Moral Guide through sustainable travel
I have traveled on three continents, visited highly developed countries, but also extremely poor countries, traveled by various means of transport and during these trips I observe incorrect tourist or, as some prefer, travelers behavior.
For that reason, I decided to create a series: Moral Guide, describing dangerous, stupid or immoral trends in tourism. You will also find here a bunch of practical advice: how to travel with a respect to others’ cultures and the environment. Seems banal, but you’ll see how many small mistakes we make, often unconsciously.
Begging travelers, or begpacking
Currently, we face the increase, with the “speed of light” a number of people traveling . This is due to the simplicity of traveling, increasing standard of living and the amount of free time. Many travelers and even more trends and motivation for traveling. Unfortunately, from my own observations I see that many of these trends are going in a very bad direction.
One of them is begpacking. Do not be confused with backpacking – traveling with a backpack. Begpacking is just begging for further travel.
The first time I faced this problem a year ago on the web, reading information from Asia about “white tourists collecting money for their travels”. Even then, it seemed immoral and distasteful. I did not realize the scale of the problem. It did not occur to me that this way of traveling can attract a large crowd of supporters. Currently, begpacking is an extremely popular form of travel, especially in Asia.
Begpacker Vs. Backpacker
It amazes me the impudence of all these young Europeans and Americans begging for their exotic trips. Usually they are young people, fully functional, intelligent (although sometimes it’s hard to believe when I see how they behave), who can easily find a job (casual, physical). But who would like to work, if you can beg for money. However, there is a problem.
Begpacker will never get support in highly developed countries, such as Australia or Germany, because there people will simply laugh at him, saying: You have two arms and legs. Go find a job, hippie.
You can be a backpacker everywhere,working and earning money for your further travels. And here backpacking wins. And so, it should be. Because why do some people work hard on their dreams, and others have to get it for free? Begging on the streets of the middle-developed or poor countries, whose inhabitants should receive support from tourists, and not vice versa.
Travels – a luxury good, not indispensable
Is begpacking immoral?
Some might say that there is nothing wrong with that. If someone wants to give them money then why not. There is nothing immoral about it. But let ask yourself: what are travels? Are travels indispensable for life? Will you die without them? Well, NO. Travel is a luxury good, value added to our lives, a reward for hard work.
It follows, that I could stand on the street with a cardboard I am collecting for a BMW and I should also count on money. In the end, the car is also a luxury good, why would not I get any money for it. And you, Travelers, would you give some coins to such a “needy”?
There is something so nasty in begpacking that I would like to take all the spoiled pseudo-travelers to Outback farms to collect fruit. And I explain you Why. Welcome to: Story from Kuala Lumpur.
Story from Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia, a country in Asia. Malaysia is in the 38th position in economic terms in the world. Apparently there is no tragedy, but not crazy fortune either. Kuala Lumpur itself is a mix of wealth and poverty, neighboring wall in the wall, street in the street.
One evening I was walking the streets of the city, the Chinese New Year was just celebrated and it was very colorful. One of the streets was particularly crowded, because there is a street market on it. You can buy anything here. From souvenirs to exotic fruits. Between the stalls I noticed a couple of young guys, typical hippies in Aladdin pants, long beards (such a hipsters), white. I looked at them for a moment with a smile. Handsome, well-built (they would easily find a job, although casual). Suddenly I noticed a cardboard sign: we collect to travel around the world.
Ambitiously. Who would collect for a ticket home? Travel around the world it’s such a fun. Especially without money. I looked at them a bit longer. Branded clothes, ukulele (probably only for decorations), sunglasses. They did not even bother to sell some handicrafts or do stupid magic tricks. I gave them a look of contempt and went away.
I went maybe 100 m.
There was a man on the other side of the street, a Malaysian (I suppose so according to facial features and skin color). He sat on a piece of board with makeshift wheels. He did not have a hand and both legs. He asked for money for food.