thailand.

  2. Laughing gas is actually illegal, despite how much the hand-written signs advertise it.

  3. The really pretty Asian girls are usually boys.

  4. Don't buy drugs from locals or cab drivers.

  5. You can always get it cheaper.

  6. Locals do understand you better if you try to match their accent.

  7. 7/11 is your savior. Oh and if you need a late night snack, buy chips, they're cheap and come in exotic flavors.

  8. Play twister, even if it's against a French dude who took his pants off to be more flexible.

  9. Wear sunscreen! - maybe even start with 30spf. 

  10. Cockroaches smell bad when you squash them and rumor has it, they attract more cockroaches. But what are you going to do? Just let them be alive in your room!?

  11. As tempting as it is, don't make fun of Canadians - they're everywhere and who knows when you might need them.

  12. Chang beer is the worst. Drink Singah for the extra 20TBH.

  13. You always win if you don't get too drunk.

  14. You should always say goodbye.

  15. Monkeys are great athletes but they’re mean! - especially the mommies with babies.

  16. Everything they say about mushrooms is true and you will only come to this realization when you're on them.

  17. Don’t forget to enjoy a morning coffee by yourself every now and then.

  18. Skinny-dip cautiously, always keep an eye on your valuables.

  19. In Myanmar, they love Obama and America.

  20. Sometimes, sleeping on the floor of the train is better than sleeping on a seat.

  21. It's totally chill to talk about diarrhea with fellow travelers.

  22. Spanish girls.

  23. Always wear a helmet.

So, tell me, what is your manifesto?  Even better, share it on the Savvi app for all of the world to see! #staysavvi

P.S. As I said in tip #9 - Wear Sunscreen! And watch this classic "manifesto" that promotes the same - Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen.