The Backpacker takes many forms, whether it the simple party seeking type just looking to get sloshed and be sick in the sea, to the more refined and ever ubiquitous tie-dyed-middle-class-pseudo-hippie – the worst kind of backpacker. They lurk wherever you travel, wherever you stay, from any major Western developed country, pushing on you their self-righteousness with increasing force until you become suffocated enough to vow never to leave your bed again. But what is uniformly true about all backpackers: they are idiots.

Being a backpacker comes with all the draws of any major modern trend, from whatever end of the spectrum they spawn from. Standard attire is, well, a backpack of course – but nothing under 300 pounds that hasn’t been tested in the Arctic will do – flip flops, board shorts and then an array of assorted accessories that can be purchased from an “authentic“ street vendor en route to the next well trodden “adventurous” location. These range from Fisherman’s Pants that even the locals haven’t worn for 100 years, to some kind of crap headscarf – basically stuff that they wouldn’t dream of wearing at home. The backpacker is constantly inquisitive of his fellow sort, always making sure he is on the cusp of the next wave of true middle-class individuality, and just like all major modern trends, said individuality is completely and utterly lacking in any originality.

The Backpacker is a product of modern society’s material culture and excessive individualism, just in a fluffy handmade artisan box that has been parceled up and sent off to all corners of the globe – well the ones with nice beaches and cheap beer. They are of course educated, hence their inherent curiosity, but lack any kind of freedom of thought. They travel solely for social enterprise because people who haven’t travelled are in their mind culturally bereft, characterless fools with no understanding of anything.

The backpacker craves authenticity, through food or mixing with locals. The idea of eating a Burger King or anything remotely Western after travelling half way around the world is seriously frowned upon, but at the same time secretly accepted as part of the late-night ritual when alcohol has broken down the cheap veneer of pretense and one comes to his senses – Burger King is good and rice with fried stuff is well, shit. If you canvased Burger Kings in Bangkok I guarantee that not a single one has ever sold so much as a glass of water to a Backpacker who wasn’t one whiskey and coke away from a stroke.

An encounter with one goes very much like this “Hello where are you from?” Hi, I’m from The States, how long have you been travelling?” “About 3 months” “Oh excellent, want to get drunk?” “Yes.” The rest is a gargling mess of incoherent stories about getting stuck on a bus in the middle of Laos without air-conditioning while their iPod ran out of battery, or something equally inane.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not so much individual Backpackers themselves that I can’t stand – many are very pleasant people – it’s what they collectively stand for: absolutely nothing. Yet I challenge you to find a single one that doesn’t claim his extended holiday hasn’t somehow changed his entire outlook on life. In many ways I can tolerate them as they are in the main naïve and young, and don’t seem to have yet developed the reflective capabilities to understand their own inadequacies. They’re just like lambs lost on a mountain with nothing but a copy of Lonely Planet to tell them what to do; spoilt children who have had the good fortune to find that the entire world is now their playground. If they could only realise this then maybe I wouldn’t dream of a particularly strong batch of magic mushrooms persuading them to undertake one final yet ultimate voyage of discovery, one which ends up with them en masse trying to paddle to the equator on an inflatable lilo.