Travel is about acceptance. Its about tolerance. Understanding and assimilating. These are some of the common threads that bind the seams of travel.
We do and we be, we travel and we see, but theres nothing quite like being free. Free from criticisms, free from persecution, free from ridicule. If someone choses to flashpack their way around the world, are they really missing out on the 'adventure' aspect of backpacking travel? If someone choses to stay in one destination because they don't want to see their carbon footprint spiral out of control, are they any less of a traveler? Who am I to critique this valiant Eco-Warrior? This Eco-packer. This is their style. Their spin on backpacking. Their perception on how they should travel.
Under the umbrella of backpacking exist many styles of travel. What I have been reading on the internet of late has been concerning me. I touched on it in my last blog post but felt compelled to write more as I trawled more and more comments on this distinction between "tourist" v "traveler" and even to some extents this "flashpacker" v "real backpacker".
Over 100 years ago, G.K. Chesterton laid it down, his distinctions on this issue were summed in one of his famous lines - "The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see”
One of my favourite authors Paul Theroux’s famous line, “Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” touches on the contentious issue many young travellers ponder over.
I believe it can be all whittled back to one word. Respect. I respect your style of travel as I respect your personality. The cliche "Live and let live" is ringing in my ears.
I believe the diversification of travel styles and personalities is a progressive one. Embrace it, don't fight it. After all, wouldn't this world be a boring place if everybody looked the same, if there was only one language, one way of doing things, one 'type' of backpacker. It would deny the very existence of what this world is - a mysterious unity held together through the web of diversity.
Amen and goodnight.
Donkey or Camel - Your choice....