83% of statistics are made up. Take your guess as to what kills the most backpackers each year.
The number of ways that you can die are uncountable but not to great that you can’t bring a little imagination to the proceedings and start adding up how many travelers and backpackers bite the dust each year and go to travel heaven, where every hostel has hot showers, free breakfasts and Swedish Gap Year Travelers….
1. Road accidents (3,200 deaths per annum)
Once you get on the road you soon realize that most of the world has no idea how to drive. From Mexico to Morocco to Malaysia, the locals have such an inbuilt sense of machismo and fatalism that any wise traveler says a prayer before getting into a bus.
2. Murder (2,150 deaths per annum)
Whether backpackers wander into the wrong part of town, get involved with drug deals that go wrong or just refuse to pay their banana milkshake bill, it’s other humans they have to worry about the most.
3. Malaria (1700 deaths per annum)
Not content with delivering irritating bites and buzzing in your ears all night, mosquitoes also carry a variety of potentially fatal diseases, including malaria – and once it gets in your blood, it can keep coming back. Just like the travel bug.
4. Food Poisoning (1400 deaths per annum)
If someone can barely read or write, should they be preparing your dinner? Few travelers ask themselves that question but pay for it with amoebic dysentery or e coli afterwards. Then even the die-hard hippies turn to antibiotics.
5. Falling Coconuts (900 deaths per annum)
Hushed up by the tourism business, all those tropical islands with swaying palms are actually death traps on windy days when the coconuts fall 30 feet to see if there’s any milk inside your nut.
6. Wild Animal Attacks (800 deaths per annum)
Once a leading cause of traveler deaths, vanishing natural habitats have reduced the numbers of tigers, snakes and crocodiles with an appetite. These days it’s left to Canada’s Grizzlys and Australia’s sharks to make up the numbers.
7. Drug Overdose (650 deaths per annum)
Again, death tolls by overdose have been falling since the 60’s and most travelers don’t dare try anything more than a spliff. Or maybe the drugs aren’t as good as they used to be.
8. Civil War (380 deaths per annum)
The quickest guarantee of a surge in backpacker visits is the ending of a civil war when all the travelers arrive to take photos of the skulls. Sometimes they get there a bit too early though and catch a stray bullet or get kidnapped.
9. STD’s (360 deaths per annum)
Once upon a time, sex was viewed as a good thing. Now fear of HIV has made the atmosphere in the average hostel as prudish as a convent. Still, there are enough sex tourists out there who forget to use condoms in Thailand, Ethiopia or Brazil.
10. Falling Guidebooks (170 deaths per annum)
A little-known cause of death in the backpacker community, several law suits are allegedly in progress against guidebook companies after Lonely Planets and Rough Guides falling from luggage compartments took out unwary travelers.
All statistics represent Road Junky’s best guess after a few beers and should not be confused with actual information.
And keep reading if you want to know where to find that perfect high in the stoner abroad guide