It’s amazing how easy it is to make friends while backpacking.

Join a free walking tour around the city and you’ll quickly find people trying to explore just like you. Get your free beers at night at your hostel and chill at the bar to find like minded individuals trying to save money and have a good time. Don’t want to get out of your dorm room? No problem! Jump into conversations with your bunk mates and get to know them! In due time, you’ll find a travel buddy or two to see the sights of the city. In no time, you’ll find yourself surrounded with new backpacking friends!

The First Question

Whether you’re meeting another traveler at a hostel, restaurant or at a tourist attraction, the first question is always the same.

How long have you been traveling?

On the backpacker trail, people live in the present and form friendships instantly. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you did in your pre-backpacking life.

People rarely ask about what they do for a living – they talk about where they’ve been and where they’re going. Each time anyone answers those questions, you can see the twinkle in their eyes and hear the enthusiasm in their voices.

Backpackers absolutely love telling stories about where they’ve been. When you have stories of your own, your fellow backpackers are always there to listen. If you’re just starting out, ask them of their opinions on the places they’ve been! For the smart backpackers, it’s wise to listen to these stories as you won’t find any of it in TripAdvisor or Lonely Planet. My plan for South East Asia had changed so much based on recommendations from fellow backpackers!

The Love for Travel

There is a common theme that unites travelers and backpackers alike – wanderlust. Everyone has that passion to visit another city and explore. It’s this passion that makes it easy to instantly form strong bonds even if we all have our different reasons for traveling.

Some people want to go traveling to explore other cultures or want to discover themselves and find out their purpose in life. Some even just travel to check things off their bucket list! In the end, none of us asks and frankly, none of us cares. The love for travel is more than enough to accept each other.

The End of the Road

At the end of the journey, when the strangers turn friends go their separate ways, it often ends the same way every time.

When you come to… Let me know and I’ll show you around.

I’ve yet to message anyone that’s told me this so I’m unsure whether the offer will stand the test of time. For me though, when a friend I’ve met during my travels messages me saying they’re in Vancouver, I’ll find the time to showcase the city I call home. It’s the least I could do after sharing precious memories with them throughout my journey across South East Asia.


I will be writing about my travels within South East Asia in the upcoming months. Follow me on my travels by following me on Instagram, Twitter and subscribing to my travel blog! Find my Instagram posts using #MarkBackpacksAsia



Related Post

  • Reply Jen April 9, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    Hi Mark,

    My name is Jen.

    I’m working in the field of marketing and would like to chat with you in-person if doable about Facebook branding.

    Please let me know if you are interested.

    Thank you,



  • Leave a reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *