You Know You´re a Traveler When...
1. At least one item in your pack has been stitched, or otherwise fixed, with dental-floss.
2. You know, from experience, that a washboard is more than a musical instrument.
3. You can´t remember the last time you actually threw toilet paper into the toilet bowl, and give thanks to the all-mighty-bathroom-gods any time you find a toilet seat, warm water or water pressure.
4. You play the Russian-Roulette game of street food regularly. And win.
5. You have a 10-dollar camera and no music playing device or instrument. They were all stolen ages ago.
6. You know the difference between Amoebic Dysentery and Giardiasis and are able to communicate with the pharmacist to get any prescription-only drugs that you need --- without a prescription.
7. You have a variety of services at hand to offer in exchange for room & board or food and your experiences (within local community) doing such have been some of your richest.
8. You stop fawning over every passport stamp you get and start filling in the "Occupation" blanks on the the country admission visas with "Magician", "Philosopher" or "Nomad".
9. You know the difference between lice, bedbug, mite, spider, ant, bee, mosquito, love, and sand fly bites. You´ve had them all.
10. You no longer blink an eye at 16-year old boys carrying large automatic rifles. They are army personnel, police or bandits -- or any combination of the three.
11. You no longer convert every price to US dollars and say "Golly! What a deal! I´ll take three!". Instead you realize that it´s half your weekly wage and bargain the price with the merchant down to 1/3 the original quote.
12. You wouldn´t be caught dead with a fanny-pack or in shorts above the knee and don´t think twice about wearing the same pair of pants all week without washing.
13. For the rain season, you´ve given the rubber-boot to hoods, umbrellas and expensive-lined-Gortex-gear and instead opt for a tank top and quick-drying pants with drain holes in the pockets.
14. You´ve learned that oranges can be green, limes are lemons, you can find 20 different types of bananas at the market and that chili pepper DOES taste great on fruit -- especially unripe mango.
15. You know how to tie a hammock to a palm tree, a boat to a dock and your rucksack or surfboard to the rack of a car or bus.
16. You start cutting your hair with your Leather Man tool or give up on it all together and just start twisting it into dreads.
17. You know how to "slap" your fingers, cluck your tongue like the locals, whistle loud enough to get the driver´s attention from the back of the bus and "hisssss" to get your mate´s attention.
18. You´ve developed your more camel-like qualities. You are able to go without water and/or hold your bladder for 12 hours or more at a time (along with the locals) without having to beg the bus driver to pull over.
19. You´re thinking of making and wearing a name tag that answers the following questions: "Where are you from?" "How old are you?" "How long are you traveling?", "What did you do at home?" and "Do you have an rolling papers?".
20. You have sworn off sprays that include deet and drugs that end in "quine" because of their dangerous chemical composition, but have ventured to eat things you found on cow dung and smoke things that end in "juana" because of their natural composition.
21. You have mastered at least one of the following: juggling, jewelery making, fire eating, coconut carving, drumming, native dancing, card-playing, or some sort of street performing.
22. You´re completely Bob-Marleyed-Out.
23. IF you´re American, when people ask you where you are from, you hang your head red-and-shame-faced to locals or prep yourself for a battle with the "Ignorant and Arrogant" stereotype (which is mostly true) to international travelers.
24. The two words you fear most are "Inadequate Funds" and you actually KNOW your four-digit pin number to get a cash advance on your credit card (from the LAST time you had a 911 money emergency).
25. You know that your best adventures will always be found off your original path (but you hope that there isn´t an armed robber in the bushes alongside it).
Oh look! Tourist has emerged from the vendor mob! And look! He´s sporting an authentic hand-stitched Guatemalan hat. And doesn´t he look local now!
*glances at watch*
Isn´t it almost buffet time?
Love and Namaste,
P.S. I recommend seeing Into The Wild (Directed by Sean Penn, Book by John Krakauer, true story of Christopher McCandless' trip into the wild). Hands down one of if not THE best movie I've ever seen.
"So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greather joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun." -- Chris McCandless
(last photo of him before his death)