Saturday, January 17, 2009


Flashpacking - Backpacking, but not on a budget, using first-class travel and accommodation. A more "flash" version of backpacking. 

- the definition from Urban Dictionary

By most definitions, I'm a flashpacker more than a backpacker. I stay in hostels with clean sheets. I bathe regularly. I eat three meals a day and am acquainted with most of the five food groups. I can afford a slice of the better life that I keep seeing in the shops and cafes that I walk past. But the thing is, I keep wondering why, if I'm a flashpacker, I need to scrimp so much. 

I've spent a bundle over the past two days. 35€ to see a couple of Gaudi's modernist apartment buildings. Popped 40€ to go to Figueres to see the Dali Museum. Spent about 50€ on my two Barca matches. But I don't think I can sustain it. I'm getting slightly worried because I've 120€ left in the bank, with three days before the card tops up again, and a trip to Madrid and a ticket to Real Madrid to pay for still. 

Thing about this trip, I keep thinking about money. 

And I've met real backpackers on this trip. Guys who sleep on park benches and eat nothing but Nutella and jam sandwiches for weeks on end. Guys who get by as sketch artists as they bum their way across Spain. Guys who have been travelling for months and years on end, until they've almost forgotten where they've come from. Now that I think about it, it's been mostly guys.  

They do it on a wing and a prayer. They drift and let circumstances take them to places they never thought they'd go. There's something compelling about that, that goes past the stink of unwashed clothes and cigarette smoke. They're at ease in the world. They can meet Triumph and Disaster and treat the two impostors as the same. 

I'm not really sure where I'm going with this. Just bummed that I've got probably 20€ discretionary spending over the weekend, once I take out accommodation, travel and football expenses. Which is pretty shitty for a flashpacker. 


Anonymous said...

It is still very exotic looking from suburban Melbourne.

Your brother

Connolly's agent said...

Never realised how important $20 in the wallet can be.