Backpacking is a State of Mind
When do you stop Backpacking?
Age is not a Barrier for Backpacking
In the past, I used to engage in backpacking because I couldn’t afford other options like organized tours. Additionally, I desired to spend months abroad rather than just weeks or days, which made independent travel, the realm of backpackers, my only choice.
However, as I prepare to embark on another journey, I contemplate why I shouldn’t simply arrange a safari in Kenya or book a relaxing resort on a Philippine island and call it a day.
The reason is simple: I don’t have to. You see, age is not a barrier for me to backpack. Carrying a small backpack is not a challenge, I could even manage a larger one, but I prefer not to exert myself unnecessarily. Those days of carrying large backpacks disappeared long ago.
Backpacking means Freedom
I have reached a point in life where I understand that this freedom allows me to hop on and off various modes of transportation, such as trains, buses, boats, tuk-tuks, motorbikes, and planes, without relying on porters or luggage trollies or a suitcase on wheels.
I don’t want to miss out on the spontaneity of arriving by bus late at night in a strange town and figuring out my accommodation on the spot.
I am aware that I might dislike a place that others adore, or discover that the beach I eagerly anticipated has been washed away by a recent storm, in which case i can easily move on somewhere else.
Alternatively, I might develop an affinity for the inexpensive cocktails enjoyed late at night and the breakfast pastries, causing me to miss the 10 am boat repeatedly for an entire week. But that’s alright because I have no reservations to worry about missing.
Put it down to Experience
I can still acquire travel insurance, well, even though the list of questions about my health seems to get longer each time.
I don’t require supplemental oxygen or an extra bag to carry my medications. Whether I become too hot, too cold, get bitten by insects, or even have a minor accident on a motorbike, it won’t prove fatal.
I possess the ability to detect scams from a distance, like the Thai border scams crossing over to Cambodia or Laos, and I know better than to leave my backpack unattended. I understand that the newfound friend I make along the way may have something to sell me, but sometimes it’s enjoyable to find out what it is.
I can afford backpacking because I choose to, not because I’m compelled to. I can afford to stay in a comfortable four-star hotel for a few nights during a stopover when I’m exhausted from having my bones shaken on local buses or vans, or just to treat myself now and again.
If I fall ill, I can check into a pleasant establishment with spacious beds, functional air conditioning, and room service. I am aware that if I fall sick, I can take a break and recover. Illness rarely lasts for more than a day or two, allowing me to resume my itinerary where I left off.
If a taxi driver refuses to negotiate a fair price, I have no qualms about walking away. I know how to avoid getting stranded in a remote location with a taxi driver who wants to charge fantasy fares..
I understand that I will have a more fulfilling experience by traveling in an unstructured manner, deciding when to go and when to stay. I am open to change direction of travel if and when i hear of something worth seeing along the way or if i am enjoying a place and want to stay longer.
I know that I won’t miss out on visiting the Louvre just because the organized tour was scheduled for that day and I had to deal with a stolen passport.
I recognize that being a backpacker, or as they are now called, flashpackers, grants me the ultimate freedom. I can choose whether to join a tour, linger in a location, or spend more or less money as I please.
I am aware that I can travel for several months at the same cost that most people my age would spend on a three-week trip. Not only that, but I can also have a more enriching experience and witness more than they could ever imagine.
So, when does one become too old to go backpacking ?
When do we reach an age where backpacking becomes too challenging?
Is it when we lose our ability to embrace uncertainty, adapt to change, try different cuisines, and stay in unconventional accommodation? Is it when we crave a predictable daily routine and have a need to know every detail, including when and where we’ll have our meals?
Or is it when we become apprehensive about mingling with people who don’t resemble us, speak a different language, and might gaze curiously at our unfamiliar, fair complexion?
I’ve encountered friends who deemed themselves too old for backpacking even in their early twenties, while others continued their independent travels well into their seventies and eighties. Backpacking, in essence, is a state of mind that transcends age.
Is age truly a determining factor when it comes to backpacking?
Personally, I don’t believe so. I’ve witnessed individuals who maintain such remarkable vitality that they outpace younger counterparts in their backpacking adventures. It ultimately boils down to one’s determination. If you possess a strong desire and unwavering resolve, nothing, not even your age, can stop you from pursuing your dreams.
If you enjoyed reading “ Backpacking is a state of mind ” then please share this page with your friends.
Leave a comment below to let me know what you liked best.
Follow Silverbackpacker on Facebook, Instagram ,Twitter and Pinterest for more travel adventures and be notified about my latest posts and updates!
Thankyou for sharing 🙂
Please Note – All blog post photos on Silverbackbacker.com are of a lower quality to enable faster loading and save you data. If you would like to buy or license higher quality copies of any of the photographs you can email us at email@example.com
All photographs and content on this website remain the property of Silverbackpacker.com. Images may not be downloaded, copied, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent.
Print purchases entitle the purchaser to the ownership of the image but not to the copyrights of the image which still remain with Silverbackpacker.com even after purchase.
Affiliate Disclaimer: Links on this website may be affiliate links that could result in us receiving compensation when you purchase a product or service from that link. You do not pay any extra fees for these items. This helps us to keep this website going. Thank you for your support.