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Dear ageing backpacker...

Posted by somtam2000 on 11/1/2017 at 20:46 admin

A Vice wrap piece on some of the stereotypical backpackers you're likely to come across on the road...

"Israelis are also a bit like this. Israelis treat travel a bit like an elaborate form of Tinder, whereby they travel the world looking for other Israelis. Then they find each other and gather in Israeli-themed restaurants where they spend weeks watching Family Guy and eating falafel and getting dangerously, terrifyingly stoned."


"In the history of the world, do you know how many people have found themselves by making out with Germans and falling off motorbikes? None. In fact, most people go home sick, broke, and rattled after a few weeks. Also, how many meaningful interactions have you actually had with the honest-living indigenous peoples of (insert country here)? And buying a poncho from someone doesn't count."

Read the full story here

#1 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,089

Posted by flijten on 12/1/2017 at 01:20

Wow, that is some excellent generalisation :D

#2 flijten has been a member since 19/12/2016. Location: Netherlands. Posts: 80

Posted by exacto on 13/1/2017 at 14:57

Hey Big S;
I enjoyed the humor in this article, but I didn't really relate to what the author is saying. Like many of the frequent posters on Travelfish, I'm a 50+ independent traveler too. But I've noticed on my recent trips to Thailand, Mexico, and Indonesia, that I'm not travelling to the same places as the 20-somethings. They seem to be off in one direction, and I'm off in another; not because there is anything wrong with where they are going, but because I've already been there and done that when I was in my 20's, and now I'm off to try something different. Besides, with a few rare exceptions, the younger travelers, while happy to take the advice of the older folks on Travelfish, hardly even notice we are there out on the road.
I backpack because that is what I've always done, ever since Tony W's first copy of "on a shoestring" rolled off the presses. I like the adventure and the style of independent travel, and because it costs less than other types of travel, I get to do more of it this way too. Also, and I think this is important, a large percentage of my lifelong friends, and all of my international friends, were people I met on the road - backpacking. I didn't find myself by making out with a German, but I have had significant life experiences hanging out with my German friends, traveling together, and visiting them in their home in Bavaria.
Anyway, I disagree that we are all a bunch of jerks on the road. I think most of us are pretty well behaved, actually, and do gain meaningful experiences through the travel, even if a beer bong gets used once in awhile. Cheers.

#3 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,831

Posted by Herbie47 on 14/1/2017 at 07:12

I do agree with some of it such as "Americans tend to travel alone, but they travel only so they can find new people to talk to about America. You will never hear an American ask "where are you from?" If you think that's what you've heard, you're wrong. They were just talking about how expensive it is to get a drivers' licence in Delaware."

They often mention, several times, how many countries they have been to. Also they tend to be very loud. Germans I have met some very nice German ladies on my travels. Last trip to Burma, more French than anyone probably about 50% people I met were French, hardly any British, guess they are all on some Thai beach getting drunk and sunburnt. Russians seem to be the most disliked by locals. They say if you want to get rid of someone make out you are Russian and they will soon disappear.

#4 Herbie47 has been a member since 23/2/2011. Posts: 23

Posted by alarcher on 15/1/2017 at 20:19

If we are going to talk in generalisations, I say "enjoy backpacking while you can". Why? The Chinese haven't discovered back packing, but they will. Currently they are being ferried around in buses going to well known tourist landmarks to take an excessive number of selfies before eating in a poor quality Chinese restaurant. A bit like the Japanese in the 80s.

Just like the Japanese I expect a % of Chinese to discover backpacking. When they do they will all go to the same place, speak loudly in groups, push in wherever they want and insist on Chinese food. Even a small % of Chinese is a large number of people so travelling will become radically different.

Since I started travelling in 1980, I can confidently say that travelling is continually changing. Cheap flights and easy communications have sped the change up. Increasing affluence in China will be the next big thing.

#5 alarcher has been a member since 7/3/2016. Posts: 10

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