The same old absurd discussion.
In these times, those who are not dedicated to travel are criticized through social networks. The guild of travellers/backpackers seems to be the favourite, and many wonder What is a backpacker?
So, bored of the paradisiacal beaches of Brazil – read ironically – we started to think: What is a backpacker? What is a backpacker? What is it to be a traveller, the real backpackers, and the fake ones?
Are backpackers different from travellers?
Anyone who travels can be considered a traveller. Whether they travel a little or a lot, a little is always a subjective criterion for each individual.
This question always comes up while travelling or just sitting in front of the computer “wasting time” on social networks.
What is a backpacker? If I take a bus and don’t hitchhike, I am no longer a backpacker? If I eat a McDonalds, I am no longer a backpacker? If I have an iPhone, I am exiled from the backpacker community?
Would she be a backpacker?
What is a backpacker?
What is a backpacker? The question goes round and round in our heads. For some, it is not enough to move around with a backpack on your back; being a backpacker requires a low budget and no need to shower; otherwise, you would be an impostor disguised as a backpacker, or worse.
So, how do they differ?
We have decided to differentiate them into two large groups and their respective subdivisions, and we have more or less left it like this:
The term tourist comes from French and means person who makes a tour and making a tour consists of going from point A to point B and returning to point A. Based on this, the first group would be those who go (by train, car, plane, bus) to a place, spend X amount of time there and return home to continue with their lives as they left it.
Being a traveller involves more than just going to the destination and back; it is a longer time commitment and usually covers greater distances.
Within this group, many nuanced divisions can intermingle.
Some travel in their vehicle, be it a car, bike, boat, etc. Some travel by public transport, and others with a thumbs up to waiting for a good Samaritan.
Some finance their travel with savings. Some generate income by selling whatever they can, whether it be homemade bread, macramé bracelets, playing songs, or entertaining drivers at traffic lights with acrobatics. Some get a job as an employee and spend some time in a bar, hostel, laundry, etc.
But we still don’t define what a backpacker is; tourists and travellers have been clarified, but what is a backpacker!
What is a backpacker? Who the fuck is a backpacker then!
If you’re still spending sleepless nights racking your brains over what a backpacker is and isn’t, we’ve got the answer. A backpacker is a traveller who has no motor vehicle and whose home fits inside the backpack he is carrying. It doesn’t matter if he has an iPhone or a Nokia 3310.
It doesn’t matter if he does arts and crafts, juggles or is the son of Rockefeller. It matters even less if he bathes often or if he is a walking fertilizer. So what is a backpacker? The only thing that counts for whether or not you are a backpacker is how you get around. You can eat fast food or be vegan, sleep in a tent or a hotel, use toilet paper or not know its functions.
Clear examples of what each would be:
Aniko Villalba: Professional tourist. With the gift of writing, she does a living writing about the destinations she visits; although she is a former traveller, her profession is tourism.
Trajectories on the road: Working travellers with an itinerant life project. This couple got a job that can work with the internet and a computer. They live where they are, and their work itself may or may not be linked to travel.
Travelling the earth: Life-seeking travellers. This Family wanted to travel, and they travel. They learned ways to earn money; making food, handicrafts, etc. They travel with their Traffic and take beautiful pictures, even if it doesn’t bring them money (yet).
Veritvania: Backpacker. Old school backpacker. He spends some time in his hometown, and when he gets his wires crossed, he takes to the road to travel the world. Makes poetry every time he opens his mouth but doesn’t generate income from travel.
Professional backpackers. With adventures that would make any mother’s hair stand on end, these guys have made a name for themselves in the travel world for their daring journeys. They have published books and are getting better and better every day.
Portal Mochilero: Backpacker on the way to becoming a professional. After four years of travelling the world by hitchhiking, he came back and started to gain notoriety on social networks one day. He goes on commission with the hostels where he stayed by sending clients.
Then there are the travellers who sell smoke and mirrors; here we leave the choice to you. We have some of them, but we’ve already made a few of our own, this last group we leave to your discretion.