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Long-term Travelers Know Each Other

How to identify long-term travelers.

Long term travelers know each other on sight.

There is something about they way they scan a room, making eye contact with everyone, acknowledging its return. The decisive, slow way that they walk, the way they seem to be baiting people into engaging them.

Knowing how to interpret and give eye contact is often the difference between making friends and being alone.

All long term travelers become masters of eye contact. It’s a requirement for the profession — right up there with being able to read a map.

Tourists often keep their eyes in a tunnel. They have blinders up like a horse does when drawing a carriage. Their eyes are locked in position, focused straight ahead. The don’t acknowledge the people that are in a room with them. They seem to pretend that other people don’t exist. It’s not arrogance, it’s simple insecurity. In the new context of travel they seemingly don’t know how they should act, so they opt for trying to be as invisible as possible.

While the long term traveler tries to fill as much of the room as they can. They want to draw attention to themselves. This is how they make friends, get laid, and obtain the social connections that are vital to really get a look into a place.

Filed under: Perpetual Travel, Philippines, Travel Philosophy

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3545 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Astoria, New York

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  • Omar Ruiz-Diaz September 16, 2017, 12:11 am

    I built a figure of a man who pulls a four-meter bicycle for decades. I must confess, however, that not all the time I enjoy this particular way of generating this visual impact. A visual impact, anyway, that is part of my way of making a living, my business.

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