Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Backpackers - lone travellers


Do you know about this species?You must have seen them if you have ever visited any of the tourist spots nestled in western himalayan vallies...You must have noticed them if you have ever gone to any of the sacred places of worship on the banks of the great Ganges...Surely you won't miss them if you ever happen to visit places like pushkar(Rajasthan), or Bodhgaya (Bihar) or Varanasi...
Meet this new breed of travellers..The Backpackers....The name explains all.. They carry everthing they possess on their backpack and go on travelling places..They set out from their place..travel from one place to another,from this region to that..from this country to that...and this could be months or years long...
So what makes them do this? Many of these are in their late twenties.They have passion to see the world and experience it closely.They dont want to be bound by time..They dont believe in usual 15-days,20-days tour organised by tourist companies,which just show a drop of a gigantic sea of experiences visiting a place can give you..They plan their own tour,they decide destinations,dates,mode of transport,duration and almost everything....
Many of them do this for so long that they may sometimes have to take a break,meaning that they have to stop midway at some place,earn some money somehow doing some job ,and then continue the journey.Many of them travel with their spouses,others are single.They are almost cut off from rest of their acquaintances for this period.They experience their excursion almost completely,in the sense that that they sometimes travel by air ,train,bus,sometimes cycling,even hiking,living in a 5-star hotel sometimes and on other occasions camping in a tent.
I recently met a chap from Australia in Himalayas,who was away from his house,country for around 5 months ,travelling all of South-east Asia , and then India.He was further planning to travel whole of Europe ,UK ,and then North and South America.It gives a totally new aspect of looking at the world.It's like this--you are alone,making new acquaintances every instant ,visiting new places, experiencing a whole new set-up each day,seeing newer and newer terrain,new climate,experienceing a new face of nature and people.
According to me ,its these people who truly accomplish what "knowing" about a country means.They actually "know" it.They actually live there , wander as they wish,see not only what appears from overt observation,but also that which can only be experienced with proximity.
Generally ,these backpackers earn money for a period of yearsin their homeland,earn enough money,and then set out to their destination.Its not even such a planned an excursion.Usually these people plan for only about next month..thats it! They dont even know where will they be,after that!
Each of such new experience enriches your thought process,and broadens your mind.It gives you new horizons to think of,expanding your knowledge about the world,about the people.You are ,by far,much much much better person after such an experience.You confront the world directly,with no strings attached.The reason why some people still dont prefer it is because of the insecurity involved,the instablity involved which,for some reason ,is unbearble for some.
But ,surely, still even meeting one of such backpackers is a life-enriching experience in itself....

1 comment:

Shashank said...

After knowing about there people, i would definitely like to be one of them!
he he!