Backpackers continue to embellish travel anecdotes, new study warns

An anthropological study into human backpacker culture has confirmed that travel stories continue to be grossly exaggerated. Research has demonstrated that many anecdotes begin with truthful intent but then veer into fantasy through selective amnesia and unconstrained egotism. A traveller's broken leg, for example, caused by trying to mount a llama whilst violently drunk, mutated into 'the worst snowboarding fracture the doctor had ever seen'. Reasons for these untruths are many but usually stem from an overwhelming desire to sleep with the beneficiary of the fable.

In a recent case, a backpacker decided to copy multiple chapters of 'The Motorcycle Diaries' to his Latin America blog; 24 year-old Ben Miller was too exhausted to think independently after a hellishly busy week of snorkelling, playing his guitar and getting stratospherically high on weed. He sincerely believed that nobody would be able to discern Che Guevara's poetic narrative from his GCSE grade B English. The plagiarism was exposed, however, when he twice failed to change the name of Che's sidekick Alberto to his best mate Dave.

Phillip Trent, author of 'The Backpacker Delusion', spoke to Our Daily Bread, "It's not just the level of fabrication that should concern us here. The new game in town is 'anecdote piracy' where somebody will hear an already embellished story and then profess it as his own, usually on the next bus. We await further evidence that travellers are watching episodes of Bear Grylls and retelling them in the first person. In fact, a preliminary investigation is yet to corroborate the diary of a backpacker named Ben. He claimed to be using the corpse of a sheep as a sleeping bag and surviving on urine kept in rattlesnake skin."

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