Backpacker Stereotypes Part I- Everyone Wants to Be Like Christopher McCandless

As transient visitors, and consequently checking in and out of hostels constantly, any backpacker can tell you the chances to observe people are endless. Hostels truly are one of the best environments for people watching, and with a trenchant eye, it makes for an amusing sociology experiment.

I have encountered many types of travelers, and all though stereotypes are generally frowned upon, the fact of the matter is, sometimes, people really can be put into a category.

Today, I’m going to focus on one.

You see this guy or gal in every town you pass, whether it be for one day or one month, and all though they are disillusioned into thinking they are one of a few to accomplish such a feat, they are indeed one of many “complicated” soul searchers in the Fishbowl.

I am talking about the “Christopher McCandless Wannabes”.

*Disclaimer* I am not picking on these people in their entirety.I have found that most, if not all of them, are interesting, kind, genuine, and extremely deep individuals. It just so happens, that their dream of exploring the world with nothing but a biodegradable sack to hold the bare necessities, (which usually includes a copy of  Toltstoy’s “War and Peace”),  is all too predictable, and frankly, played out.

So, all though an admirable path, these backpackers need to grab a machete (metaphorically speaking) and start clearing the brush in order to create a path of their own.

It’s okay to have inspiration, but leave it at that.


  1. What is with this trend of wanting to go to 3rd world countries and view proverty??? I would much rather be in Paris or Venice. Call me old fashioned.

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