The Backpacker is a Free Bird

Leaving Bangkok by train for Malaysia silverbackpacker
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If I leave here tomorrow Would you still remember me?
For I must be traveling on, now ‘Cause there’s too many places I’ve got to see
But, if I stayed here with you, girl Things just couldn’t be the same ‘Cause I’m as free as a bird now
And this bird you can not change And this bird you can not change
And this bird you can not change Lord knows, I can’t change.

From Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd


Once you have the travel bug in your bones, you have it forever. You may think that you have settled down but one day that feeling will come back and you will walk to the wardrobe and reach for the backpack, put a few clothes in, these days maybe a laptop, digital camera, toothbrush and out the door you go.

No destination in mind just the urge to travel. This has happened to me on numerous occasions and it is hard to resist.

Twenty years ago you just disappeared for a while and then returned with tales of adventure. Friends would wonder where you had gone.
The letters you wrote home arrived after 3 weeks or more if they arrived at all. Trying to guess where you would be in a month or twos time to advise of a Post Restante address in Calcutta, Madras or Bombay. Photos taken on film that had to be developed. Maybe losing a roll of film or accidently opening the camera before rewinding the used film into its cartridge would be the down moments.

These days your friends and family can travel with you as you update them on your whereabouts instantly with photos and messages through facebook, twitter or whatever social media you choose to use.

Travel is much easier today than it ever was. The world is geared to tourism which the backpacker can manipulate to his advantage by using search engines to find cheap flights, advice on lodgings, train or bus schedules.

As always you just need to take that first step out the door to be on your way to find a new beginning, a new adventure.

*As Ma Tsou, a famous Korean monk, once said… “Buddha travelled! So i travel. I am looking for enlightenment”

*Ghost Train to the Orient Express by Paul Theroux

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