Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why I can NEVER be a Backpacker

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against backpackers or even the activity of backpacking and I even personally know people who just enjoy backpacking around the world.
I did not intend for this post to be offensive but rather, on my personal preferences and mainly, how my personality just simply does not fit into this category.
Yeah, I am just spoilt and close to comfort type(yes, it sounds better this way..smell the word brat coming up)

I love to travel, and prefer to travel in leisure, and the thought of having a backpack containing all my belongings on my back during the day walking from one place to another and looking for a place to stay for the night, well, it is just not in synonym with me.

That being said, it doesn't mean that I must be pampered at all times in a luxury 5-star hotel with rejuvenating spa or jacuzzis around although it is also a lovely thing to have on the itinerary if the budget permits :)

Alrighty, I have known the answers to this long time ago, and it is not that hard to list down here right now.
I have come across so many travel blogs which just provide guides on backpacking or traveling on a budget (and this usually spells backpacking as well; note the word usually and not always) and though I am thankful for the tips, I just cannot adapt that idea to my own traveling experiences.

I do know that backpacking allows more budget and opportunities to travel to more places (with the money spent on accommodations and food, or shopping) but still, I find it hard to imagine the real concept of vacation; at least, in my very own context.

So, here goes, after the short summary of the reasons revealed above, are all the reasons why I would FAIL miserably as a backpacker:

1. I am NOT a light packer
This definitely ranks top on the list, as I can never seem to decide on which to bring or not to bring, and due to my over-careful behavior, I always feel that it is safer to bring an extra pair of shirt or pants.
One thing leads to another, and in the end, I make the same mistake everyone makes; with too much of luggage and clothes I end up not wearing (but couldn't bear not to bring in case it goes well with the occasion)

2. I don't like not knowing where to go/sleep
Annoying habit of mine is to always plan ahead; and I like to be in the knowing about everything. I just don't like to go according to the breeze and on the road, deciding spontaneously. I can be spontaneous in other areas, but not WHERE to sleep for the night. What if the hotels/hostels/dorms are all fully booked, do I end up sleeping under the bridge? No...not for me...

3. The WHAT-IFs/IN CASE
The first two reasons had repeatedly brought up these words; and it is another trait I have. I always worry about being inadequate or not being fully geared for emergency cases, or being all prepared for the weather/locations.
In other words, I WORRY TOO much!

4. It is not synonym with my idea of a vacation/holiday
MY idea of a holiday/vacation is to relax and enjoy; and not having burden of strss on my mind (or shoulders and back).
Having a backpack with ALL my luggage with me the whole day would make my worry about my stuffs, and also feeling exhausted.
I doubt I would be able to have enough stamina to walk around the whole city, let alone hike up a hill when needed (I walked a lot in Europe, Hong Kong and Singapore)

5. I hate to share a common bathroom
Yeah, this is one thing I cannot stand at all; no offense and my only experience was during my university days when I was staying in the hostel. At least then I only had to share with girls but in foreign countries, I am not sure who I'd meet or how is the condition of the bathroom. One thing which is really important to me is the cleanliness of the bathroom; in fact, it is the first thing I check when I check into a hotel room!

6. I don't like to have Limited outfits
This relates to the first reason as I love to be adequate, and I love to be able to match my outfits to my mood or the place I am going that day during my vacation. That may sound a little too preppy to you, but honestly, I just like to be comfortable wherever I go. I can't stand wearing the same shirt or that pair of pants for more than a week; and don't even get me into that same pair of underwear! Yucks, gross! Yeah, we can wash our clothes when we are back in the room and hang them out to dry and then wear them again, but back to reason No. 3, WHAT IF it doesn't dry?

7. I have really sensitive skin
No joke, really, I am tired of itches or uncomfortable sights of rashes on my skin in poor conditions. I can't even stand dirty or polluted places, and it could tend to create discomfort to my skin. This is probably one of the most important reasons, and not really purely because I am such a spoilt for luxury brat.
It is just frustrating for people like me who is just so sensitive to particles in the air and the environment and the effects to me. I change my bedsheets and towels often too, to ensure that there are no bugs living off me.

8. Importance of security/Safety
I feel safer when the accommodation comes with higher security; rather than one where people of all walks of life just step in and leave the next minute. I know that not all hotels are like Hilton or Marriott whereby safes are provided or at least, the elevators to the residential levels are only accessible to guests, but it would be better if there is a level of security provided to the guests and the hotel is not located in a red light district.
I would want to feel safe when I step out of the hotel as well.

9. I like to enjoy my trip more
This is in sync with reason No. 4; I want to be able to enjoy local food and not be limited to bread and water and checking my budget at all times. I also want to be able to go shopping and buy stuffs to my pleasure and not worry about setting aside the budget for the next destination. This may not necessarily applies to all backpackers, as some do enjoy themselves too with the budget, but most of the time, backpackers are on a budget (if not a tight one).

10. I like to maximize my trip
I want to spend more time at a single destination with careful planning and detailed itinerary than covering many places over a period planned. Budgeting and lugging my bag all over the places and spending nights on trains or airports do not seem to fit my description of leisure travel. I like to make the most out of my trip and enjoy myself during my travel to that specific destination.
I save to go for that trip, and I don't want to restrict myself to enjoy due to budget. I'd prefer to save for that particular trip, rather than have a constraint in budget and make the trip fit the budget.

That being said, I am no rich traveler either, but I still like to be able to enjoy my travels my way, and that means without exhausting or worrying myself with my luggage and belongings or even budget.
Okay, or if it makes anyone feel better, in short, I am a brat, happy?

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