Change of time

~ change of time ~ sunset in Ruteng, Flores East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia ©Thesunsetgirl.Com
“It’s not the same anymore, Lusy!” said Natalie, my Swiss friend while enjoying her cup of coffee.

“It is unlike the last time I went backpacking in 1980’s!” she added.

“Well, last year was the first time I did it but I do remember the time when I traveled light. I mean, look at all the chargers we have to drag with us now!” I replied in between sipping my hot caramel chocolate.

“Exactly! See what I mean?” asked Natalie.

I couldn’t agree more.

A backpacker packs all of his or her gear into a backpack. This gear must include food, water, and shelter, or the means to obtain them, but very little else, and often in a more compact and simpler form than one would use for stationary camping. A backpacking trip must include at least one overnight stay in the wilderness (otherwise it is a day hike). Many backpacking trips last just a weekend (one or two nights), but long-distance expeditions may last weeks or months, sometimes aided by planned food and supply drops – the definition of a backpacker on wikipedia.

Based on this definition alone, I am not qualified to call myself a backpacker. Nevertheless, the experience was definitely unlike the travel experiences I had had before I went on my “backpacking trips” last year. Never had I gone to places so far away from the big cities before those trips! I went up and down the mountains, visited little villages and saw the simple smiles of people while they were doing their everyday activities. Of course, there were times when the trips brought me to small cities where I got in touch with  ‘civilization’, the times for my soul to take a break from the tension of the so called adventure!

~ in the middle of nowhere ~ in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia ©Thesunsetgirl.Com

What amazed me after that conversation with Natalie were the differences between backpacking nowadays and the one she did back in the 1980’s. During her backpacking trips around South America, for instance, most of the time, it was so difficult to communicate with her family in Switzerland. There were no phone lines let alone mobile and internet connection! Her mom would send her letters to the post office of any big city she might have gone through – to Santiago de Chile, Lima in Peru, Asuncion in Paraguay, in the hope that Natalie would be there to claim them and she did! Needless to say, there was no Facebook either!

Now? The change of time, no doubt!

It is one thing to be in the middle of nowhere and cut yourself from the outside world and it is another to be out of touch in the middle of nowhere because nobody can reach you even if you want to! I suppose I was lucky to experience both even though the latter happened only for some short moments because most of the times, it wasn’t impossible for me to get signals for my cell-phone. Having said that, in my honest opinion, that is what backpacking is all about. It gives you the freedom from the daily life and let you lose yourself in the beauty of the nature! On a journey like that, the one thing that can stop me from experiencing all the challenges and adventures out there is myself.

Is it just me?

Story inspired by my Swiss friend, Natalie Daoust


  1. says

    Thanks, Jens! You're so right about the fact that it's more and more difficult for most people to live without their gadgets. I think that's one of the lessons one can have by backpacking. I'm glad I could go on those trips last summer. :-)

  2. Jens says

    No it is not jut you, Lusy, but one would hope that more people got a chance to experience the tranquillity of the forest. Not needing to worry about if there is an sms. Today I forgot my cellphone at home, I hope it will be fine. Now there is an earth hour when people are said to turn off all electric gadgets for an hour, longer than that, it appears people can not live without their Ipod, twitter, facebook, tv…

    Latest news is that we are more closely related to the Neanderthals than we thought (Those of us that are not African) – Back to the nature!

  3. says

    Thanks for being here, sis! I can't believe you did all that – catching up with my previous blogs! You're an angel! I agree with you and I have done that. Going on a 6 weeks backpacking trip without my mac. It was painful – LOL – but I made it! I went on-line every now and then to check & reply e-mails from the internet shops in small towns but it wasn't the same with using my own so I didn't linger.
    Again, thanks ever so much for everything! Big big hugs!!!

  4. Renee says

    A break from the gadgets can be completely wonderful-yet I know quite a few who would just go crazy without them. I think it's important to take time away from all the technology & just enjoy nature & life without all the demands of communication-list to the quiet & relax.

  5. Lu2Ar says

    I wonder whether we can totally be to nature, say, for a week. It must be hard! I still want to see “remote” places, but I don't know whether I can leave without cellphone. It's the tool to communicate with family. So, I guess, being a real backpacker can also mean being far away from family for sometime. It's only about you, nature, and the people around you at that time.
    But life changes! change of time!

  6. says

    Hi, sis… In my honest opinion, after reading the Lonely Planet books, when it comes to being reachable for a visit, there are not many 'remote' places left in our country. Unless the people in that area, based on their traditional belief, decided not to have modern stuff in their daily lives nor do they allow foreigners to enter their village, of course. Like the inner Baduy tribe in West Java, for instance. That's why I think my friend, Natalie, is very lucky to experience such a way of backpacking in the 1980's.

  7. says

    Hi!! Thanks for being here, Ita! I so agree with this:

    You can totally go out from the routine activity, you can enjoy the trip and circumstance.

    Yes, the condition in 1980's was definitely not the same with now. Can you imagine all the fun and challenges going around South America in the 80's? Nice, isn't it?

  8. novita sumaiku says

    Traveling without gadget I don't have any doubt about it. You can totally go out from the routine activity, you can enjoy the trip and circumstance..The condition is now very different than in 1980's if you need internet connection you can go to warnet (“internet shop”) right lus… good luck

  9. novita sumaiku says

    Yes, it was nice that your friend Natalie could do it back then. Must be exciting and wonder how much the countries changed now. Me? I like backpacking as long as in the end it is fun and many things I learn. I have to plan because of my work, by the way. Thanks for sharing, Lus

  10. Acy says

    Hi again Lusy, backpacking with the big big bag? Can it contain all my stuffs? You know the woman stuffs, don't you?:) I wanna try sometime. It seems it will be great doing adventure only with the nature & meeting with the simple men..

  11. says

    :-) @ the women stuff to put in a big backpack! I forgot to bring my hair trimmer the last time I went backpacking and as the result? I had bad hair weeks during the trips. So I understand what you meant, Acy! Yes, it's nice to be on the road and enjoy some times free from the daily routines. Maybe we can try it one day? Big hugs!!!

  12. Vallya says

    I prefer travel together in group not have to be expensive than a real backpacking..Not want to be in the bus with the chicken etc…Hihihihihi….

  13. says

    You made me smile, cousin! During the backpacking trip on Flores, from one city to another, I was on buses with pigs, goats and chicken. I almost thought that those are buses for small farm and the humans were just extra addition. LOL Thanks for being here! Big hugs!!!

    • Vallya says

      “Flores” is Portuguese because it was under Portugal before we independent…
      The meaning is “Flower”..Hehehehe…

  14. Bucheq says

    Hai Lus, so sorry. It took so long for me to get here and sent a comment for you. Still not to confidence sharing something with you at ur blog using English :)

    Anyway…hope to see you someday in Larantuka East Flores.

    • says

      If it hadn’t been because of Olive’s comment, I wouldn’t remember that I hadn’t replied to your comment here Bud! So sorry…

      Anyway, your English is fine and if you don’t start using it then you will never be familiar with it. So no need to hesitate and just ‘shoot’! LOL

      I mean, I’ll help you out whenever I can. As for visiting you in Flores, I’ll do it asap. First thing first, right? All the best to you and your family!!

    • says

      Yes, it is! I met many nice people from Flores after this trip. As for my next journeys, I’ll take them one at a time. Thank you for being here!

    • Vallya says

      Tired of booking all the hotels huh? I’m getting excited for you sis….^_____^

    • says

      You know what, I’m just going to let you and everybody else who have been visiting my blogs know by posting this comment. I’m pretty sure some people have been reading all the conversations we have on my blogs by subscribing to the comment feed for who knows why. By that I mean the comment feed of the entire blog / website.

      So from now on, I expect everybody to know what to post on the comment and what to send on a message. Deal?

      Thank you, cousin!

    • Vallya says

      What??? I didn’t know that! Geee…. the ones before are not enough? The W OS, your email and now this? Anyway, it’s ok. I know where to go. So yes. DEAL!!!

  15. Novita - your friend ALWAYS says

    Time change yes. But some people don’t. No matter how many year you give them!!! They will do the same again and again. They won’t change. They won’t get out of comfort zone. Because they NEVER learn.

    You? I see new things every year. Am I right? This year especially. If people think they know you, they are wrong! Even I can not tell what you do next. If you not tell me, I won’t know.

    Last but not least, I not know about other people. I judge a tree by the fruits.

    So move on. Forget the rest!

    • Vallya says

      Sis Lusy help me change this year. You have no idea how it hurt but I made it. She also told me all four of you have BIG change this year, Acy – Meidy – Lia and you, yes??? I’m so happy for all of you! Good good good good friend! Yes, change is here! It’s time I hush now. Hihihihi…

    • says

      Can I laugh at ‘it hurt’? hehe… Hey, it’s good to laugh at ourselves! Yes, everybody ‘changed’ this year and that’s for the better. Thank goodness!!! The downside is we all are too busy right now – dealing with those ‘changes’. Well, there’s time for everything right? Good that you hushed. Thank you for everything, cousin!

    • says

      Sometimes change is necessary and I’m still learning as well. It sure is nice to know I’m in good company. But it is also important to accept each other for who we really are. So I think the key is to find the balance. How? Only time will tell. When it drifted away, there is no amount of power on earth can stop it.

      No, nobody knows me 100% let alone know exactly what I’m going to do next without me telling him / her. Unless that person has a crystal ball somewhere. Thank you for being here! It’s a nice surprise! I wish you all the best with everything and have a grand weekend ahead!!! xoxo

Any thoughts?