Doug Lansky on the Backpacker Bubble

We’ve mentioned author and globetrotter Doug Lansky here before, and although I
haven’t read any of his books yet, I did thoroughly enjoy this short piece he recently wrote in
the Guardian. In it Lansky talks about what he calls the "tourist vortex of hype", otherwise known as
"The Bubble" among backpackers. Like a "banana pancake beam that sucks us in", the Bubble begins at
home, with media, guidebooks and blogs (uh, us included, I guess) telling you what you must see and do and experience
before you die. It can get very overwhelming, even months before you actually go anywhere, and there can emerge a sense
of being "sucked in" by it all to the point that it is easy to forget the true reason for your backpacking
travels. (I speak from experience on that one.) Which is why Lansky reminds us to not lose sight of the point of our
journeys: "…to discover the world on your own terms and find that real experience – unpackaged, undiscovered and
preferably off the beaten path." Sorry to quote so much from his essay, but it’s got some great advice, including
simple ways to make your travel experiences richer.