I recently met an avid backpacker and we had a nice chat about her adventures when backpacking. Of late, I am hearing about more and more Indians who are lured by the magic of backpacking. So, I started thinking if I would ever pick up my backpack and set off into uncharted territories, and the answer was a resounding no. Although I admire backpackers and as much as I would love to travel the world, backpacking is a definite no-no for me. Here’s why:
1. I am a control freak: I need to know all the answers. Yes, I know this is almost always impossible, leads to a lot of unnecessary stress and is a major impediment to attaining nirvana. Nevertheless, I do fall into this category. I am that irritating person we all know who needs to know exactly when what is going to happen. I plan things waayyyyy in advance. Never mind that half my plans don’t work out, I’ve still not learned by lesson - I can be a pretty stubborn ass if I want to be.
Backpacking involves kissing goodbye to planning. It means not knowing how many days I am going to stay in a certain place, where I am going to stay, how I am going to get anywhere - I could never do that, it is simply not possible. I would drive myself crazy wondering about all the unanswered questions instead of enjoying my trip. I would rather have my hotels and tickets booked beforehand and my itinerary in hand, or at the very least in my mind. I do not need to plan every single minute of the day but atleast a vague plan must be in place.
2. I am a fuss pot: The first thing I check out when I go to any hotel is the restroom. To me, a vacation must involve functional plumbing and clean washrooms. Secondly, I am a very picky eater. I subject even my mother’s cooking to close scrutiny and I don’t eat half the things that my family members have no issues with; how would I ever eat anything on a backpacker’s budget?! People often assume that non-vegetarians are less choosy about food. The lady I met said that on occasion she had had to eat scorpions, snakes and even, dog meat. I am a non-vegetarian and sure, I could eat all that I mentioned – if I had a gun pointing to my head. Else, please give me some “normal” food!
3. I like my privacy and space: A big part of travelling is meeting new people from across the world. I am okay with that and I am as interested as the next person in learning about different cultures and customs. However, at the end of the day, I would like to close the door and have my privacy. Dorms and sharing rooms with strangers are just not my thing.
4. I like my comforts: Call me a material girl but yes, I like my air conditioning, hot water showers and a cozy bed and sweet smelling sheets to sink into. Slumming it out is not my cup of tea.
So what about you? Would you backpack? Or are you a lover of all things nice and comfy, like moi?