Alex on Camel, Egypt
Butchers in Moshi, Tanzania
Remarkable Rocks, Kangaroo Island
Summer Palace, China
Dorota on Brighton Beach

If those sandals could talk…

If those sandals could talk… - feature photo

Some call it staring, but I call it people watching. And it’s one of my favourite things to do while I’m travelling and being a tourist in an overseas country. Last year, my travels took me to Bangkok. As I was standing and people watching outside of the Grand Palace – one of the most prominent tourist attractions in the city – I began to notice what I was doing. I was deciding where people were from based on their outfits (or even one particular clothing item).

Ah yes – if those sandals could talk!

Stereotypes they might be (and I stress stereotype) but sometimes these items are a dead giveaway of a nationality when you see travellers abroad. Whether you’re at the Taj Mahal or the Sistine Chapel, stand at any major tourist attraction around the world and you’ll be able to tell exactly where in the world tourists wearing these items come from.

Leather Sandals – There’s no confusion when you see an older man in sensible sandals. When they’re of the leather variety, you know there’s a good chance you’ve got a German in front of you. It’s just a bonus if there are socks involved!

Bum bags/tracksuits/North Face – A tracksuit (preferably of velour material) paired with a bumbag can only mean one thing. An American! (But don’t call it a bum bag, it’s a fanny pack in US lingo) And in my mind, they’ve got it right – you get comfort and convenience from your travel outfit! For the younger American generations, you just need to look for a North Face branded jumper.

Singlets – If you see a singlet wearing male, there’s a high chance that the accent that will come out of their mouth is Australian. As long as it’s a warm climate – Australian’s shy away from the cold!

Parachute tracksuit pants – English people have a penchant for tracksuit pants. And if there’s an Adidas logo on them, it might be even further indication of their UK heritage!

Tie dye – It’s not uncommon to see adventure seeking and experience chasing travelers in tie dye. They’re especially popular with Israelis!

So just beware – when we wear clothes overseas, we can be propelling certain stereotypes!

Do you have a favourite travel outfit to reflect your personality when you’re travelling?

(Image by Greg Hirson)