How To Spot a British Backpack Wanker Abroad, and Avoid Turning Into One | Real Gap Experience Blog

How To Spot a British Backpack Wanker Abroad, and Avoid Turning Into One

Brits have a nasty habit of upping the anti and going all ‘God Save The Queen’ on the world when they’re abroad – we’ve all seen it (and shuddered at it). Some of us do it by accident (‘erm excuse me, where’s the nearest rubbish pub?’) and some of us are just darn right obnoxious (‘BUT WHY don’t they speak any English? Gahhhh’).

Things get even worse when a backpack gets thrown into the mix… so avoid being a typical British backpack wanker by following these simple instructions:

‘Fish and Chips, please’: Backpacking is all about seeing and experiencing the world, so don’t stick to the norm when you’re away! Stay away from: kebab shops, takeaways that sell every type of takeaway known to man (you know the one), and instead actually try food relevant to the country you’re exploring. It’ll be so much fresher, and 100 times nicer!

Wearing the England Flag: Typical of Dads all over the world, it’s always mega embarrassing when you see a Brit wearing a flag on their clothing. It’s just not appropriate, AT ALL.

Refusing to let the map/guide book leave your hands: There’s no denying that guide books are extremely handy, but it can feel REALLY good to get off the beaten track every once and a while. Where’s your sense of adventure?!

Why Doesn’t EVERYBODY Speak English?: Believe it or not, not everybody in the world can speak English. Luckily the odds do swing in our favour (it’s the second most spoken language behind Mandarin) but that still means you’ll come across plenty of people who have a very basic knowledge of our lingo, if any at all. Be patient or even better – learn some useful phrases before you go away. You’ll have a much more authentic experience if you can interact with the locals!

Watch England Play Sport, and Cheer REALLY, REALLY Loud: With World Cup fever still floating about, it’s hard to avoid an English team of some sort playing sport, regardless of where you are. We’re all fed up of ‘Three Lions’, especially as we did so appallingly, so please keep it down yeah? Ditch your ‘football frienddddddddddd’, they’re being a twat – and you’re on a trip of a lifetime.

Burning, even when it’s barely sunny: Most Brits burn at the sight of sun, let alone after we’ve frolicked around in it for hours on end (probably because it’s a rarity back at home!). Make sure you’re sensible and use suntan lotion – burns are nasty and the pain can ruin a trip.

Tip: This is especially the case when your glowing red burn leaves an unfortunate ‘tan line’, which is massively backpack wanker-y.

Talking about the weather, constantly: We’re all obsessed with the weather here in the UK, probably because it’s so bad here most of the time! Don’t bore the world by going on about ‘how bad it is at home’ all the time, enjoy where you are now. Backpacking is all about the here and now, not the ‘what I did last year at home’

Now enjoy your holiday, fellow British backpacker! (And check out for loads of inspiration!)

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