When a young traveler first begins to picture a backpacking trip around the world, their mind conjures images of dog-eared guidebooks, dusty and undiscovered pathways through landscapes previously only imagined, and a growing sense of the unknown slowly morphing into the known, for the more they will navigate the world, the more their viewpoints will change. Buses packed with locals and chickens on incorrect schedules, trying desperately to navigate their way from one city to another, and when they arrive, quizzing natives on which places they can stay for the night, only to find the accomodations filled with spiders or simply mattresses on the floor. They imagine the feeling of staring at a menu written entirely in a foreign language and simply pointing to an item and hoping for something less than disgusting to come from the kitchen, and if they’re lucky, they’ll have something delicious they can tell their friends about. They picture Jack Kerouac. Hunter S. Thompson. Jane Goodall. This is what backpacking looks like. And that was the case.
Thirty years ago.
Or twenty years ago.
Or maybe even as recently as ten years ago.Read More