“Oh, are you backpacking?” Honestly: I never understood this question. People tend to ask it with these eyes wide open and this mixture of astonishment and appreciation in their voices – normally when something a little more exotic than Bavaria is mentioned (and to be precise at this point: I walked many backpacks through the Bavarian Forest and the Alpes). But back on track. Why should “backpacking” make any journey any different? Is driving through Costa Rica from the Atlantic to the Carribean with a suitcase “suitcasing”? Is rolling a luggage trolley through Namibia “trolleying”?
You might argue: It is not handy and looks stupid. Fair enough. But there is no need to “elevate” travelers in the sphere of a backpacker. Their bag does not make them a more adventurous tourist or a more ecological or altruistic one. Yes, maybe they walk their rags up dusty and rocky roads and pull out water, knives and tissues out of side bags in just the right moment. So what? Be brave, bring a suitcase! You’re spotted as a tourist anyway. Oh and, the answer to the question above is: Yes, I am backpacking. This f*** rucksack is just so many kilos lighter than my suitcase.