Mass tourism is a relatively young phenomenon. For almost the entire human history, if people went to another country, it was only for the purpose of trading with their neighbors, studying them, conquering them or converting them to their religion. There was no way to go just for fun: the transport system was not developed, people did not have enough knowledge and motivation to travel abroad, and there was not much free time.
Scientific progress has given people convenient and cheap transport and greatly increased the standard of living — finally there was an opportunity to organize their leisure time. Now millions of people can travel using the majority of options that the modern world can provide from hiring luxurious cars for example from rental service evolve.ae and exploring the most secret places to hiring bikes, from renting spacious apartments on the seaside to the calm cottages hidden in the mountains.
Backpacking appeared in the 60s when all of the above–mentioned options were even hard to imagine and for half a century it has become a real mainstream. But in the second half of the XX century, three tourist routes ran across the planet, which formed the modern backpacking.
- Hippie Trail
This is a land route from Western Europe through Turkey to India and Nepal. The Hippie Trail cannot be called a route in the strict sense of the word — rather it is just a direction with several mandatory points.
The hippie trail appeared and became popular for several reasons at once. Firstly, it was much cheaper to live in conditional India or Nepal than in developed countries. Secondly, interest in Eastern religions and spiritual practices began to increase in the West, many stars traveled to India, and this country was well–known. And thirdly, India and Nepal were the last countries to be reached by land from Europe: further to the east were the closed borders of China and Burma, present–day Myanmar.
Today, crossing Afghanistan from west to east by land is not the most reasonable solution, but on the way to India it can be bypassed. And the Istanbul—Tehran — Zahedan — Quetta— Lahore—Delhi route is quite possible to travel today.
- Banana Pancake Trail
A path that extends across Southeast Asia’s major tourist destinations, though it appears to be less defined than the Hippie Trail.This is merely a list of places that may be visited in any sequence – the important thing is to immerse yourself in the area.
The name “pancake trail” was given in honor of the local popular street food.
In truth, both trail, Hippie and Banana Pancake, were both part of a network of famous backpacker routes that connected the United Kingdom to Australia. There was even a word for it: “3K.” — Kabul — Kathmandu — Kuta. Tony and Maureen Wheeler were among the first to chronicle this route. This is where the tale of the world’s most popular backpacking guide, Lonely Planet, begins.
Now, under Banana Pancake Trail, they mean the most popular tourist places in Asia like the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia are meant.
- Gringo Trail
A path from the opposite side of the world. It was named after the word “gringo,” which was used by Latin Americans to refer to outsiders, especially Americans, although the term existed long before the surge of American visitors to this region.
All points on this route are located south of the United States in Spanish–speaking countries. Now in the Western media, the term “gringo trail” is sometimes called any popular tourist route at all, where it is almost more difficult to meet a local resident than a pale–faced visitor.
Now it is safe enough in Latin America to travel along the route from Mexico to Argentina through Belize, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Chile and visit the main attractions of the region. Brazil is also present in some versions.
So in all the described cases there is no strictly established route or list of points on the map. It is not necessary to drive all the way from beginning to end to put a check mark, as it happens with pilgrimage routes, you just have to enjoy any point of your trip.