A very worrying tongue-in-cheek post from the good people over at ExpatInfoDesk. It obviously can’t apply to me. I don’t own a pair of RayBans…

To be a backpacker you must…

  • Have never actually worked abroad before. In fact, you may never have worked at all.
  • Suddenly develop an obsession with ethnic clothing and tie-dyed sarongs and actually believe that you look cool.
  • Believe that it is totally fine to go days without washing, even though you are staying in a modern hostel that has state-of-the-art communal showers.
  • Spend more time updating your Facebook status and online traveler’s blog with details of your amazing adventures than you actually spend having them.
  • Be able to say the word “beer” in at least six languages.
  • Set out with the intention of seeing “the real world” and then spend the majority of your time hanging out at hostels and backpacker bars as far away from the locals as you can possibly get.
  • Grow a beard: have beard, will travel.
  • Own a pair of knock-off Ray Ban sunglasses and some flip flops.

To be an expat you must…

  • Once have had an amazing career but since being relocated for your partner’s job you can’t find work at all.
  • Suddenly develop an obsession with the weather conditions in several countries.
  • Believe that it is totally fine to drive without lights, run a red light and change lanes without signaling.
  • Spend more time updating geo-bragging about the amazing lifestyle you have abroad than you actually spend enjoying it.
  • Be able to say the word “wife” and “girlfriend” in one sentence without your friends batting an eyelid.
  • Set out with the intention of really experiencing life in your host country and then spend the majority of your time hanging out in expatriate bars as far away from the locals as you can get.
  • Grow increasingly frustrated with your host country and moan to your fellow expatriates about how bad everything is, but then tell your friends back home that you’re living the dream.
  • Own a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses and some flip flops.
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2 Responses to Backpacker Vs Expat – Defining the Characteristics

  1. Sandy says:

    I don’t see a single trait in either description attributable to you, although I have no idea if you care about world wide weather conditions. You are happy as long as the restaurants are good, and plentiful. Which reminds me…I have a new one for you! Yummy!

  2. Sandy says:

    Well…maybe the driving thing… :)

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