There was a time when I was perfectly fine with sleeping in a dormitory with 15 other people while travelling.
I could also survive on just a slice of pizza for lunch, so I can save some money.
And I would also walk rather than pay up for rides on buses, subway, or heaven forbid, cabs.
But that time has passed (though I still have no issues with walking).
It wasn’t a sudden change though.
As I joined the workforce and started earning some money, I started ‘graduating’ to eight-man dorms, and then four, and then I decided I wasn’t ever going to stay in a dorm again.
Staying in a dorm is fine when you want to know people or if you want to save some cash.
But after a while, it gets a bit tiresome having to pack your bags in the dark because you don’t want to wake up the whole room.
Or if you’re trying to sleep, and people start chatting into the wee hours of the night.
So I decided that I will fork out a little bit more cash, and get a private room instead.
And I’ve never looked back, though I still don’t mind rooms without attached toilets.
So in a way, I guess you can say I’m no longer a backpacker.
Instead, I’m probably a poshpacker.
Poshpacking, which is a combination of posh and backpacking, simply refers to backpacking with more style and money.
Well, I don’t know about style, but I can certainly don’t mind paying for more than a slice of pizza for lunch now.
While once I might have thought twice about entering a nice restaurant, I no longer think as hard.
And while I probably wouldn’t fork out the cash for a meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant, I don’t mind treating myself to a nice meal once in a while.
At the very least, I wouldn’t have to share a bowl of French Onion Soup, like I did in Paris, because I was trying to stretch my money.
But of course, poshpackers don’t get a very good rep.
It’s the equivalent of saying you’re uncool.
For one, you’re not going to get any hardcore traveller cred by staying in any place that has stars in it.
And for another, some backpackers may think you’re copping out, that you’re no longer a traveller but a tourist.
To them, travel is all about outdoing each other in finding the cheapest, filthiest dwellings, eating the cheapest food cooked in the streets, spending hours in a beat-up bus over potholed roads, seeing how far you can stretch the last dollar and so on.
In other words, forgo your modern comforts.
But hey, to each his own.
And if having clean sheets and hot showers in my hotel room, splurging out on the occasional meal at a nice restaurant and flying rather than taking a 24-hour bus journey makes me a poshpacker, then I’m happy to be one.
So what about you?
Have you moved on from backpacking and become a poshpacker?
Share your experiences in the comments box below.