Is backpacking glamorous ? Part II
The trend of backpacking is very popular for budget traveler. This is the solution for the travel-hungry who had major budget constraint but seek freedom associated with it. Often the locals who encounter the affluent of backpackers in their town wonder this mode of travelling is strange to them. It is not glamorous. This is the second part of Part I, why backpacking is not glamorous.
You do your own excursion not by a tour
Backpacker budget their excursions and travel on their own pace.Tourists chose to pay all of their money towards package tours and leave the rest to travel agents . With a little cash to make it last as long as it can go, backpackers cant afford to take tour excursions. They can do it themselves. I imitate package tour itinerary and made it myself with lesser money but same experience. Just not in luxury.
You stay in Hostel or couch-surf
I’ve stayed in hostel for most of my trip. Some crappy and some were pretty decent hostels. The bed sheets are always old and sometime are not replaced from the last occupants ( gross) . Some hostel I stayed located in a dodgy area. I read stories of people getting mugged, stolen stuff, loud roommates and snorer roommates pretty common. Staying in hostel means you don't get a privacy, you are sharing with 8 - 12 other strangers. Usually I picked a 4 to 6 bed dorm room. I have never done Couch-surfing and I hate the idea of it although the intention is good for cultural exchange. You can be really uncomfortable staying at strangers that you know though online for a short period of time. Is couch-surfer is sexsurfer? Air BnB, the new trend is you’re staying at someones’ random home or apartment. I have never tried this.
You talk to other backpackers only
The point of traveling is to immerse yourself with the culture, the locals to get a new perspective in life. If you’re in a backpacking atmosphere , high chance that you will be only talking to other backpacker you see at the hostels. Although this is a very good way of meeting new like-minded traveler to keep in-touch with but to get a really genuine life experience you are best to engage with the locals as well.
Travelling liberates you?
As Julia Roberts portrayed her roles (she wasn't backpacking tho) Eat Pray Love that people inspired to backpack to India or Bali or Cambodia for a soul searching, the truth for that is you never really escape your life after all. Maybe for that travel period of time you felt liberated. But once you come home there are still bills to pay. The experience seeing a different culture India will of course open a new perspective on how other people lives in a tough environment.
Off the beaten path. Really?
Backpacker boasts their ego by saying having traveled to off the beaten path.There is no such thing because backpackers are not the first to discover anything, the route has already been traveled. Once I read backpackers complaining about the famous beach of Koh Phi Phi Island where the movie The Beach was filmed, that they thought the island would solely belong to them but when they reached the island, they were shocked to be a part of horde of the backpackers and other tour package tourist.
Depends on how you look at it there's pros and cons to it, intrigue to have a backpacking experince? I certainly wouldn't change the experience for the world.