Saturday, October 13, 2012

Flashpacking in Thailand

What original thought can I begin to write about this place--Thailand, the last hackeyened vacation destination on the backpacker hit list? It's all been done before we were here. We're directly on the beaten path.

Against our better judgement, we even stayed on Khaosan Road in Bangkok. (Unlike Tokyo, it was exactly what I had envisioned. "I have a feeling I'm going to hate exactly 83 per cent of people that we meet here," I said to Mike, as we navigated with our bags through the throngs towards our hostel.)

So instead, there's this: a realization.

I am no longer, by definition, a backpacker. I'm hesitant to refer to myself as a "flashpacker," partially because I don't think my bank account balance matches that description. However, the choices that I've made on this trip so far are reflective of how I'm slowly beginning to change my approach to travel.

As I write this, I'm flying to Koh Samui on Bangkok Airways. Yes, you read that right--flying. When our initial plan to take the train to Chumphon fell through because it was fully booked, I was tempted to brave the 12-hour overnight bus journey for $15. But it only took Mike about two seconds to convince me that was a terrible idea and that the extra $110 for the one-hour plane ride directly to the islands was a worthwhile investment. So far, we've eschewed public transit and tuk-tuks in favour of taxis. (Except in Tokyo, where we learned to love the massively confusing subway system.)  

Likewise, I don't think I'll give up on hostels in the near future--they're too dear to my heart and my capacity to withstand the shadiest of conditions is a point of pride. But this afternoon we're checking into a hotel that costs $50 a night and has an infinity pool. (!) It's a far cry from the squats and $3/night rooms that Helka and I frequented on my first backpacking trip nearly 10 years ago.

The one thing that hasn't changed? I'm still willing to go into debt for this; for this one thing that makes me feel whole again. Because regardless if whether I'm flying or hitchhiking, it's still the journey that counts.


  1. I've found Lots of necessary information from your blog. Just bookmark your blog for more explore! I will definitely share this post with others. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Aw, it sounds like you have the right traveling perspective.

    On the topic of hostels/hotels: have you ever heard of alternative lodging like Enrout, Airbnb and 9flats? My boyfriend and I use it when we travel and it really does help with the "local experience." We have privacy; it can be just as cheap as a hostel (ie staying in a private room); and i get access to a kitchen so there is a reason to go explore the food markets/vendors.

    Thank you for your post!

  3. Yes, I agree with you, Jess. Every time I travel, what’s more important to me is the journey. My journey to Thailand last year was awesome, that if given the chance I will go back and spend another vacation in there!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...