When I first went travelling around the world last year writing my book,’Blindly Going Who Knows Where?’ I was initially very jealous of all the 20 somethings who had just left university and were enjoying the freedom of world travel.
I quickly learned that many of them were not enjoying it as much as they claimed though. Why? Simple. Money. I was in fact the fortunate one.
Having worked for 10 years solidly after leaving Uni I was lucky enough to save up enough to enjoy travel without any financial concerns. I had a choice to stay at a hostel, and if I didn’t like it I could move to a hotel instead. Luckily for me this didn’t happen very often as my research of the places I planned to stay at proved invaluable.
This current trip was a little different as I was planning to settle abroad, but still many of those 20 somethings were still the same.
In my experience most travellers fell into 3 categories. Slackpackers – these were the ones who had failed to plan almost everything and had to call mummy and daddy regularly to boost the travel funds. They often were too bone idle to work also. I tried to avoid this bunch as they were prone to being scroungers too. Backpackers – Thankfully most people I met were in this category. Fairly well organised. Good with their money, but not over extravagant. And if they needed to work to get extra funds they were happy, or at least willing to do this. Flashpackers – I fell into this category last year. Now I am more a backpacker with a hint of flashpacker. These travellers had no money worries and were generally either well organised or so wealthy that they were just stupid with their money. They had no need to work on their trip, and had the luxury of being able to extend or alter they’re trip as they pleased.
The people I felt a bit more sorry for where those traveling to study. They often had more complex financial issues, and hadn’t been working in a professional career long enough to build up the funds.
This year I was seeing all of this much more clearly. And hopefully learning a few things from it.