March 4, 2009: Top 10 Signs You Might Be a Budget Backpacker (Pulau Perhentian Kecil, Malaysia)

I carefully planned my trip to the Perhentian Islands, off the coast of north-east Malaysia, to be after my three weeks in Borneo, specifically to avoid the monsoon rains that frequently run until the end of February in these parts. Ironically, it has poured rain just for the three days I am here. I don’t mind however; the islands are still an idyllic paradise, even in the rain, and it’s also been an opportunity to get some more diving in, since it’s nearly as wet above water as below! I did three dives over two days to become a certified wreck diver, which will be useful for wrecks in Bali and Australia, as well as for some of the excellent wreck dives we have at home in beautiful British Columbia!

It’s also been a chance to catch up on photo uploads, blog updates, and facebook mucking around; I’ve found a beach-side restaurant with excellent, cheap food, ridiculously decadent shakes (you don’t know what you’re missing in life until you’ve had a ‘Snickers’ shake, believe me!) and free wi-fi. So instead of a newsy update about what I’ve been up to (not much), I decided to write up some reflections about my trip so far. I present:

Top 10 Signs You Might Be a Budget Backpacker

  1. You have, in a pinch, substituted eating a pack of mint Mentos for brushing your teeth

  2. You know the exact price of a can of beer in the five nearest countries to your current location

  3. You can fix absolutely anything with your sewing kit and dental floss:

    Polly is the MacGyver of Travel (red circle is fixed area)

    Polly is the MacGyver of Travel (red circle is fixed area)

  4. You have eaten ramen noodles – raw.

  5. You no longer value things based on what they cost you, only on the difficulty you’d have replacing them. For example:
    Acer Laptop: Cost $450, Value $450
    Feminine fashionable flipflops in size women’s 11: Cost $12, Value ONE MILLION DOLLARS

  6. You actually cry when you lose something of great value (like when I left my flipflops on a dive boat in Sipidan and never saw them again – WAH!)

  7. You have several new gradients for describing how dirty your clothes are between ‘clean’ and ‘has to be washed before worn again’ (i.e.: “no visible marks”, “doesn’t smell too bad”, etc.)

  8. You have a shower and then think, “What’s that smell?” Then you realize the smell is you, NOT smelling.

  9. Your most prized possessions include your universal electrical adapter, your bathroom bag with a hook on it so it can be hung on anything in bug-infested zones, your waterproof watch with an alarm, and your flipflops. (Yes, still pretty bitter about the flipflops.)

  10. You get your clean laundry back from the cleaners and your first thought is, “Sweet! They gave me a free plastic bag!”

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One response to “March 4, 2009: Top 10 Signs You Might Be a Budget Backpacker (Pulau Perhentian Kecil, Malaysia)

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