One day, I thought about ‘why are we so in love with backpackers?’. At least I am.

Honestly, raise your hand if you ever had a crush on a fellow backpacker.


See? I see millions of hands up in the air. I knew it! Yes, it happens a lot. So, why?


And one day during my backpacking, I thought ‘Backpacking is sexy.’


Combine those two thoughts.. We are so in love with backpackers because backpacking is sexy. I’m not saying because I travel as a backpacker (well, some part??). There’s just something about backpack, straps, buckles, shorts and tan lines. That’s something. We build some sort of brotherhood through backpacks.


Meet great friends, and sometimes love, that is not the main reason why we put the backpack on our back, but it happens quiet often. Not only just romance, but also very long lasting friendship.

So, why are we constantly falling in love with backpackers and why backpacking is so darn sexy?

Here’s my thought.

Backpacker in Cairns
Backpacker in Cairns. Photo by jcoterhals, Flickr


Self centered

It doesn’t mean that the person is selfish or rude. Backpackers know how to take care of themselves. It’s inevitable because they are on the road alone in a complete strange place. ‘Believe in yourself’ was the first thing I learn from my backpacking. Backpackers are confident. They know what they want, what they like, and what they have to do. This is a very good quality that people could have, in my opinion. Knowing and loving yourself are important as much as find the love of your life.

Self-oriented people are reliable on the road, and you have to be that way for your own good. That’s why we bond so well with friends we met during traveling. Because we have this belief that we are going to be okay individually no matter what happens.

And to be honest, a man who knows what he wants, that is sexy, and vise versa I believe.


Problem solving

I have a thing for the person who concentrates to read something out of a guidebook and scribbles on a dingy piece of paper. It’s quite weird thing to have a thing but it’s true.

Things are not going the way exactly what we’ve expected. That is one of the fun parts of travel for sure, but we have to power through the situations. Travel has its ups and downs, and it gives you something to solve in either way. Decisions about where to go, when we got lost, figuring out the next move for next few days, and some more severe situations are possible.

The problem solving process is another opportunity to get to know people. The ability, thought process, creativity and beyond. And a lot of times I got very impressive from that.


Figure out the next move

Solid philosophy

Backpackers have a solid philosophy to overview the world. It is highly flexible and very ground solid at the same time. We encounter strange situations over and over every single day. The experiences became one small pieces of what makes who you are. Just like tetris. From all the bits and pieces, backpackers are building their own world that is open to everyone. I admire the effort.

Quality conversation is highly toxicated. It’s a brainteaser and I’m easily hooked by that. It’s truly amazing that how two or more people who had totally different lives for over two decades, yet have so many things in common and understand each other so well. It happens more on the road than back home, for me at least. As much as I understand how rare that to happen, it is easier to fall deeply to the situation.



Appearance is clearly one of the key points of attraction. Sometimes we deny it, but that is true. On that note, backpackers are usually very fit. If you didn’t notice, it’s easy to guess after put a 20kg backpack on your back. It’s the ultimate workout.

Backpackers are not lazy. There’s always a possibility but it’s different laziness than when we are at home. As a flexible and not tight itinerary traveler, having some time off is important when I’m on the road and I think of it as a lifestyle. Why rush? However, because they have to-no they choose to move around, do something every day, eat healthy food, and whatever the other reasons are, I found backpackers are in good shape. This is a very good point to argue with why we are so in love with them.

Enough said.


Most importantly, because you are who you are

You know how people say travel is about finding yourself. I’m a believer. Once I said why friends I met on the road is much more intense than my face-to-face friends and that was because I was being totally who I am with them. It applies for any relationship and especially for love. Every single point I mentioned above could be nothing if it happens at home. It’s sad to say but I am not completely being who I am when I’m at home and I believe a lot of fellow travelers are as well. When we are on the road, we became a self-oriented, troubleshooter, believer – a sexy backpacker. That is what makes us irresistible.


Yes, I am backpacky

Well, do you agree? A penny for your thoughts?


17 thoughts on “Backpacking is Sexy”

  1. I have to agree that backpackers are sexy! Even when they haven’t showered in days, look like shit, have sweat stains on their clothes, and have backpack tanlines on their bare shoulders. Being dirty can feel so right.

  2. I totally agree! We are a dead sexy bunch! 🙂

    I know I act differently at home and that’s probably why relationships and friendships I make on the road have a better connection with people at home. I’ve realized that most people from home I feel like I HAVE to know, I HAVE to be friends with and I HAVE to visit with them.

    Honestly, just because someone has known me since I was born or we went to school together or we worked together doesn’t mean that we have anything in common- especially lifestyle. Traveling, I meet people with common interests and lifestyles. It’s great! 🙂

    Backpackers are sexy… at least to each other! 🙂

  3. I agree with you : backpackers are sexy.
    And they are open persons, so they want to comunicate with eachother. They are on movment and always on different places, so they never borry. Miss my next trip…

  4. Such a fun post, Juno although I’ve seen some pretty unappealing looking backpackers. But I can see the characteristics that make them choose to travel that way that can be attractive – and I guess once you clean and rinse the hobo looking backpackers, they’re ok 🙂

  5. Hmm….I can’t say I find backpackers all that sexy myself, but I also can’t argue with your rationale for why they are. Maybe I just haven’t met enough backpackers in my life….

  6. YES juno!!! totally agree! mostly for the mindset stuff you describe here. the thing i can do without is the attire (ooh! that sounded scandalous! ha ha) i mean the clothing backpackers wear is not really my style, but put them in something a little off the REI path and into punker/rocker-ville and shazam! 😉 fun post!

  7. Great post! I’m not ashamed to admit that I fell in love with a fellow backpacker. More than a year later, we’re still traveling together! =)

  8. Lots of good reading here, thanks! I had been browsing on yahoo when I identified your article, I’m going to add your feed to Google Reader, I look forward to much more from you.

  9. I agree with everything you’ve said! Especially the bit about how we are closer to friends (and lovers 😉 ) that we meet abroad because we are completely ourselves.

    Sometimes it amazes me how close I am to people that I spent 6 months with as compared to people that I spent my whole life with! We just get each other.

    Great post!

  10. Nice article, and yes it’s something about that flair and sense of adventure that certainly adds an attractiveness to a person.

    I’m going to be something of a cycle backpacker in a couple of weeks. Is cycle backpacking sexy too? haha

  11. I RAWR for the ‘solving problem’ point. People working hard and solving problems with great positive solution are a deal maker for me. When someone can work out a route calmly and collected, makes me want to kiss them!

  12. Totally agree! I just find out this website, cool work you have here…

    I am a different person if I am travelling, more free spirit than when I am back home! Great post…

    I’ll be in your country (again) this Winter…yippeee!!

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