After having backpacked for 9 months in Mexico, Central and South America, I had met a lot of backpackers. Most were very friendly, outgoing, curious, and easy-going. In fact, it wasn’t unusual to make friends quickly, backpack together for a while and then move on to different backpackers as schedules changed and routes varied.
I thought my experiences from Asia backpacking had opened my eyes completely to all kinds of backpackers… the singles, the couples, the families in all forms….from hippy to hip hop to plain old hip.
One stands out from the pack to this day.
I was in Ecuador and I bumped into this backpacker. He “seemed” like a normal enough guy (like most do on first impression) who had a pack, a lively personality, and a keen sense of adventure. Looking down.. I noticed one thing.. well, in fact.. one shoe.
The guy was wearing only one sneaker (running shoe for us Canadians) so naturally I asked:
Ummm, why are you wearing only one shoe?
Well, my other one got stolen.
I had them outside my hotel room and when I woke up, only one was there.
Oh, when was that? Like yesterday?
No, actually a few months ago in Brazil.
And so I award the one shoed backpacker in Ecuador, many years ago, as the strangest backpacker I ever encountered.