1. Youâ€™ll gain weight
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but in my experience (and in every other womanâ€™s who Iâ€™ve either travelled with or spoken to) this is inevitable for any female backpacker. I acquired a nice, cushiony thirteen pounds extra. Other friends only gained a couple of kilos. Either way, we all got more tubs. Embrace it.
2. People will steal your toiletries
A shampoo container here, a razor stick or two there. Yes, yes, Iâ€™m sure on occasion the mislaid items are the result of general carelessness â€¦ but if you start to suspect you genuinely might be going mad because you canâ€™t for the life of you remember where you put the hairbrush – again – chances are, someoneâ€™s nabbing your stuff.
3. Your favourite wares will get lost in transit
With all the clothes you scatter across hostel dorms and those repeat trips to the lavanderia on a bi-weekly basis, mislaying your wares from time to time is a given. Doesnâ€™t stop you wanting to shed a tear or two, though, when the only matching set of undies you own are cruelly separated following another unsuccessful trip to the local laundrette.
4. Creepy guys willâ€¦.creep on you
*NB: this is my friend who, despite appearance, is not an actual creep.
As a female backpacker you do have to take the rough with the smooth. For every dreamy lothario you encounter, thereâ€™ll be another creep leering in his shadow. Quite remarkable, really, the amount of attention you can receive when youâ€™re no longer brushing your hair or wearing makeup (and tattered leggings are the only thing that fit your new fat suit).
5. Youâ€™ll fall in love. Again. And again. And again.
It comes with the territory. Life on the road is shaky, unpredictable and in a constant state of flux. Ergo, you find yourself clinging like a limpet to the latest hottie you met and shared romantic times with in that hostel because, like, what if he is the love of my life and I never, ever see him again??? Iâ€™ve never felt like this about ANYONE (is, err, not what I ever saidâ€¦ever..)
6. Youâ€™ll run into all the people youâ€™re trying to avoid
From the awkward romances youâ€™d rather forget to that really annoying girl who had no sense of personal space; if youâ€™re actively trying to avoid these people, you can bet your ass youâ€™ll bump into them again in the very worst of places. Like, the middle of a remote island that less than ten other backpackers in the whole continent have undertaken the six hour trip across perilous conditions to reachâ€¦How do these things happen??
7. Mother nature will be ever present
Ah, the beloved monthly cycle. Sheâ€™s not going anywhere (and letâ€™s be honest, we should all feel grateful for this when backpacking – the inconvenience of getting your period up a mountain is marginally less distressing than discovering that you might actually be with child). Still, as most women can attest to, on your travels it really is just a bloody pain. Pun intended.
8. Your hair will take on a life of its own
Iâ€™m talking, all the hairs. Budget (and convenience) wonâ€™t allow for those monthly top ups to the waxing salon so youâ€™ll most likely be resorting to the trusty razor. This will handle everything from legs, armpits, bikini lines and lip hair (â€¦what? Oh, that might just be me). Itâ€™s a mistake to assume that one razor can survive months of your fast-growth follicles but most of us will live in denial of this and continue to revisit with a blunt blade. Sigh.
9. Youâ€™ll realise that female snorers are a breed of their own
Thought only blokes were the rhinos of snoresville? Try sharing a dorm with eight other angelic-seeming females and youâ€™ll soon see how wrong you were. Sure, it might be all sweetness and giggles at the bar, but when the lights are out, the beasts are unleashed. Whatâ€™s mind boggling is that the loudest sounds are usually emanating from the nostrils of the teeniest, tiniest women in the room.
10. Lots of people wonâ€™t understand why, if you backpack soloÂ
Locals think youâ€™re crazy for navigating their country without the aid of a man (or anyone) in tow – on occasion, youâ€™ve wondered if youâ€™re a bit bonkers too (and wouldnâ€™t it be nice if someone else could carry your 18kg rucksack to the next hostel?). Still, whatâ€™s great is being able to disprove the theory that, as a woman navigating these foreign parts, you canâ€™t hack it. You totally can. Whatâ€™s more, youâ€™ll return with stories aplenty that make the loss of items, love handles, and awkward encounters with exes on the road all the more worth it for the â€˜lols.â€™
Oh, and, erm, slightly coarser lip hairâ€¦
Did we miss anything? Comment below!
Written by Charlotte Cowling: foodie, writer, cycling and travel fiend. Always keen for an avo-cuddle.
Image credits: Charlotte Cowling