There. I said it. I feel a lot better now. I am not a fan of labels but the truth is that when people ask what kind of traveler I am I never really knew what to say. The thing is, the term “backpacker” is not the most accurate for me as I cannot keep behind what are for me essential items to my travels: my laptop, my SLR camera and lenses and my iPhone. This dependence on gadgets while traveling makes me a “flashpacker”. Yeah, I am definitely a flashpacker. And I am proud of it.
Backpacking is all about keeping the costs as low as possible, meaning spending days in crowded buses, sleep in hostel dorms or even at the bus station. Well, while a flashpacker is a lot like a backpacker when it comes to international traveling with a budget for a longer period of time, carrying a backpack and a young spirit of mind… the flashpacker has the need of other luxuries backpackers don’t care so much about. I still carry a backpack everywhere, but because I worry about having my gadgets robbed I choose carefully my accommodation and ways of traveling. I’m like a backpacker of the twenty-first century. Backpacking is all about keeping everything as low cost as possible, while flashpacking is not as cheap and light, as you carry around all your expensive gadgets and of course don’t want to see it mugged while you go to the toilet. I’m the geeky type of flashpacker.
The good part is to always have the computer with me so I can backup photos, check emails, update my blog, skype my family and friends, check information about next destinations and buy flights. The downside is to have to carry kilograms of technology everywhere I go… And to constantly look over your shoulder and padlock your stuff to be sure it’s safe and sound. And a higher travel insurance rate. But as I see it, it’s all for a good reason: sharing my world with whoever is willing to follow me wherever I go. As long as you’re on that side of the screen, every extra gram on my backpack is worth it.
What about you…what type of traveler are you?