Travelling is a ritual for some, a necessity for others and some part of both for us. Even when constant worries of budgets and leaves and the toll itself of the travelling activity continue to rule, the charm inherent in that wanderlust connotation will never cease to spin its tales of worldly magic. Perhaps it’s the experiences travelling enriches one, gifting such moments and memories that you can script stories through. No wonder this idea of travelling has been relevant enough to be constantly evolving and imagined in diversity. Even when this isn’t exactly new, this ‘flashier’ sounding notion of flashpacking backing up the more traditional way in backpacking makes for a similar kind of revelation.
The flashiness of its character being pretty evident, flashpacking indeed is as basic as backpacking gone luxe. This affluence in consideration also essentially delineates it as a trend for the less younger folks by age, even when backpacking or travel in general have no demographic identity to stick to. But the general perception that prevails of your 30s or 40s being a more favourable bracket in terms of the finances is what has made this derivative find designation in such specificness.
The ‘freedom’ in backpacking made supposedly better with money thrust into the former’s free spirits, flashpacking strikes as being the best of both world. A lifestyle practised through a genuine curiosity in exploring the world and seeking out every exciting experience on offer while not having to make-do with the bare minimum or even a sufficient optimum, this mode of travelling sets sail upon the boats of both luxury and thrill. And while these are not mutually exclusive concepts in themselves, the alludings in backpacking and fanciness sure are.
And yet for all that matters in buying the privileges of travel to avail the experience of it, flashpacking need not always be sitting on absolute lavishness. Even those who tend to be on a slightly upper rung than what a true backpacker typically would can even be called to with the fancier moniker. The scope indeed exists for the expanse of affluence to be as widely occurring as ever meaning that flashpackers themselves can be of different types. A community in themselves branching off from another community in a different commune of life- the classification sure gets quite particular in here.
There though does not exist any set timeline during which flashpacking became a thing nor an exactness of its neologism. But it’s actually as simple as those who possess the means choosing to be comfortable in every aspect of their living, travel included, even when it is one of the adventurous kind where the very thrill of encountering the unexpected is all that matters. To be a flashpacker then is no any more a matter of pride as it would be of ‘contempt’- it simply is travelling in a way and manner that best suits one’s interests and lifestyle.
This understanding then relaxes the very strains of the definition that can in fact be a mix of the luxurious and the spartan. As a flashpacker one might not always be looking for the best possible option for going around or the best rated hotel to stay at. That of course can be a preference for some but it does not need to be that way always. The more affluent will indeed indulge in all the luxury as something that is a given for them. But others who might not be as upper end in their living can still opt for traveling in this style, as suits their preferences. Consider family travel goals for instance that still seeks out authentic experiences alongside a coursing in adequate comfort and affluence does not even guarantee citing as being one of the requirements for a flashpacker.
At the core of this ‘revolution’ then isn’t anything that particularly occurs as flashy. Just a desire to discover the world in all its glory and as it is, an authentic experience that one could access irrespective of how they choose to travel. At the same time though, flashpacking can be a conducive identity that one might describe themselves in, for the simple reason that they want should speak of their aspirations in wanderlust as well. It’s perhaps the whole notion of being a traveler and not another jetsetting holidayer on the go to secure snaps for their social audience but doing it in a way that allows them to feel for themselves all joys composing this bite by the travel bug. Even without being a philosophy then, it still is a philosophy in immersive travel through which are curated the most enriching accounts of the world.
The discreteness of this bunch of more affluent travelers can however lend to a different scape in wandering. Not all locations still unexplored and raw and exciting enough to be on the backpacker’s bucketlist can be covered on a shoestring budget even when one goes all frugal. The costs associated with certain places due to different factors either of geographic arising or of environmental stemming or in cultural and historic and social standing cannot be offset no matter what. With flashpackers, the options get diversified in such contexts that they can now sufficiently attend to, having harboured the same aspirations in experiencing the true feel of that place throughout their own time as a backpacker.
Other aspects in which the differences can be more pronounced beyond its typification in the numbers which to be frank is a relative concept despite the countability relates to the duration of a flashpacking trip for instance. The greater flow of money on which the identity primarily rests as being a different understanding would be exerting indeed an influence on the accompanying factors. The 30s and 40s age groups being the ones more likely to emerge as flashpackers, it only is unsurprising that they would have less time at their disposal to devote to pursuits that do not generally occur as life responsibilities.
As such, flashpacking trips might be shorter affairs in their stretch of the days. This itself might explain why flashpackers would inevitably end up picking the shortest route or the most immediate flight even when it is pricier. With one thing leading to the other and in turn fostering that very point of its stemming, flashpacking then is the ”life coming full circle’ assertion of a certain intention in traveling.
Flashpacking might in fact be the way to travel for those whose soul and spirit still yearns for the kind of unconventional experience that backpacking offers but who now wish to do so with their family. Specially for folks with younglings to be mindful of, this reimagined mode of traveling is all that they could have asked for- one that indulges their desires in entirety. Also it does not make sense to deliberately choose the more demanding option when one that can feasibly realise your plan is up for grabs. It’s also about the doctrine of evolution itself, emerging to be better and graduating to better things as well.
After all those years of trudging as young bodies that now brings one to a more favourable position when they can let go some aspects of the backpacking identity and embrace elements emergent upon a different line of the same horizon, it is indeed a reward of such work and passion that needs to be reaped in its riches. It is but gratitude indeed in humbly accepting things you have worked so hard for, specially when continuing to be devoted also to the essence of seeking out the world’s bountiful riches. And with something as universal as offered by the experiences in travelling, it only is imperative that one explores the extents of its beauty as rich and radiant and happy as ever.
The world is a beautiful place and irrespective of how one approaches it either as a backpacker or a flashpacker or just about anyone else with an eye for appreciating its newer dimensions and avenues, every thing counts as long as one honors the journey and does not just fixate on the destination.