Backpacker Travel Trends and Culture Blog

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Why Comfort Zones Lead to Country Music

August 30th, 2009 by Jordan

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Something occurred to me this weekend.  I was going back to look over my project Tic List 2009 (which hasn’t been going well so far).  And I thought about everything on there and how they are things that I’m not comfortable with.  Or at least they are things that I’m wanting to accomplish that are difficult in one way or another.

So why do we have a desire to break away from the norm and do something different?  I remember a great lecture a professor once gave explaining sacred spaces.  Basically, if you can think of any sacred space, draw a circle around where it exists on the map, now within that circle there are always one or two different sacred spaces, and within that circle there may even be the ultimate sacred space.  For example, Vatican city…no doubt a very sacred space.  Now within Vatican city, there is another even more sacred space, the church.  Now even within that you could argue the sacred space within the church is the alter where the rituals are actually performed (there is a giant dome built right above it).  These sacred spaces operate just like our comfort zones.  You have your home city, which is generally everyone’s comfort zone…within that city is your residence, and within that residence maybe your couch is the ultimate comfort zone.  You have nothing to worry about and nothing to think about other than when the next episode of Grey’s Anatomy is coming on.

Which leads me back to my original theory.  When we break comfort zones, when we get off the couch, out the door, and TRAVEL, we leave our comfort zones.  When we are put in uncomfortable situations, the mind starts to think, we start to expand and want to know why people and cultures operate so differently.  Now take two completely different types of people.  One person that never leaves his/her comfort zone and one who pushes away from the comfort zone.  I guarantee the person who stays is more apt to enjoy country music, and probably the reason there is so much patriotism in country music (they never get away from their comfort zones and when they do travel it’s usually to a USO show).  Travelers in general do not listen to country music.  Yes it sounds like I’m dogging country music, but in reality, I’m just looking for an explanation.  I enjoy my couch as well as the next bloke, but I enjoy crossing off my tic list more.

So if you take anything away from this, country music fan or not, take away my theory that to accomplish things we desire, we’d better be ready to do something uncomfortable.

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Eco + Motivation = Ecovation

May 7th, 2009 by Jordan

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Sometimes I make up words….not for fun, just because I’m a half degree lazy and want to save oyxgen. I’ve been thinking about the whole “eco-green-save the planet-renew-reuse” lifestyle more recently, and how that has affected my life. You should know I dislike corporations who use the green theme to sell products, and I’m far from a tree hugger. But the more I think about it, I have become environmentally conscious…which happened unconsciously. I use to have a problem getting out of a hot shower because I enjoyed it so much…spending way too much time under the jets. But now, I think about saving energy and it motivates me to get out of the shower quicker. Which is what I wanted to do in the first place. Hence…Ecovation. Also, a light bulb went out in my room and where normally I would wait for the other one to burn out, I was ecovated to go out and get the new energy saver style just to see how long it will last.

Bottom line…as much as I have bashed the “wanna-be-green” corporations, I have become somewhat green myself. (author note:  please don’t use or spread the word “ecovation” it is a dumb  word and I really don’t want it to catch on)

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Ten Reasons Why Backpackers Can’t Stay Home Long

April 20th, 2009 by Jordan

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Upon returning from a long trip, things change…it’s funny and depressing at the same time. Here are 10 reasons why backpackers usually want to leave shortly after returning home.

1. People ask you…”What was the trip like?”

2. People ask you…”You left your passport at the hostel counter?”

3. People ask you…”Why are you traveling there?”

4. Overhear McDonald’s soccer mom say…”This restroom is dirty…I will never use a public toilet”

5. Your friends are suddenly not as interesting as the 50 you just made.

6. You realize you didn’t miss TV and can’t understand why you liked it before.

7. You trade experiential food for easy food…and realize ‘easy food’ is usually crappy.

8. After realizing you travelled abroad people want to share their travel story…which is either …a honeymoon to an overpriced Caribbean resort or a cruise to a 1/4 mile stretch of city with a talented tourism board or a 10 hour port call in the Navy.

9. It’s no challenge plugging your ipod directly into the wall.

10. Leave reason #10 in the comments section and win a prize in on August 08, 2009. That’s right…Izuno Travel is holding a giveaway for some very cool travel gear, all you have to do is leave a comment on any post anytime between now and August 08, 2009 for a chance to win. You can also enter by sending us your email at contest@izunotravel.com.

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My Mistake….(and an apology)

March 22nd, 2009 by Jordan

I recently did a post about Barack Obama.  And then after opinionated comments (that were in fact fair and accurate), I removed the post.  Pretty sure I need to stay on point…which is travel…not politics.  Lesson learned.  Maybe a picture of a happy pink logo balloon will cheer everyone back up?!

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Flashpacking vs Backpacking

March 17th, 2009 by Jordan

There has been some recent debate about what exactly ‘flashpacking’ is. Most define it by the added use of technology while travelling. For example, a Backpacker has no digital camera, no laptop, no mp3 player etc, while the Flashpacker takes it all. Others say it is a mix of technology with a less strict budget. Either way this trend is something of a mystery to me, I feel it’s not easily definable yet. With issues like this no one person is justified to draw the line of what constitutes a backpacker vs a flashpacker. In any case, I would probably fall under the flashpacker category, but I would resent it if a ‘filfthy on the road for 2 straight years sleeping in train stations and living off ramen and tuna type’ individual would not consider me a backpacker because I carry a digital camera. I’ve just always considered those people as vagabonds or true travellers and I have the upmost respect for them (and I have yet to be criticized for not being a backpacker). I still consider myself a backpacker…if only for the reason of not wanting to change this sites tag line. “Backpacker Travel Trends and Culture”

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4 Reasons Why Our Generation Sucks

January 21st, 2009 by Jordan

I’m probably not going to be making many new friends with this post, but it’s been on my mind for a while now and I feel I need to unload.

The generation I’m talking about is aged from 21-30 (more or less).  I’m in the back-middle (28) if you need to know.

1.  We romanticize hardcore partying.  Perhaps all generations have fallen into this one, but I believe we’ve maxed it out.  At least I hope.  Here’s what I mean.  Ask yourself what your parents did on a “crazy” night when they were in their early 20′s?  I would venture a guess the MPAA would rate it closer to PG than your “crazy” night.  It probably has to do with the fact that we enjoy story-telling with shock value.  After all, there is no point in telling a boring story right?  We don’t criticize our peers for a night of drunken stupidness and criminal behavior…instead we only tell their stories to our other friends who then repeats one of their own that will be sure to upstage the former.  Why is this bad?  It creates a paradigm of us that our elders constantly use against us, in turn killing any credibility we might have as a generation.

2.  We grew the reality TV scene.  Probably not the inventors, but we were the target market.  Yes…I’m guilty too…but purely from a social experiment state of mind ;)

3.  We tried so hard to be cool, we forgot why we wanted to be cool.  Hence…hipsters.  We didn’t learn from our parents and we are still stuck in a material world.  Damn…and I thought that wearing overly warm unzipped jackets and non-prescription eyeglasses was the solution. But it goes beyond hipsters…we justify and find reasons to be proud of being a redneck, proud of being an asshole, proud of being something that just 15 years ago we would never want to be.

4.  I see no true rebellious activity.  Instead we scrap around our repetitive weekday jobs and bitch about it.  Return home to our shitty apartment or parent’s spare bedroom and do nothing about it.  If there are those out there that have rebelled against this monotonous routine they are stronger than I, and the three I know about are truly happy.  I hope someone stands up and makes their point on a mass scale someday.

There are more reasons, don’t have the ambition (reason #5) to finish anything right now.  I will follow up with this in another post soon.

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Izuno Rant… ‘Staycation’

October 8th, 2008 by Jordan

You’ve heard it. It’s like a bad verse from a Hanson song (or any verse from a Hanson song for that matter). The phrase ‘staycation’ has been used too many times this year and is making its way through the unimaginative news media networks. Supposedly a ‘staycation’ is where you stay at home and vacation. Which to me is simply unvalidated. A ‘staycation’ is not a vacation in any sense of the word. It’s crap and should be shot and gone from our vocab. Here’s my proof…and if pop news networks use it, it’s one more reason why I hate it.

MSNBC bit with this article

Even CNN the best of the worst major networks bit

And of course the worst of the worst bites, and even tried to coin ‘sex staycation’

Okay…let’s set the record…a ‘staycation’ is to the media is what I call a ‘weekend’ or ‘free time.’ Don’t get hyped up, just shoot this terminology and bury it.

I will be posting my solution for all of us who are out of money and can’t travel in the near future, since I’m criticizing this phrase so much.

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