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What makes one a "backpacker" ?

Travel Forums General Talk What makes one a "backpacker" ?

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21. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 7y

This is reminding me of the discussions people have here about who's a Quebecer. Some people say it's the language you speak. Others say it's your ancestors. Still more say it's your political leaning. Or your last name. Or your religion. Or what you eat for Christmas (tortière or stuffing?). What TV programs you watch. What music you listen to. And so on and so forth.

In the end, it's about "I'm this and you're not" -- at least is sounds like that to those of us who are a little more of this and a little less of that.

And by trying to stuff people in to categories, I think we miss out on a whole lot.

I don't mean to sound difficult or argumentative--I just really think "backpacker" is a really open term. And I think it's unfair to define in comparison to other people. To go back to leong1's original post, laughing at someone because you don't agree with their definition of backpacker, or their way of travelling, is elitest and pretty mean.

I like to think "backpacker" is a nice, happy term that includes whoever wants to be part of it!

22. Posted by Cool Paul (Travel Guru 611 posts) 7y

Quoting tway

This is reminding me of the discussions people have here about who's a Quebecer. Some people say it's the language you speak. Others say it's your ancestors. Still more say it's your political leaning. Or your last name. Or your religion. Or what you eat for Christmas (tortière or stuffing?). What TV programs you watch. What music you listen to. And so on and so forth.

In the end, it's about "I'm this and you're not" -- at least is sounds like that to those of us who are a little more of this and a little less of that.

And by trying to stuff people in to categories, I think we miss out on a whole lot.

I don't mean to sound difficult or argumentative--I just really think "backpacker" is a really open term. And I think it's unfair to define in comparison to other people. To go back to leong1's original post, laughing at someone because you don't agree with their definition of backpacker, or their way of travelling, is elitest and pretty mean.

I like to think "backpacker" is a nice, happy term that includes whoever wants to be part of it!

well said! Goodonya!

23. Posted by karlyfu (Budding Member 62 posts) 7y

I totally agree with Tway and Cool Paul. I think if you wanna call yourself a backpacker then u are one. full stop.

I've backpacked with ppl who didn't have a backpack.... did that make me a backpacker and not them?

I've travelled with no itinerary but tagged along with someone who has had one, does that make me no longer a backpacker?

It's exactly like tway said, we have this discussion perpetually in our country... 'what makes you an Australian?' As soon as you put limits on it, it becomes ridiculous because there's always going to be someone who pushes the limit or breaks the rule!!

ciao ciao

24. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 7y

I am glad this is travellerspoint.com and not backpackerspoint.com

25. Posted by rhysv (Inactive 22 posts) 7y

I guess you cant really define Backpacker as such... but having a backpack does help :-P

The general assumption would be for a backpacker though would be staying hostels living cheaply etc... as opposed to tourists staying in hotels and dining out in restaurants. As a rough guide anyway

26. Posted by Bluebeanie (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y

Hello everyone,

I also want to say something about "backpacker". I considered myself one of those backpacker eventhough I only traveled for 2 weeks in a year due to my limited leave. I haven't got to round the world but hey, who cares I like to identify myself as a backpacker as I stayed in hostel and hang out with other travelers. I used local transport and avoid by all mean those expensive tour packages. But recently, I am also been corrected that if you travel for only two weeks at one time you can't called yourself a backpacker. But that is how much time I can afford on this side of my world ie. South East Asia. We can't take a stretch of 30 days for a holiday. We just don't have that privilege. So hey, come on, let us be a 'backpacker' too and leave us alone. Ha...ha...no offence.

Cheers,
Jammie

27. Posted by nomad kiwi (Budding Member 12 posts) 7y

I think being a backpacker is about a state of mind . . . a traveler not a tourist ... I must write a blog on this .. come check it put of you want to comment.

kia ora from the nomad kiwi

28. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 7y

I like to think "backpacker" is a nice, happy term that includes whoever wants to be part of it!

I like that. I as going to say something pathetic sounding like "a backpacker is a state of mind", but that's a much nicer way of saying it!

29. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 7y

I like a quote of Paul Theroux: "a tourist doesn't know where he/she has been, a traveler (use backpacker if you like) doesn't know where he/she is heading for".

[ Edit: Edited on Dec 26, 2008, at 7:13 AM by Utrecht ]

30. Posted by nomad kiwi (Budding Member 12 posts) 7y

my latest (nomad-kiwi.travellerspoint.com ) starts with . . .

Am I a tourist or traveller? What are you? As a backpacker, I belong on one side of the great divide in the world of travel snobbery. The saying that prevails around this group is - tourists know where they are going, but don’t know where they have been, while travellers know where they have been but don’t know where they are going.
f course, my friends who stay in hotels are horrified at the idea of sleeping on a rooftop in Jerusalem with 29 others, or any of the other shared places I’ve slept in. I, on the other hand, cannot imagine spending any more than the occasional night in a sterile, albeit luxurious, hotel......... the read the rest go check the blog i wrote a few days ago :):):)