Lodgey and Life on the Road. Stories from South America.

4 May 2010

What sort of backpacker am I?

Last night the Geezer and I retired to our huge double room with ensuite (a luxury in backpacker terms) while the rest of the hostel partied on in to the night. It was 11:30pm. The main courtyard where everyone was drinking was right outside our door and we lay there listening to the giggling and storytelling of the other backpackers. They were having a ball. We wondered if we were old and boring.

For both the Geezer and me, this trip is not about partying but the chance of a lifetime not to be splurged on booze and midnight kebabs (although in Argentina the midnight kebab is more like 8am in the morning since they don´t go out until 3am!). We´ve seen backpackers stagger on to tour buses after a boozey night out and sleep the entire way through breathtaking scenery.... We´ve looked at each and gone... errrrrfff!

I want my photos to capture moments of magnificence or a split second of time in my life when I am so awed by what is front of me that I want to capture it on camera... not ones where I look like I´m about to puke.

Don´t get me wrong... we are not hostel snobs or straighty-one-eighties by any means. We´ve had some ripper nights out. And being a 20 year old backpacker is about discovering who you are and how much alcohol you really can tolerate. 

Of the people we have met over the last three months and had great times with, some will be friends forever... even if they are on the other side of the world, we know that we will always have a couch to sleep on! And vice versa!

But the promise I made to myself when I jumped on the very first plane was to enjoy South America without a hangover and droopy eyelids (unless it´s the result of age degeneration - which frankly I´d also rather do without).

On our Antarctic cruise we watched with slight envy the other young travellers form a tight knit group as they stayed up night after night drinking. But when a couple of them almost missed the landing on the actual Antarctic continent itself we agreed that we had made the right decision. We worked damn hard to get there and neither of us wanted to waste a single precious minute of being in that place. Needless to say the last night on the boat was a blur... footage has since emerged of yours truly and other girls on the boat dancing on a Columbian tall ship docked in Ushuaia while balancing 25 drinks. Geezer had to carry me and both our backpacks off the boat the next morning.

At 34, am I old and boring?? In backpacker years... probably! But it´s not every day that you get the chance to travel with someone who loves the same things you do, to places that leave you lost for words, at the right time in your life. I don´t want to miss a thing.

1 comment:

Poi said...

I'll be turning 23 as we set off on our trip so I should probably be one of the hungover people but I have a different ideas. I'm pretty normal back at home for my age missing sunny days because my head is pounding but when I'm away I want to make sure I can make the most of every day.
Of course there will be occasions when there are some great nights out but the fact they are not every night is what will make them great.
I know people who are currently planning rtw trips whose intension is to follow the normal routes and enjoy the nightlife but I'm more looking to get off the beaten track and find something new to enjoy.