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Backpacker Versus Non Backpacker - Tips

Thu, 8 Jul 2010 00:41:48

Backpacker versus Non-Backpacker --- Definitions Travel
Hello Jorge,
I wonder if this the Jorge from Colombia?

Hi Andy,
I hope your wanderings keep taking you to fascinating places.
I wanted to ask you if there was a word in backpacking slang to
describe a non-backpacker? An Us-Them word. Is there?
I love your newsletter!
The answer off the top of my head is "Tourist," however, I know this is not clear or correct. The problem is the maybe the word backpacker, as it also means many things. A backpacker is a person literally who puts a backpack on their back. It often means person who climb mountains or trek. It also means a person who is self-contained, can live in the woods, or in a hotel, has cooking supplies, sleeping supplies, tents, etc. and can live anywhere.
In common traveler terms it is a person who is probably on a trip of over three months. The problem here also is the normal backpacker has changed, in the past or 10 years ago when I started, there were many person with backpacks going on long trips. Now, there are many persons with backpacks on vacations.
The word Tourist, I assume comes from the word Tours, a person who goes on Tours, yet not all tourist go on tours with guides and such.
The word Backpacker is not in my Encarta Encyclopedia Dictionary... hehehe
The word Traveler is a better word to describe myself, than a backpacker. However, unfortunately I self-describe myself as a backpacker on too many occasions. These terms although interesting are not important, the prime directive of travel is to enjoy yourself. The definition of a tourist stated something to the extent of a person who travels to enjoy the advantages offered in other countries, then to enjoy these advantages.
I am thinking Backpacker is synonymous with Traveler.. sometimes, but not always.
There is a newer term I have learned or heard called,
"Trolley Traveler."
This is a person who has the backpack you can pull and has two wheels, a combination of normal luggage and the two wheels on most modern luggage. The backpacker is now evolving to a Trolley Traveler. I laugh, I see more Trolleys in Europe, and in Europe is where I need to be able and walk with my backpack the most. However, I also need the Trolley the most. When in Europe, I purchase a two wheel cart and pull my backpacks. The cost of transportation is so high, I walk 10 time more than in Asia or in South America, Africa, etc. However, I need a backpack to carry the bag up the many flights of stairs, to climb up the train, to jump on the train, to climb up to the fifth floor where there is a Hostel.
I like the under-developed countries because taxis are cheap, and the rooms are easy.
I think there is a THREE MONTH time frame to think here on this backpacker word. A person who travels for less than three months is not a backpacker, a person who stays in a place longer than three months is not a backpacker, they are living in that city, or have moved to that country. They are an expat.. hehehe... Ok.
I often asks persons,
"How long you out?"
I want to know if they are a tourist or a backpacker or in some case, a "True Traveler."
Here are some fun links or collections I have made, please take note, this is always a work in progress and I add, sometime delete, and rethink them, this is for fun, not to be serious... unless you are a true traveler, then we want to know if you qualify, but for the normal person, not an issue. True Travelers tend to want to stay away from Tourist, although seem to accept expats easier.
Are you a Traveler or a Tourist?
Backpacker Jargon
Backpacker versus Non-Backpacker --- Definitions Travel

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