Backpacking? It is a very popular mode of travel for adventurous people of this world that grew as travel became more competitive and cheaper. It does have a qualifying adjective though; aside from being adventurous, you have to be young and fit. At least, that’s the connotation that it carries.
With the planet bursting with active baby boomers, however, it seems appropriate to reconsider the connotation. With more money in their pockets, a new term has been coined for them (and those who can afford an expensive kind of backpacking)… “flashpacking.” With enough money to flash, certain risks and inconveniences are taken away from what’s inherent in backpacking. With the fat wallet, it lets them stay in a more comfortable hotel, eat in places more ostentatious than what a typical backpacker can afford, and lug around light (and expensive) gear to make carrying a backpack easy on the older spine.
Believe it or not, there are adventurous baby boomers that are as eager as the young ones to see the world without too much fanfare. Interested? You may want to start packing your stuff in a backpack for your next travel after you read how an Australian couple scoured “South America, Europe and Asia” that’s about “11,602 miles, 21 countries and 20 flights.” Read all about it in the article written by Kat Adamski entitled “Flashpackers” Jane and Duncan Dempster-Smith Take on the World” published in Courier Mail (Brisbane) – Lifestyle Section.
“JANE and Duncan Dempster-Smith travelled the world as “flashpackers” during their senior gap year.
While the couple had been working in the corporate world and living in a spacious Curl Curl home, they had begun stalking one of their adult sons on Facebook.
“We were seeing all of the fabulous places that our eldest son had been to and we could clearly see that both of our boys were on their own journey,” Mr Dempster-Smith, 58, said.
“We didn’t want to rattle around in a big house so we sold it and rented an apartment in North Narrabeen.”
From this move their lives moved into adventure mode – when the lease was up in early 2013 they went on their senior gap year…”
Back in Australia, without a home, they do house-sitting and end up paying less for their accommodation rather than couch surf in their son’s place. With their worldly possessions reduced to just “two iPads, two computers, two mobiles and two cameras as well as [our] clothes and shoes,” they don’t have much to worry about.
Jetsetters as baby boomers are, they are fast setting a trend sending out a strong message to both older and younger travellers. Backpacking is not just for the young and fit; it is also for the older and eager bunch of baby boomers. With their number rising fast, expect the adventurous ones to give the young backpackers a run for their money.
So, young backpackers, you have some hot competition with these active seniors. You may feel they have enviable stuff and more cash that their “backpacking” is sort of more luxurious. Well, you’re right. They are the flash packers. Some are also called greypackers and grey nomads. Anyway, what’s in a name? They are baby boomers and they’re here to have fun, see the world anew, and maybe, for the last time, show the world they can still take the bull by the horn, just like the way they used to.