They may be funny or gross, but 100% true!
1. Pee standing: ok, I'm a girl, I sit! But the restrooms are most of the times dirty, or smelly or simply without a toilet seat. So, I saw myself obliged to learn how to pee standing, or better yet, half way up. Not very worthy of a lady, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
2. Can't watch a movie outdoors because it's freaking cold even in the summer: summer events are great in Europe, but one needs to understand what summer feels like in Europe. I'm still adapting to the hot months (bear in mind that my benchmark for summer is Brazil) and learning to enjoy myself outside when it is 25 degrees (not my idea of "oh, so hot"), but when the temperature drops to 16 at night and there is an outdoor-movie event... I'm sorry, maybe I'll enjoy it next time...
3. You find new uses for things: this is the best one. How creative can one get when one doesn't have that many options. Here's an example: I turned a coffee filter into a napkin and a snack wraper. I recommend it!
4. You'll be hungry more times than you can possibly imagine: boy, this one is hard! You're backpacking, eager to learn, visit and taste new things. But in my case, learning and visiting are on top of my list, and I end up neglecting the eating part. In all my trips I remember starving at some point. That's why now I know, I always have to carry some type of snack with me.
5. Rain water is drinkable...I think: you're thirsty, it's raining, you're wearing one of those disposable rain ponchos, nowhere to buy water at the moment. Well, just put your hands together under the poncho forming a bowl and there you go: a few sips of relief.
6. You'll miss wearing flip flops: you must wear comfortable shoes when backpacking, in fact, you must wear comfortable shoes all the time. But it comes a time that you are a little fed up of wearing socks and shoes, socks and shoes, socks and shoes. You'll definitely miss the flip flop toe-freedom.
7. You'll wear sneakers to the limit: a link to the one above. You WILL wear your sneakers to the limit. True story: after backpacking a little the latch from one of my sneakers got loose. I just kept wearing them and walking always making sure that it was still there. One day, as I was leaving the supermarket, I looked down and that was when I saw my bright yellow sock, no latch! I started laughing because it was so ridiculous! But ok, never mind, let's move on. Then, what do I see ahead, about 600 meters away from the market? My sneaker latch trying to cross the street! Just, pretended nothing was happening, I picked it up, and later at night my husband sewed it up for me.
8. If you don't wash your undies everyday, you may one day end up not wearing any at all: I guess this topic doesn't need much development, but backpackers, bear in mind that: if you carry one piece of underwear to each day, that means 7, don't panic on Sunday evening saying that you don't have clean underwear to wear on Monday. To paraphrase Dory: just keep washing, just keep washing...
9. You'll say that things that cost more than 1 euro are expensive: backpackers are in their essence low budget travelers, that means every saving counts. Our eyes sparkle when we see things at the supermarket that cost cents!
10. You'll discover body odors you've never smelled before: backpackers walk a lot, repeat clothes a lot, wear the same jacket, buy cheap deodorants (please, don't do this), take public transportation... I'm sorry to tell you this but one day you'll discover body odors you've never smelled before.
Disgusting, right? I know...I told you things would be funny or gross, boys and girls. So, I'll give you a nice bonus one:
11. You'll learn to trust complete strangers: this is one of the nicest things that happen in the life of a backpacker, meeting new people and simply trusting them. They may want to get to know your story as much as you want to know theirs. They'll feed you, offer you rides, help you take the bus, and sometimes only smile acknowleding your presence. You'll learn to trust complete strangers and this will definitely change the way you look at people and the way you see the world.