Why I can’t stand most backpackers
I’m not sure if I’m a ‘real’ backpacker, or traveler. I certainly spend most of my money on these little self indulgent adventures of mine, but I wouldn’t consider myself an expert, an authority, or even somebody whose opinions are particularly valid.
In my travels I’ve came across many many people who feel like it’s their duty to a) inform other backpackers of what they’re doing wrong, and b) look down on people who aren’t particularly interested in travel.
This is total BS. There is no right way to travel. I don’t like taking tours, I prefer going solo. I like couchsurfing and hostels more than hotels. I always take the train over flying. none of these make me a better traveller than anybody else.
It is flat out obnoxious to think you’ve mastered backpacking, and the monicker of how many countries you’ve been to means NOTHING. I’ve been to 25 countries (27 if you count Hong Kong and Vatican City, 28 if you include South Korea at the DMZ). I take ‘credit’ for maybe 20 of those, IE, countries that i’ve visited off my own back, not part of a family holiday when i was 2. But it means nothing, I spent 3 days in Hungary, and 2 in Croatia, I got the most fleeting experience possible. Wheres somebody who spends 6 months interrailing through Spain and Italy probably had a much more immersive experience. It is flat out arrogant to assume that your number has any bearing on how ‘good’ of a backpacker you are.
My main beef with backpackers though is this: just because somebody isn’t into travel does not mean you are better than them. I love backpacking, I do, it’s a great hobby and it brings more more satisfaction than anything else. The best memories I have are of times on the road, Being taught chinese chess on an overnight train by a North Korean soldier who didn’t speak a word of english, Shrooms in the Philippines, Ice cream in the Cinque Terre (Italy). But that’s just me. There’s lots of people who don’t like backpacking, they say it’s dangerous, they don’t get it. That’s cool. I don’t get art. I find most art galleries boring, but that doesn’t mean somebody who really loves art is in anyway better than me.
witty conclusion goes here.