"Tourists have suitcases. Travelers have backpacks."Magda's top three for backpacking:
- It's easy to meet people in a hostel.
- A backpack is easier to lug from place to place than a suitcase.
- It's a cheap way to travel.
- A backpack is heavy to lug from from place to place.
- A backpack means less fabulous clothing options.
- I google image searched "backpacking" and was immediately horrified.
I didn't imagine not that.
Last May, when I was at the train station in Rome, I saw many backpackers. I was shocked to notice one common look on their faces. It wasn't happiness. It was fatigue.
I'm not really into fatigue. That's what my job was for. That's why I quit it.
But Magda had some good points. Backpacking and hosteling does make meeting people easier. And I must admit, my biggest fear is eating alone, seeing sites alone and just plain old being alone. Then again, I like alone time to write which is one of the main goals of this trip. And I'm not sure if I'll take the time to write if I'm hanging with a group of travelers 90210-style everywhere I go. So I'm a little flummoxed by my options. I want to meet people easily, but I also want a certain amount of alone time. And comfort. Let's not discount my desire for comfort.
Here's what I know about backpacking vs suitcasing.
- Having a 75 pound bag on my back doesn't sound appealing.
- Rolling a suitcase down a bumpy cobblestone street doesn't sound appealing either.
- I don't want to eat alone in restaurants.
- It's easy to meet people in hostels.
- I want to meet people but also want a certain amount of alone time.
- I like the quiet and privacy of my own living space.
- Backpacking has a certain level of adventure.
- An apartment with a suitcase of clothes has a certain level of living as a resident of the city vs a person traveling through the city with a backpack.
- I actually can afford to stay in something a little more comfortable than a hostel.
Frig I suck at traveling and I haven't even left yet.