21 Signs you’ve been backpacking around Asia for too long

21 Signs you’ve been backpacking around Asia for too long

Asia is just paradise for backpackers – warm climates, beautiful scenery, interesting sights, captivating culture, tasty food, friendly locals,  and picture postcard perfect beaches.

Not to mention the fact that Southeast Asia and India are some of the cheapest places to travel in the world and it’s so easy to meet others and make friends along the way that many backpackers find it hard to leave!

If that sounds like you then you might recognise some of these signs that you’ve been backpacking around Asia for too long. Of course, this is just for fun – you could never backpack Asia for too long!

  • It feels totally normal to eat rice for breakfast, you have mastered the art of eating with chopsticks, feel comfortable using your hands to eat and consume most of your meals on tiny plastic stools but the side of the road.
  • All your clothes seems to have a beer brand, attraction or Hindu god emblazoned across them and you threw away your jeans a long time ago and have various colours and designs of hippy pants. You try to minimise the amount of possessions you have – all they do is weigh you down.
  • You no longer seek out a western toilet and genuinely think that an Asian hose is far more hygienic than toilet paper. You’ve developed strong thigh muscles so you can even squat wearing a backpack,

Kevin and_

  • You think anything under 20 degrees is seriously freezing and paying anything over a $1 for a beer is outrageously expensive!
  • You no longer worry about what time the bus, train or boat arrives, you just accept that you will get there whenever you get there and you consider 6 or 8 hours ride a short hop
  • Actually, you have no idea what day it is, sometimes you are even confused of what month it is and your family and friends have completely lost track of which country you are in.
  • You used to love meeting other travellers but if you have to have that ‘where you’re from and how many countries have you been to’ conversation again you are really going to scream
  • You know your passport number, most airport codes and national flags off by heart but can’t remember your home postcodeExploring the Temples of Angkor in Cambodia
  • You have friends and an offer of a place to stay in all corners of the globe, if they ever get home that is.
  • You always know the currency exchange rates and could probably set up a currency exchange with the amount of different currencies in your wallet
  • You’ve forgotten how to speak English properly and find yourself speaking a kind of simplified, grammatically incorrect Chinglish to make yourself understood. You can also have a whole conversation using charade like hand signals.
  • The novelty of drinking out of a coconut has worn off.
  • You instinctively haggle for everything and hawkers don’t bother you too much any more as you’ve mastered a glazed over look of uninterest in their wares.


  • If you hear a croaky frog one more time you will scream!
  • You’ve had to stop taking so many photos as your hard drive is full up and your Mum refuses to allow you to send anymore art work or souvenirs home.
  • Sometimes you wish you could just watch a movie on the couch rather than going to another temple or another night market
  • You’ve stopped taking photos of cows.
Friendly cows enjoiyng the sunset on Morjim beach, Goa
Friendly cows enjoying the sunset on Morjim beach, Goa
  • You understand the Asian rules of the road, you can see the logic to what looked like chaos at first, can confidently cross the road in Saigon and you curse people if they don’t use the horn.
  • It doesn’t matter where you are, you are always dreaming and planning the next destination and you are constantly trying to think of ways to make money on the road so that you can keep traveling forever.
  • You’ve forgotten what you look like with your hair and make up done and what it feels like to have a hot shower, but it doesn’t bother you.
  • A hot shower and your own bed sounds like heaven but the thought of going home, settling down and having to get ‘a proper job’ gives you nightmares.

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21 Signs you've been backpacking in Asia for too long

How many of these do you agree with? Have you noticed any other signs that you’ve backpacking for too long?

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Lianne Bronzo January 6, 2016 at 3:37 pm

After 3.5 years of being in Asia, I can relate to all of those for India and SE Asia, but not so much Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. It’s good to take a step back and realize what’s considered normal for us now but we were shocked when we first experienced it! Thanks for the laugh.

Anna January 7, 2016 at 7:08 am

Hey Lianne! Ha ha glad you could relate 🙂 Yes, you realise what was a culture shock at first is now totally normal. You’re right, I wrote this with Indian and SE Asia in mind as I haven’t spent much time in Northern Asia and I think that region would be quite different.

jade November 30, 2016 at 8:01 am

Hello 🙂

I have only been travelling for 5 months so far, but I can relate to a lot of these! I like that you have written more humorous and small blogs to cut up the other more ‘knowledgable’ blogs written about places to visit, things to do etc. It makes a nice change 🙂 Thank you for that!

Safe travels 😀

Anna November 30, 2016 at 1:57 pm

Hey Jade! Thanks, so glad you could relate! hope you are enjoying your travels so far. Yes, I like to write blogs that are useful and informative but sometimes it’s nice to write something shorter and lighter like this. Glad you liked it and thanks for stopping by 🙂


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