We travelers just can’t win, can we?
Those who love globe-trotting with the ease of organized tours and have a penchant for souvenirs are ‘tourists’ – a thoroughly derogatory term in today’s vocabulary. They are considered as empty shells of a traveler. They traipse the places, but never meet the people or experience the real local life.
Those who are dubbed ‘backpackers’ are supposedly the ones with a soul to fill the shell, but who are we kidding here? Backpackers are as easy to be spotted and as predictable as tourists. How can you claim to have seen the real Bangkok, for instance, when all you meet in your Khao San hostel are foreigners and those you encountered while eating in that funky restaurant ‘Cabbages and Condoms’ hold the same copy of the Lonely Planet that you regard as a bible?
Those whose passion for traveling entails cunningly inserting sightseeing within a work trip, ‘the frequent flyers’, are called giants of the carbon footprint by today’s environmentally conscious people. Quite an irony, really, since many people in this category are climate change activists who flew from one continent to the other for conferences.
We have got to start taking a more laissez faire approach to traveling. People are as diverse as their preferred method of or opportunities to travel. There is no use replicating the hierarchy we hate so much when it comes to race or gender to this life-changing activity. Besides, who among us can honestly say we are not one of those things we hate some of the times?
Here at the Dusty Sneakers, we’d like to share travel stories as we give meaning to them. At times they may be touristy, at others they may have a backpacker feel – most often probably they make no sense if you want to put them in boxes. We are simple people who simply love going to unfamiliar places and would like to share our simple but significant moments during those trips.
So, welcome to the Dusty Sneakers. We hope you enjoy our kaleidoscopic travelogue!
Jakarta, 16 July 2009
Gypsytoes & Twosocks