Tourists with Chinese characteristics: bashful backpackers

Although we are in a worldwide pandemic, holidays are not something to be missed. The national holiday in China just passed and I looked with envy at all the traveling going on in the country. It also reminded me of the different kinds of Chinese travelers I would have encountered.

Who?
Millennials, Generation Zs, youngsters who think they are ready to go out into the world. They have enough money to spend on traveling abroad and by themselves, or have enough courage to just dive into the world. Almost always in a pair, either a couple or 2 friends.

Where?
The Lonely Planet and Rough Guide seem a bit too crisp in their hands. They go to the hip coffee places and with an unsure look on their faces order that specific instagrammable drink. Arriving at the desk of hip hostels, they are a bit too tired and carrying bags a bit too new. They aim to set themselves apart from big group travelers by not going to the main highlights, but instead choose all the alternative highlights from the travel guides.

Why?
What is better than traveling? By yourself! All those cool social media photos were taken someplace, without any large travel groups to disturb the environment. They want to strengthen the bond with their friend or significant other, something that will last for the rest of their lives! They have not been able to travel that much yet, so it is high time to change that. With the right equipment and preparation, the world is at their feet!

Thoughts?
How is this so tiring? The bags are heavy, it is too hot and wiping away my sweat just creates more sweat. And after we finally find this small hostel, where our bags barely fit in the lockers, we need to look for another hip dessert shop to get their signature dish. It is fun sometimes, but being together with the other for all this time is actually pretty difficult. And getting the good camera shots is not easy. When do we go home again?

My thoughts?
I have been part of this group, albeit only for a very short time. I knew after doing it for a few weeks, that the backpacking life was not for me. So I always look a bit bemusedly at these hipsters who seem like they just discovered a new way of life that they are not sure they like. Oftentimes, it also seems like the backpackers are ‘backpacking by the book’. The few times I went to well-known local places, I think I always saw a few of them pop up. But hey, I was there as well so we are almost the same. And yeah, if your parents don’t have backpacking equipment, you indeed need to buy it. At least it will be well-worn by the time your kids will want to use them,

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