Backpacking over the years has faced a lot of criticism. In the face of it all, an increasing number of travellers have been opting for this niche kind of travel lately. Backpacking in the simplest of terms can be defined as something that is raw and doesn’t abide by any rules of travel.
The core essence of backpacking is using public and local transportation to commute, staying in homestays, lodging and boarding, couch surfing or to put in a single word – staying in budget accommodations. Backpacking involves a lot of hiking and walking wherever and whenever possible.
The main idea of backpacking is to soak into and experience the place of travel to its fullest. This also involves getting to know the locals better by interacting with them, getting to explore and stay in a place for as long as one wishes, trying the local cuisines or learning the local art and so on.
The only and the most mandatory equipment needed is to possess a backpack. The traveller or backpacker as they are more commonly known carries a bag on their shoulders with all their travel requirements. The general thumb rule is to have the bag weighing less than 30% of one’s body weight, hence backpackers are known to travel light.
Backpacking is generally associated with the hippie cult and drugs although this isn’t true in all cases. A backpacker is merely a traveller who travels at his own pace with a backpack and has no intentions of spending more than what is absolutely necessary.
Many also associate backpacking with adventure and ruggedness, this isn’t true in most cases either and is more unplanned and spontaneous. Backpackers generally stay in every place for days together, by getting the real feel of the place or gathering information about their next place of visit or by doing absolutely nothing.
In the current day and age is also considered as a means to get to know and interact with other fellow travellers or backpackers from around the world. The most backpacker-friendly destinations are generally the places that are more authentic and are not typically mainstream.
Backpacking is for the travellers and not for the tourists, this is said because a backpacker does not look for sightseeing at a given place, the backpacker is more concerned about the overall experience of the place. Backpacking over the years has started picking up more amongst youth and people opting for a gap year or sabbatical from work. Nowadays backpacking is looked at more as a learning experience.
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