There is a horrible feeling in my stomach, it’s been playing on my mind for a little while now and it recently came to light after we splurged out $2 on two chocolate bars after a whim of fancy… that we might not actually be backpackers.
For you to understand this life changing perception I need you to bear with me for the time being as I gather my thoughts. I think the best way to start this topic is to identify what our expectations of a backpacker are.
So if we’re not Backpackers, then what are we?… I did some research on the word ‘Flashpacking’ and it seems to be some what of a debate with a lot of confusion.
It seems that a ‘Flashpacker’ is over thirty, owns their own business or is well established within their line of work, thus having the fabled “liquid cash” but seems to travel for a shorter period of time. Where as the Backpacker is pre or post their education; so around 18-21 years of age and on a much stricter and smaller budget. Time seemed to be a big factor in segregating the two from each other. It would seem that through the medium of algebra I can explain the two more effectively.
M + G – T = Flashpacker
T – M – G = Backpacker
M = Money, G = Gadgets like laptop, iPhones and DSLR camera’s and T = Time as in lots of (+) or less (-).
Not quite as effective as I imagined, though Mr. Bean; my old form tutor/PE teacher who did a bit of Mathematics when no other Math teachers were available due to a C he earned at the age of 15, would be proud I’m sure.
Another article pointed out that the two may even on rare occasion’s stay in the same establishment (en-suite and double bed vs. dorm room aside). The difference being that the ‘Flashpacker’ would seek out the best restaurant in town, where the backpacker would eat the fried rice from a local food stall for a pound.
We were obviously miss informed before we chose to call ourselves backpackers but hang on a second… I’m not in my bloody thirties quite yet and I’m not 18-21 years of age either and unless Michelle owns a few businesses on the side to fund her ever-growing shoe collection (that I doubt even Sir Philip Green could afford.) We have set aside a year or so for our trip and even shared a bathroom… once for seven whole days! We like street food as much as the next fire juggling hippy and didn’t even have a TV in one of the places we’ve stayed in over the last four months. Have you even seen my scruffy looking clothes that come with time and my mighty and superior beard!?! We certainly don’t have the Flashpacking budget but by no means are we counting every single pound we spend either.
It seems that perhaps the ‘Two Amateurs’ are caught in the midst of this topic, it’s almost unsettling. Are we Bashpackers then? Or maybe Flackpackers? I thought the whole point of traveling was to seek out the new, to break from the norm and yet here I sit writing what I call an online diary as I hate the association of the word blog; along with the other 60 million others that are doing the same thing. Can’t we just call ourselves traveler’s?
Before we left on this trip we made a pact that we would do what we wanted and not to be held back by the cost of anything. If we’re going to climb a mountain along with Backpackers, Flashpackers, Bashpackers and everyone else in between, when the opportunity to paraglide off the top comes, regardless of the price and despite the fact that we might have to cut the trip short, we’re going to fly.