I have to say straight up that I am pro-backpacker.
Because about 25 million years ago I was one myself. Though these days a private bathroom, carrying more than 2 pairs of underwear and eating meals beyond bread and cheese is more my style.
Backpacking is a unique and wonderful way to explore the world. It’s about culture and engagement. Learning and appreciation. Adventure, fun and people.
Backpacking forces you to be resourceful, practical and imaginative.
No matter how grounded and competent you feel in your everyday life, if you truly roam the world in this way you will be taken out of your comfort zone and this is where you begin to learn about yourself.
How long can you share a studio bedsit with 8 other people? Is it sensible to hitchhike from Mexico to Guatemala? How hard is it to fly for 12 hours on a plane with food poisoning? Should you take a photo when an angry elephant is charging you? What happens when you’re caught with bullets in your bag crossing the border from Israel to Egypt? How much vodka-flavoured benzene can one person drink?
Ah yes, so many ways to challenge oneself in the big wide world.
So, next time you see a backpacker around Bondi, firstly thank them for supporting Australia via their big spending (over $3 billion a year) and then take a second to appreciate their journey. They are the ones fostering global cultural understanding, whether they do it with a beer in their hand or not.
And if you’re visiting Bondi Beach, here’s details on our hostels.
Yours in crackalackin’ backpacking…
ps. I have the answers to the above questions if you’d really like to know…