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Great article: Can you ever be too old to be a backpacker?
Posted February 7th, 2013 - 10:46 am from Berlin, Germany
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Posted February 7th, 2013 - 11:51 am from Rotterdam, Netherlands
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Posted February 7th, 2013 - 2:48 pm from Istanbul, Turkey
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Posted February 7th, 2013 - 2:59 pm by from New Delhi, India (Permalink)
I would define myself as a backpacker although I have a roller bag suitcase instead of a backpack, Couchsurf or stay in B&Bs instead of sleeping in tents, look for cheap air fares instead of hitch hiking. I am not too much into going ultralight and haven't cut my toothbrush in half either! I like to take my Ipod and Ipad with me wherever I go, the latter to stay connected with my family and friends.
These days, everything is more accessible thanks to the internet and it has made it possible for more people like me to leave the comfort of their homes and BACKPACK to explore the world.
Meera.

Posted February 7th, 2013 - 9:40 pm from Stevensville, United States
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Posted February 11th, 2013 - 5:07 am by from Amsterdam, Netherlands (Permalink)
I absolutely agree with you, I'm 61 and go backpacking (mostly Asia) as much as I can afford. I love trundling along in buses and yes, meeting so many great people along the way. Guess what....I'm off again next week, my backpack is packed and ready to go :-)

Posted February 7th, 2013 - 11:29 pm from Kuenzelsau, Germany
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Posted February 7th, 2013 - 11:40 pm from Victoria, Canada
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Posted February 8th, 2013 - 6:35 pm by from Weston-super-Mare, England (Permalink)
3 months travelling around part of South America was done with a roller case (carrying too much), hostels rather than couchsurfing, long distance buses over planes. I did meet up with a couple of CS'ers who were kind enough to give me coffee, take me to the theatre and show me some of their city. It's bad enough trying to live out of a suitcase - I don't think I could manage with a backpack!

Anne

Posted February 8th, 2013 - 7:38 pm from Rotterdam, Netherlands
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Posted February 8th, 2013 - 10:04 pm from Ottawa, Canada
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Posted February 9th, 2013 - 12:55 am by from Daylesford, Australia (Permalink)
lise obviously has the brains in your family, schorschi.
i bet i know who is schlepping the rucksack for those picnics...
i spent decades travelling on half a shoestring, when i was younger, and loved it. could sleep near anywhere, had cast-iron stomach and so on.
these days, and i am 65, after all, i have made the following decision:
travel, for me, is not supposed to be uncomfortable.

if i can't enjoy the sights, sounds, tastes, etc of a travel destination, because i couldn't sleep, for example, or damaged my back/shoulders/arms hauling luggage, or am chundering from food poisoning because of cheap tucker, what's the use of going away in the first place?

i don't save a few dollars to share a room with strangers. nor do i huddle in hot, dark, cheap hovels with mossies and worse.
no. i go to countries like s-e asia, where i can have heavenly rooms to myself for 20 bucks or so, dine in clean eateries, only after i have checked the toilets. it is a good guideline: clean toilets, clean kitchen.

the best, of course, would be cs or other friends' guest rooms and company...nothing can beat that

luxury madam
from downunder :>)

Posted February 9th, 2013 - 1:35 am from Ottawa, Canada
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Posted February 9th, 2013 - 1:38 am by from Daylesford, Australia (Permalink)
kisskiss :>)

Posted February 9th, 2013 - 12:20 pm from Hebden Bridge, England
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Posted February 9th, 2013 - 2:43 pm from Ottawa, Canada
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Posted February 10th, 2013 - 12:45 am by from Napa, United States (Permalink)
My back-packing experiences, similar to Karen's - it's the experience, not the pack on my back. BUT, I do travel with a backpack, only because for me it is simpler than having a bag to carry, roll, pack around and store. If it doesn't fit in my pack, I don't need it. And my pack isn't all that big. In fact, I'm scaling down to make life simple, for me. When I go somewhere, I want to have my things with me, so I can only take a few things, can't I? I want it to fit with me and not worry about losing it or having it stolen. AND, if my pack IS stolen, well, it didn't have much in it to begin with. I wear things a few times, toss them, or donate (books, raincoats, umbrellas, etc), then buy something cheap and begin again. If I REALLY want to keep it, I wash by hand, it dries, and I wear it again. We'll see, my previous trips have never been longer than three weeks, and soon I'll be heading out for two - three months!

Posted February 10th, 2013 - 12:56 am by from Langley, United States (Permalink)
Bravo, Kathleen!!!

You're such a Braveheart.

PLEASE check in often; let us share your adventure via our armchairs.

God speed.

Cherie


Posted February 10th, 2013 - 2:31 am by from Daylesford, Australia (Permalink)
aaawww, schorschi, you are baiting me!

your long-suffering lise, dear kanuk, is being kind, in a sneaky way.
most of us are well aware of the brain development state of twenty year old males, you on the other hand...
say no more
we love you anyway :>)

and, dear karen, how i adore to be shielded from stifling midday heat, lice, fleas, mossies, bed bugs, roaches, food poisoning and other awful things.

at $20 a day, i don't really feel part of the exclusive travel elite. i found that small, clean hotels always have fellow travellers sitting about by the pool, in the garden or lobby, ready to share trips, tips, taxis, restaurant tables..all one has to do is introduce oneself, chat them up, join in.

but then, i really love retreating to my own, beautifully clean and cool room, for a siesta or after dinner, to be alone, in peace, with my thoughts and reflections, meditate cross-legged, read a book, look at the day's photos, plan the next activities, write a letter, wind down before sleep...

i think i am ready for a another holiday of that sort, very soon.

:>) roo


Posted February 10th, 2013 - 4:24 am from Victoria, Canada
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Posted February 10th, 2013 - 5:11 am from Mumbai, India
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Posted February 10th, 2013 - 6:52 am from Port Macquarie, Australia
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Posted February 10th, 2013 - 1:09 pm from Hebden Bridge, England
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Posted February 10th, 2013 - 2:30 pm from Bad Fallingbostel, Germany
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Posted February 15th, 2013 - 1:07 pm from Berlin, Germany
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Posted February 11th, 2013 - 12:33 pm by from Brussels, Belgium (Permalink)
My 'backpacking' is done with a roller-case as well, and the more I travel, the lighter my luggage gets, because I realize that I don't need that much.
Thanks to CS, I'm able to that now as a pensioner. In the past, I was mainly hosting, but now I enjoy surfing and have made several new friends in different countries that way - people who've stayed with me and people I've stayed with who will visit me in the future. At the moment I can't host because I'm house-sitting in Italy, but in a couple of months I'll be active again.

Posted February 10th, 2013 - 12:47 am by from Napa, United States (Permalink)
'loved the online article!

Posted February 10th, 2013 - 4:07 pm by from Battle Ground, United States (Permalink)
Backpacked in my younger days, before kids, but now the knees are complaining. Do knee braces help? :-)

Posted February 11th, 2013 - 4:27 am by from Papamoa, New Zealand (Permalink)
My husband and I have been backpacking since we were in our teens. Our last trip was 13 months in Africa. I am 61 and my husband 65. We never met any other backpackers of our ages in Africa over 25 countries. We have collection of backpacks from across the years and the modern ones are so comfortable we can walk for hours with them on our backs.

After 120+ countries we have only ever encountered bed bugs once! We stay in hostels, budget hotels, camp, or use guest houses. We travel the same way locals do, on the back of trucks,or jammed into shared taxis. If the locals can get from A to B then so can we, the same way. We are patient and can wait hours in hot dusty conditions for a ride and meet lots of locals while we do.

We take 3 changes of clothes and wash everyday. When they wear out or get damaged we replace them. We prefer to do 3rd world countries while we can still handle it and when we can no longer backpack we will travel 1st world ones.

We always buy a one way ticket to start our travels and go where ever we want and make choices to our itinerary by taking the recommendations people give us that we meet along the way.

The advantage we have over the youth is that we can afford to make choices about what we pay for what we want to do- it is not always budget!

Next year we take a trip to Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela, Cuba, Surinam and the Carribean- backpacking.

Posted February 15th, 2013 - 1:11 pm from Berlin, Germany
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Posted February 15th, 2013 - 1:18 pm from Berlin, Germany
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