Sometimes when you see a girl walking down the street in your home town, you just know she’s recently returned from South East Asia. Is it just her tan and her sense of self confidence that radiates “I backpacked solo in South East Asia bitches!”, or is it something more? Could it be that most women who travel in South East Asia end up bringing home the same wardrobe and accessories? Come on ladies, we’d all like to think we’re special and unique but when it comes right down to it we all buy the same shit when we’re backpacking trip through South East Asia. Here are four things that I bet you and all of your backpacker girlfriends have:
-Elephant Pants: If you don’t own a pair of loose cotton pants with elephants (or a similar “traditional” motif) printed on them, have you even been to Thailand? These pants are a non-negotiable backpacker item for males and females alike. Guys will resist them for as long as they can, but will eventually cave into the undeniable comfort, airflow, and of course impeccable style, of the cotton elephant pants. It’s a tell tale sign of resignation to the hippie backpacker life when you see dudes rocking Thai pants. Girls rock these pants because our butts look super round and bouncy in them, and yes they’re also super comfy.
-Bracelets Galore: If you don’t have a tangle of old, smelly, sun-faded, braided strings around your wrists, you have not achieved pro backpacker status yet. But never fear, you can buy these little braided strings everywhere in South East Asia! In fact, you can even buy a spool of string at the corner store and go around tying bracelets around the wrists of every person you meet! It’s a great way of making friends, and a great way of making sure people feel super guilty when they lie and say that they indeed intend on visiting you, and sleeping on your parents couch. The moral of the story is to always wear lots of stinky old strings around your wrists to commemorate the many people you didn’t end up being life-long friends with.
-Flip Flops: This one really is non-negotiable. From romantic beach walks, to standing in hostel shower stalls that haven’t been cleaned in 25 years! Y’all gotta have flip flops. Even if these foam and plastic shoes are a bit out of your budget, and 30 dollar Havanas are out of the question, you can find many discarded flip flops washed up on shores of beaches all over South East Asia. Don’t worry, your flip flops do not need to be a symbol of your socio-economic background anymore. Now that there’s an abundance of garbage in the ocean, everyone can have flip flops. Yay!
-A Journal: Let me guess, is it covered in elephant printed silky material? I thought so (cause so is mine)! Every girl traveller has to carry a journal to keep track of how many drunken one night stands she has over the course of her trip. And not to mention an account of each time she’s been hopelessly devoted to a 26 year old Spanish beach babe who speaks almost zero English but has the body of Channing Tatum. Am I right?
Now you’ll know how to identify a recently returned backpacker girl from South East Asia. She’ll be wearing cotton elephant pants to show off her bouncy bum, you’ll be able to smell the stench of a hundred hostel shower stalls emanating from her bracelets, and her flip flops will be two different colours and covered in barnacles. Oh right, and she’ll adding to her lists in her elephant-print journal. Some habits die hard. Work it girlfriend, you have long arm-pit hair and you want everyone to know it.