There are several ways to travel travel light, travel fast, travel in style, or doing your travel backpack style. In this list, backpack traveling gets the most flak from people who knew very little what it means, especially about the people who do travel backpack style. One thing is for certain – backpack travelers pay the cheapest. From the experienced backpackers themselves, backpack traveling is one great way to travel around the world on the cheap. You learn to be frugal and be able to exercise your creativity when faced with challenging situations, mostly in regards to your way of traveling.
Of course, this extreme budget traveling (as they call it) is not everyone’s cup of tea. Through the years, backpackers had earned some bad press and people kept that in their minds. There seems to be a collective indifference from the backpackers themselves regarding these allegations. After all, they had been picked up from some insignificant incidents, unfairly magnified to no end, and finally came out totally different from real events or situations.
A backpacker myth or two
Some misconceptions about backpackers are downright crass and insulting. Here are a couple of printable ones. One pervading fiction about backpackers is that they have no idea of personal hygiene (modern day hippies and hobos), are mostly rude to other people, and have no sense of being fair. They want to get their way around the locals, because after all, they are tourists. From the backpackers themselves who are inviting others to travel like them, the emphasis is more of “blending in, and living like the people… [and] to develop a better understanding of the culture.” They also do take a bath, brush their teeth and change clothes regularly like regular guys.
Backpacks to carry or not?
Critics usually over-emphasize the backpacker’s oversized backpacks on their backs. They say it contradicts the backpackers’ claims of “blending in” with the locals. They say local people do not usually move around with huge backpacks on their backs. The locals use standard, regular luggage: suitcases, duffel bags, rolling bags and other variations, but not a backpack. What supposedly happens is that while riding buses and trains, backpackers usually earn the ire of people because they obstruct or hurt them when backpackers move around toting these oversized backpacks.
Backpackers retaliate by saying the only thing correct in the critics’ allegation is the presence of the backpack. What is wrong is that they do not carry humongous versions of the bag. What is true is that backpackers are on the move most of the time. When they do, they actually pack light and simply live on what they find around. A few changes of clothes, some personal items (toothbrush, nail cutters), and some essentials are all they bring out when going on a trip around their new place.
They usually veer away from familiar, beaten tracks. They are more into nature tripping especially if the views (beaches, forests, caves, mountains and streams) look totally different from those at home. Another big reason is, again, the fact that these places are usually free for everyone to enjoy. Are you a backpack traveler?