Be the Grey Man

Be the Grey Man

Be the Grey Man 316 160 Greg Ellifritz

This article contains some great information.

How to Travel Grey


It’s very good advice for travelers, even those of you who only travel domestically.  Lose the tactical pants, Molle-covered backpack, and ballcap advertising your favorite gun company.  When I fly, I wear a loose fitting T-shirt and jeans.  My carry-on is an Arcteryx Blade backpack that looks like something a business traveler would carry.


My size attracts some attention in foreign countries, but I can’t do much about that.  T-shirts and jeans are the uniform of the day for young men in every country where I travel.  If I’m wearing that, I usually don’t attract too much attention even when I am walking around at twice the average weight of a local male in my host country.

The author’s comments about the beard are right on as well.  Several years ago I remember being constantly asked if I was a cop by immigration and customs officials when traveling.  I think it was the fact that I was big, clean shaven, and had a very short haircut.  I decided to grow a beard during an exceptionally long trip.   It didn’t work.


I still got lots of attention from the local cops and immigration officials. When I came home, my then girlfriend’s teenage son asked me about the beard.  I explained how I was trying to avoid looking like a cop, but somehow it didn’t work.  He said “Of course it didn’t work.  Now you don’t look like a cop.  You look like a terrorist!”


Be aware of what your appearance says about you in other countries.