Has Backpacking become “Backpacking”?

So here comes a moment of truth my dear friends and strangers, I have to talk about it, as my imposture syndrom is growing stronger. As I told people of planning to travel the Americans by myself, the rections ranged in between somewhere from finding it adventourous to plain insane. I do not lie, I have some quest for adventure, however, travelling Southamerica has up to now been far from it.

In the 80ies, early nineties, backpacking meant, being away from life at home, the only way to let your folks know how you are well off, was to send them a letter. This letter or postcard would then take weeks to arrive and do so only if the mule high up in the Andes hadn’t lost it from his baggage on the way to the next city. Well, I dropped last night both of my parents a mothersday message via WhatzApp from the bus (nope I was not raised by lesbians but equality should go both ways).

Back in the days money in foreign currencies was a real struggle, you could never know where your bank card would work, so you would carry part of your budget in traveller checks and US dollars in a sweaty money belt under your fleece jacket, looking for a not to sleezy money exchange office as you would arrive in a new city. Well, I carry three different bank cards in my sweaty money belt, one of them works always.

Arriving to a new city meant that you had to study on the way there THE BOOK carefully, noting a adress with one of the hostels listed in there, in order to keep the gringo vibes in the taxi low. Of course speaking Spanish was a must, as only few people could afford and take time to travel, back then. If you had a sensetive digestive system, it was as well advisable to seek out some restaurants from THE BOOK, in order not to be struck by the revenge of Montezuma. Nowadays, both can be found within 2-3 minutes spent of Tripadvisor. The taxi driver may not speak English, but charge the tripple price with a understanding smile for the poor attemts to pronounce the destination, as hundrads of gringos have sat in his car before. In 2016 travelling Southamerica seems to be a must for western youth, wheras interst for culture and language does not necessairy seem to come along with it. Well, my edition of THE BOOK became a victime of space problems in my backpack as going to the cold required buying woolen gear.

The holiday romance from the one day at the beach your grandma told you about, one girls night, the one who kissed her after a lemon gelati, on the one day in her life she spent at the beach. Well, my romance (weather it be hypotetical or real) will probably be able to congratulate me to my 3rd set of teeth via facebook.

***What inspired me to write whis text? The weird guilty feeling which crept upon me in the bus ride from Lima to Trijullo. I took a 10 hours busride, which cost me 20 dollars on busbud, a site which hooks travellers up with bustickets worldwide. First I had to weight my baggage at the baggage drop of of the company, then I was handed a reciept with a number to get it back. No need to drag it to the bus myself. Embarking the bus, every passanger had to go trough a body scan and leave their fingerprints. Once I sat in my leather seat, I was handed a snack and drink, along with a freshly washed blanket and pillow. It became hiddeous, when Jose George Martines Garcia, our second steward, according to the shield on the wall, would ask and note weather I would prefer one or two sugar in our tee after the dinner (really I am not exaggerating!!!).

“Backpacking #Travel

2 thoughts on “Has Backpacking become “Backpacking”?

  1. LOL, I remember the times when going on an Inter-Rail meant being away for 30 days and nobody would know where and how you are. Long distance calls were damn expensive, weren’t they. And there was no sugar at all in the tea.
    Nowadays I have developed a nasty habit of checking the correct taxi prices on the internet before stepping into a taxi : – P
    Good to see that you are well. Enjoy.


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