Thursday, May 6, 2010

Some Changes

I’ll be the first to tell you that up until now I haven’t been backpacking as much as using an impractical suitcase. This was intentional, being completely aware of my own ignorance how to travel minimally and on a shoestring. Since my parents would be meeting me in Turkey and then leaving back to California afterwards, I had a window of opportunity to swap gear around.

With that in mind, I sent back almost half of the stuff I was carrying, most of which I hadn’t touched. Lesson learned. My dad also very generously let me swap my full-size DSLR with his very compact and cool 3/4 olympus.

Also, and most daringly (stupidly?) sent home my backpack and bought a new one for $7 at the Grand Baazar in Istanbul. It looks and feels every bit as cheap as it was and I don’t expect it to last more than a month or two. When I see a better one I’ll buy it.

On a philosophical level, this is inching closer to my hopes and expectations of how this trip should go – freedom from material things and unburdened (literally and figuratively) by consumption.

My parents and I, a few nights in a row, sat in a restaurant on the main hostel street in Istanbul watching people walking in off buses and taxis carrying what must have been 60-70 pounds worth of stuff, probably 4 or 5 times what I have now. Usually they had two backpacks, one giant on the back and another on the stomach, both filled. I can’t imagine what you would need so badly and couldn’t buy.

I won’t look down on how other people travel, whatever works for you or makes you happy is fine. But for me, if I could get by with a toothbrush, a passport and an ATM card, I would.

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1 comment:

  1. okay, so not that you care because you don't know me and i don't know you, but.....i don't see how you are trying to not be materialist but decide to always buys things later instead of planning or being frugal? always having the option to purchase and trying to not be materialistic don't fit all that well....right?

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