Twelve Kinds of People You Encounter When Backpacking


When you’re on the road, not only the beautiful scenic views that makes you wanna “Wow", but also the people you encounter on the way that fascinate you.

While I’m on the road, I’ve encountered many people that influenced me either good or bad. So, I decided to categorize them.


  1. Some of them are like old friends, many topics to talk about and share. Like they’ve waited their whole life to meet you. Once started talking, there’s no way to shut up.3
  2. Some of them are like best friends, after you’ve met them, it’s friendship forever. Alway get in touch every few days, or meeting up somewhere around the world and travel together. They are your best travelmates. 4
  3. Some of them are like elders, telling you what to be aware of, sharing their experience to you. Just want you to be cautious cautious and more cautious when hitting the road. Also they would love to give you their contact number and tell you to call them or email them whenever you need help.
  4. Some of them are like kids, naughty and like teasing everyone. They like going to the bars and hook up some nice ladies or guys. Love trying anything that’s crazy. Would start singing and dancing on the street. To tell the truth, it’s quite entertaining to be with this kinda people. 7
  5. Some of them are like tramps, traveling with a budget, just to experience a life without technology. They love the nature, not the cities. Not a big fan of materialistic life and fancy things. More of a go with the flow type. 8
  6. Some of them are like fops, spending money is like drinking water. Say that they are enjoying life when they are still able to. Like to spend money on food, clothes, accessories, women/men, and gambling. But then one day they would send a text message: I’m starting to take Chinese lessons! 9
  7. Some of them likes solitariness, they don’t like to blend in with people. They like to sit in the corner and read their books or play with their phones. No so much interested in sightseeing. Most of the time stay in beds in the hostels. 17
  8. Some of them are like loners, they like to do things alone, not a big fan traveling with a whole bunch of people, the most is with 1 or 2. Leave the hostel early in the morning and come back late. Try to see the most of everywhere and explore. Don’t talk much, but very friendly. 10
  9. Some of them are like strangers, the only way to communicate is a nod on the head and smile. Once passing, you immediately forget how they look like. 12
  10. Some of them are like foes, never say hello to you, not even look at you. They do their own things, no smile, like everyone owes him/her a lot of money. 14
  11. Some of them are bad guys, they rob you, threaten you, make your trip miserable and anxious. They mess up your whole travel plan because you have to apply for a temporary passport at the nearest embassy, go to the police station for help and cancel all your credit cards. Nothing is worse than encountering these kind of people. 18
  12. Some of them are not even humans! They are dogs, cats, rabbits, elephants, camels or even donkeys. Sometimes they join you a part of your journey or a cat will hop on your lap and stay there as you chat with your new friends. 11

Either what kind of people you meet, we should always be grateful for what we have. (Not the bad guys though!) Because of these people, we see different backgrounds, evaluations, education, languages, traditions, behaviors, and life standards.


We grow because of them, no matter if it’s good or bad, we learn from our experiences. There’s a Chinese proverb, “At home you depend on your parents, outside you rely on your friends." When life is finally not in the frame that you’ve always lived in, it’s time to make new friends around the world.

Learn how to accept different things, places, or even people. Once you’re opened to all of them, you will find yourself in a completely different world. You won’t have the same vision, concepts, and feelings anymore.


Learn how to put the past behind. It doesn’t mean you don’t have to consider about the future, I also think about my future when I’m traveling, like where to go next, what to do, what to eat…

Think wisely what you want. What is the purpose of your lone wandering? To seek your true self? To experience life? To escape from something? Or for a wider sky and vision?


To seek your true self is good. Understanding where your limit can go to, how dodgy you can live like, how embraceable you can to accept friends from every corner of the world, or explore a new habit or interest. And once you return back, you start something you truly like.


To experience life is also good. See the beauty of the world, satisfy your taste bud by trying out new food, fall in love with someone on the way and leave a lovely memory behind. And once you return back, share all your laughters and stories with friends and family.


To escape something is not bad, either. Life, is always full of trouble and sorrow. When you feel like you can’t breathe and continue anymore, it’s time to step out the regular life frame and see something different. Go meet new people, listen to their stories, share your stories to strangers, cry out loud in the wild, and after crying, lift up your chin and keep walking forward of life. And once you return back, completely cut off the thousand strands of worry. Dye your hair, get a pierce, perm your hair like a punk!


I’ve made such a big change of my life after I started traveling alone, mostly influenced by the people I met on the way. At least to me, the journey becomes more interesting and surprising when others join in.

Leave all the worries behind and just go!

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Author: Migi Tso

I'm a person with action. Love traveling and meeting people all over the world. Also a peace lover. A teacher who loves to be with students and learn from them. I have been teaching for 13 years since undergraduate and still continuing to gain more to help students and educate them. The world is full of adventure and backpacking is the only way I get deep into understanding different cultures. So, my backpack and I are always exploring new countries. So far I've been to 58 countries but numbers don't really matter, it's the passionate heart that does. My life is like wind, I was born in Taiwan, spent my childhood in Paris-Texas, teenage year back in Taiwan, studied my master in Edinburgh-UK, lived and worked in Gaziantep-Turkey for 5 years, and now currently living in Germany. Just can't get enough of my adventurous life! 我只是一位愛旅行的老師,在旅行中體驗人生,從教書中認識文化。目前旅居德國,但不知下一站會在哪。


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