Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Indie Travel Challenge, week 2: "What is an indie traveler?"


So here we are. Week two of the indie travel challenge. This week's prompt is a question I knew would arrive sooner or later, but I was hoping it would arrive later rather than sooner. The question is: what is an indie traveler? And my problem with it is: why do we always feel the need to define everything?

Defining an indie traveler is pretty mucg impossible, in my humble opinion. There are as many types of indie travelers as there are travelers. So who am I to say that I'm indie and someone else is not?

Of course there are those who consider themselves better than most because they go to the most exotic, hard to reach, unknown spots of the world and kind of look down at anyone who would get excited about going to any place where you can get a hot shower and a decent bed. And there are also those who would never leave the beaten path, who would never try whatever food the locals eat (unless they are in Italy or France, that is) and are afraid of getting robbed pretty much everywhere.

Those, of course, are extremes. Then there's a whole bunch of us who are somewhere in between. Who like nice hotels and crowded hostels just the same, who like to explore less traveled by destinations, but won't disdain a touristy museum or monument. We would love to take a whole year off and go travel around the world, but for a number of different reasons -both financial and personal- we just can't do that right now, so we have to travel when we have time off, or suring weekends or even explore our own town on a Saturday afternoon.

Does that make us indie travelers? I think so. Being an indie traveler is more of a state of mind rather than a collection of stamps on your passports. Is that need to go and see what the rest of the world is like, no matter if the rest of the world is 10 or 1000 miles away.

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