You once haggled a street vendor out of a wooden nickel to pay for a third class berth on a night train and woke up someplace the TV says is too dangerous to visit... not because you had to, but because that's the fun way to go.
For you, the nearest hostel is a fallback option if you don't manage to sort out a place to crash with the locals. The first thing you do when you arrive in town is get yourself lost on purpose.
You have more fun sussing out a local market at dawn, before the tourists arrive, than choking down any 'complimentary breakfast' on offer. If you're recovering from a late-night bout with Beerlao, you'll follow your nose to some street food once the sun is comfortably overhead.
You passport is full of colored stamps and your wallet is full of colored SIM cards. You've had so many phone numbers, you can't remember which one to use on forms.