Couch-warmers- The usual suspects – Part 1

How’s it going globetrotters? Leaving aside (temporarily) the madness of destructive typhoons, leadership spills and a climate on the edge, there is still much travel to be enjoyed. This time around your GTG pays tribute to one of the many characters that frequent the world’s youth hostels, ready to walk into our lives at any time. Enter Sandleman…

Who is Sandleman you ask? Sandleman has been around at least since your GTG began globetrotting 15 years ago and is always ready to share his wisdom. Sandleman stands for that group of goofy uncles, retirees, writers or the likes who set off to reconnect with the world and the youth of today.

How can you tell if you’ve met Sandleman?

This is a fair question. The sandlemen of the world have evolved over time, sporting different fashion, cultivating different lengths of ponytail and facial hair, even grasping with the dilema of socks or no socks. Your GTG can offer the following pointers:

There is likely to be other traces of leather

Sandlemen are sophisticated, cultured beings who are able to appreciate the finer things in life. You can see this through the various leather belts, wallets, satchels or maybe even  moleskin notebooks that may be on display in addition to the essential sandles. If you’ve got time on your hands, ask him about the story of how he came to acquire said leather item.

He travels by himself

Despite being a very down to earth and social being, Sandleman prefers to fly solo. This has allowed him the precious time to acquire his wisdom. Of course,  this wisdom only counts for so much if Sandleman is able to share it with people. This is why sandleman travels by himself but hangs out in the hostel common areas, ready for a chat.

He cooks in hostel kitchens

Hostel kitchens are not always the cleanest, most well equipped places kept in prime condition. As such, it’s far more common to see backpackers grab some things to put together a meal that requires minimal kitchen involvement. Sandleman however enjoys sharing his vast culinary experience and skills by cooking extra chilli seafood linguine to share with the next unsuspecting backpacker, unaware they will be dragged into a long onerous conversation.

He has time

Sandleman is not in a hurry. The kids have left home and the professional duties have been handed on to the next in line. This has given him the time to dive into those novels, sometimes even write one, and to spend the time working out how the hostel laundry works. In many cases, Sandleman has also had the time to get up to scratch on the latest tech accessories which he may even show you if you ask nicely.

Ultimately, an encounter with Sandleman is instinctual, you know when you’ve met one. Sandleman is a special sort but with enough time and patience the encounter can be a pleasant one.  Have you met your own Sandleman? Your GTG would love to hear about your experience. Get in touch using the contact form below. The hostel couch also features many other regulars who we will meet in future instalments. Until then.

Socks and Sandles