Indie Labels

part of the BootsnAll Indie Travel Challenge Project

Are you an indie traveler? What do you think makes someone an indie traveler? 

my first thought: asking that is like asking if someone is a hipster. (and no, i am not a hipster!) but seriously, this is a good question. ever since participating in the #indie30 challenge last year, i’ve been asking myself the same thing.

let me describe my travel style — maybe it’s indie, maybe it’s not?

  • i prefer solo travel (i suppose in the most literal of senses, this would be independent travel, but i don’t think that’s what they’re going for)
  • i can be quite spontaneous (i decided to go to cambodia last year about two weeks before i actually left)
  • i do my own research and make my own travel arrangements (though i am not averse to enlisting the help of a professional, i haven’t had to yet)
  • i am content to walk around on my own for hours on end, seeing random stuff i want to see — things that the majority of people probably aren’t interested in (why yes, i made it a point to head out of town in prague to see paneláky, walked around tallinn looking for abandoned soviet-era statues with a vague idea of where to go, finally stumbling across them, and so on)
  • i don’t change money before i go; rather i rely on ATMs at the destination (random thought)
  • i give up creature comforts if that means i can experience more
  • i travel for me (which loops back to the whole solo travel thing)

i think that last point hits it on the head.

i don’t travel to “see the world”, but rather to satisfy an inner desire in me. if that desire points me halfway around the globe, great. if it’s the unknown right in my own backyard, cool deal. being an indie traveler doesn’t mean you eschew or look down upon ultrapopular or “entry level” destinations like London or Paris (i’ve been to each multiple times and love them every time i go) or doing organized tours (i’ve done segway and bike tours, and had an amazing time on safari last year). as long as you are driven by an internal burning desire to explore the diversity of humanity and the planet we call home, and are willing to go your own way to do so, i think you’re indie. indie travelers have a fire in their guts, one that forces them to leave their world behind and experience and discover the world around them.

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