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Wanderlust: Signs that Say You are A Genuine Traveler at Heart

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Genuine Traveler

Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. –Mark Twain

What is a true testament of being a genuine traveler?

Is it a passport filled with stamps from countries all over the world? Or does the mark lie in a traveler who can scrounge the internet for the cheapest hotel in pampanga or elsewhere for that matter?

When it comes to traveling and seeing the world, individuals can be quite different in their approach. While some would be satisfied enough to see the world’s beauty from a distance, there is quite a significant number of individuals who wish to give themselves a more immersive experience. These are the individuals that are a lot keener in doing whatever they can and it whatever means possible just to witness and marvel the world’s beauty. These individuals have set the distinction between travelers and tourists and in one way or another, they have set a standard as to how experiencing the world should be.

As with individuals who have set a benchmark on pretty much anything, some badges of honor should be in order. However, while these are physical badges such as calloused fingers for guitarists, dirt under the fingers for industrious farmers and a broken bone for footy players, what would it be for travelers? Well, read on below for some positive indications of a dedicated wanderer of the world.

Here are some of the traits, items and characteristics that one should wear with pride for these proclaim to everyone you meet that you have seen what the rest of the world looks like:

1. A ‘Thailand Tattoo’

Considered as more of a “souvenir tattoo” than anything else, a Thailand Tattoo is not a proper tattoo per se but it makes for an interesting conversation starter once you get back to your native soil. Quite a lot of people travel to Southeast Asia to return home with one of those traditional tattoos that you would need the gut and (commitment to scarring permanence) to get. A Thailand tattoo on the other hand, is simply a burn mark etched on your lower leg that you somehow get from a scooter crash if you spent a significant time in that part of the world. After all, if you are not quite so adept in riding scooters, you will inevitably touch your leg to that exhaust pipe.

2. A full passport

One of the most coveted items of a seasoned traveler is a full passport. Why? Although a passport may be a mere document to show you all the countries you have been to, each stamp tells you a different story. In a way, this is a trophy for those who revel in going overseas. It is never an expired passport but rather a passport that needs frequent replacing because of all the visa stickers and immigration stamps it has.

3. A broken backpack

A traveler who is more or less a nomad in a myriad of ways considers his or her backpack as their room—so much so that almost everything they hold dear is contained within it. This backpack has seemingly traveled the world as much as its owner did and might be coming apart at the seams after carrying way too many souvenirs and belongings. The seams might be coming apart, but that backpack has already seen more than half of the world.

4. Foreign language skills

You do not get to hop halfway around the world without picking some of the language (and the accent) of the places you have been to. A long-term traveler as well as a seasoned one will probably learn a few common phrases here and there from the places he or she has visited. Bonus points for those who have met and befriended locals as they would usually learn the local curse words.

5. Leftover foreign currency

Unless you live vicariously through your wallet when you are out traveling, there is a likely chance you will have leftover foreign change when you get back home. For kicks, most seasoned travelers would keep these as a souvenir—and to reminisce old times as well.

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