Monthly Archives: October 2009

Recent work

listentoafrica© 2009 Listen to Africa
I’m currently working on some exciting videos and long articles, more on which soon. In the meantime, here’s some smaller, but equally exciting thingies I’ve done:

• I chose Listen to Africa as the Guardian’s Travel Blog of the Month. It is a truly fantastic blog, involving two Brits’ journey across Africa by bicycle, recording audio, taking images, and tweeting as they go. The image above is from their Maghreb in Monochrome gallery. See my other Blog of the Month picks here.

• I wrote a piece about the four obscure new entrants in this year’s Champions Leage for the New York Times Goal blog, which was also printed in the Sunday sports section last week.

• I did a little piece for the Guardian on the Vendys – New York’s annual street food competition.

In defence of flashpacking

hostelImage: Lucas Janin on Flickr / some rights reserved

A BootsnAll post ran a few days ago questioning if “flashpacking” is killing the art of backpacking. It pissed me off. Here’s a few highlights:

• “Flashpackers… often avoid public transport and opting for hotels over hostels”

• “By researching and booking things online it takes out much the challenge of trying to cope with the unknown.”

• “Flashpacking for me, seems like a style of traveling to simply “tick the box” and to be able to say “I’ve been there“, which completely missing the point of independent travel.”

• “Traveling without taking local transport carrying laptops and expensive gadgets means that you can’t be as adventurous.”

Allow me to be annoyed:

What art?
First of all… the “art” of backpacking?! As in there is a right and a wrong way of doing it? This reeks of the worldlier-than-thou snobbery which is one of backpacking’s worst habits. I’ve done this, this and this… aren’t I bloody amazing and spontaneous?!

What a load of rubbish. If my years of backpacking have tought me anything it is that people travel many different ways…and, frankly, as long as they aren’t doing anything abusive, good luck to them.
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