There are lots of different types of travelers, but what makes you a backpacker? I would like to get the definition down and over with, so that there is no confusion as to what I mean.
The backpacker I am referring to here is not simply a hardcore hiker with a backpack and a tent. I am talking about the traveling backpacker, someone who explores foreign countries and cultures and is not hesitant to visit most of the so-called Third World while doing it. With a little common sense and advice I am going to give you in this blog, you will hopefully feel at ease even in the poorest of countries. Because when you are a true backpacker, you are the same as anyone else, no matter where they are from and how poor they are. You are not there to flaunt your first world wealth, no. You are there to try to experience life as locals do, even though you are a clueless foreigner most of the time.
But of course, there’s one thing that stands us apart fromother travellers. Backpackers travel on a budget. Monetary budget, that is. Yes, we are the frugal, sometimes outright stingy types, calculating every dollar, peso, real, rupee or rouble we spend. Sounds lame? It kind of is. But one of the things I am going to write about in this blog is how to have the maximum fun on a budget and how not to be miserable with your finances. Just remember: what we lack in means, we gain in time. Backpackers – as a rule – have something neither Ilon Musk, nor Larry Page, nor Warren Buffet have. We have time. We can afford to lose track of it and have the luxury of disappearing from the grid for a little while without causing a stock market panic or even a worried email thread.
‘Wait, some of you are going to say. But I do have a time budget – I am working but would like to try backpacking on my next vacation!’ That’s perfectly fine. You might have a little less time but in that case, as a working person, you should have a little more money to have the same amount of enjoyment. It just goes that way: time and money, go hand in hand but in opposite directions. You have unlimited time? Usually, that means you are not a very rich person, unless you were born in some European royal family in which case you are not going to read this book. You have some money, or an important job? Well then, you probably do not have too much time to get lost on some journey through the entire South American continent in one go. The good news is, even when your trip is only a couple of weeks long, you can easily incorporate all the backpacking tips I am going to give you, but with an advantage of having a little monetary boost every now and then. Because backpacking is a lifestyle, a passion, a drive. It’s not for any specific age group, nationality or income tier.
Backpacking is for everybody!