Grow With the Flow: The Many States of Travel Beards

—Urban Beardsman

Traveling is synonymous with experimentation. Ranging from trying new types of food to wearing clothing you never would at home, life on the road opens you up to all sorts of opportunities that you’d never be exposed to otherwise. Additionally, travel ensures a more relaxed lifestyle that is perfect breeding ground for adopting a new look physically and no exercise in experimentation is more common for travelers than that of the beard.

Although beards have become increasingly popular, accepted, and encouraged by modern society, there are still many who feel the need to stay completely shaven in their typical, day-to-day lives. However, once these gentlemen have left their routines behind and adopted their new lives on the move, the first thing to go is any sort of shaving regimen.

The range of experience varies from first time beardsmen to the most seasoned veterans, but without a doubt, there are a range of styles that you’re sure to see next time you’re backpacking through Southeast Asia or enjoying a vacation in the Caribbean.


The First Timer

Arguably the most common beard style on display when traveling can be found on the fellas who would never go more than a day or two without shaving at home. Usually on the younger end of the spectrum, these guys are doing their best to let go of their normal routines and enjoy a less fussy lifestyle. The best way to spot this group is by listening in for anyone discussing how itchy their faces feel. Of course, this gives way in time, but for the first timers they’re still experiencing their internal battles of comfort vs. style. Additionally, if you happen to carry a more significant beard than them, you will undoubtedly be asked questions about your grooming routines. Answer sincerely and let the beardsmanship roll forth.


The Patchy Wanderer

As we’ve discussed before, patchy beards are a reality that many of us face on a regular basis. Some guys will give up and shave completely while others will continue on and, often times, reap the benefits of a fuller looking beard once their facial hair begins to fill in the gaps with added length. This particular breed of beardsman is aware of his beard growing prowess (or sometimes lack thereof), but simply goes with the flow and allows his beard to do as it pleases. Much like the state of his heard, the patchy wanderer lacks any sort of itinerary or plans for his travels. He’s simply letting his journey take its course, both physically and metaphorically.


The Wildman

Besides acting as a sign of having left a structured routine behind, beards can also act as a sort of timeline for your trip itself. Many guys simply let their hair and beards grow endlessly while traveling and unlike your normal hair, which can be tied back to hide the actual length, a beard is an instant statement of traveling prowess and the length of your current trip.

In some ways, the wildman is an extension of the previously mentioned beard-types you might see while traveling, however, the wildman has left behind any concept of maintenance, except for maybe trimming his mustache, and he is simply letting it all go to the point where you can’t make out any semblance of his actual face. These guys might grow their beards out at home as well, but most likely they keep their facial hair somewhat maintained. However, much like a traveler’s behavior as a whole, the wildman is simply going all out and only going forward in terms of his beard’s continual expansion.


The Well-Kept Vet

Hidden among the first timers, the patchy wanderers, and the wildmen is the rarest group of all beardsmen you meet while traveling, the well-kept veterans. Unlike most of the beardsmen you meet while traveling, most of whom think the idea of beard grooming defies the point of growing an actual beard, this isn’t any of these gents’ first rodeos in terms of growing out their facial hair.

You can always tell who has more beardsmen experience based on the controlled maintenance this group exhibits, including trimming rogue hairs that creep up towards their cheek bones and establishing a neckline after a certain length has been achieved. Some might call it being fussy, especially those who are experimenting with their facial hair for the first time, but the well-kept vets are simply continuing on with their normal routines and bearding on along their new paths of discovery.

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