refurbished 22.03.2011 travelpost – Carsleeping around Australia
Hallmark-wisdom, cliché and in as many words as can comfortably fit on the front of a greeting card but in this case, it hits home. This cliché is exactly the self-confrontation of the traveller. For a short – or a long- while we drop many of the roles and titles we have accumulated in our daily lives and go to just be ourselves.
Not that this is an instant or easy thing to do as most of our social compulsions are self-inflicted and will be self-sustained. But the new and ever-changing environment of being on the road helps us.
The road does not care AT ALL in what field or to what degree you’ve been educated. Nobody is interested in your career or your family planning. Even where you come from only peaks interest as far as naming the country you resided in, not the cultural background which sculpted you into the person you have become. You are a Tourist, that is the long and short of it.
We are even a certain type of tourist: We are of the clan of Backpacker. This refers more to (what should be) our age, the amount of money in our bankaccount and the amount of alcohol in our bloodsystem than to any actual prescence of a backpack. I have started to refer to ourselves as Carsleepers but this has not been made into an accepted classification yet.
To the people I meet along the road, as far as anyone cares, I am a Tourist-Backpacker. This is where the friction starts, as I do not think of myself that way; at least not at the top of my listing of me. I am Priscilla, a researcher in media psychology, specialised in gaming. I am a serial monogamist, one absolutely awesome girl-friend, tinkering writer, editor and journalist. Positive realist and a sarcastic bitch. And while I was in the Netherlands all of the people surrounding me would be interacting with me on one of these premises. Now people interact with me on the premise of Tourist-Backpacker. First you start to wonder if this is what you ‘really are’. Obviously you are the kind of (idiot) person that leaves home and job to traverse the other side of the globe on a very slim budget and some good ideas. But is this your most defining factor? Well…no.
No-one around to fool, no routines to mindlessly maintain, no distractions, no hiding; who are you? The company you keep, which has always been a sounding board for any introspection, is giving you a definition of you that YOU do not agree with. Well, then. Cough up; who are you really?