The stereotypical traveler is much maligned in the adventure travel blogger world. The straw hat, the camera wrapped around the shoulder, and the shades. In short, kind of what the author looks like in the picture above taken from Halong Bay, Vietnam.
Somewhere along the line the fanny pack has become another symbol of the annoying, loud, culturally insensitive traveler. Budget Travel advice linked the loud annoying American traveler to the fanny pack. Jeremy in his Budget Travel Adventure columns was the latest to take a dig at the little pack around the waist. In fact, Jeremy’s latest post inspired this one as this is my travel confession.
In this post I am coming out of the closet to proclaim my love for the fanny pack.
Here are five reasons I adore them:
5. I do not care if I blend in or not:
Many travelers feel that they need to blend in with the culture and country. They give their traveler egos mental high fives whenever they are mistaken for one of the locals or if they are credited by the locals for acting different than regular tourists.
When I am traveling in another country or state I do not care if I am immediately recognized as a tourist. In fact, I prefer it. I find more people are willing to talk to me or help me out if they sniff me out as someone from somewhere else.
In fact, I intentionally foster this fact by wearing symbols from my home town like a Chicago Bulls t-shirt and a Chicago White Sox hat. Many times meaningful conversations have started when people have recognized that I am from Chicago.
Since I have already lost the “I am a tourist geek” battle it makes no difference if I throw on another symbol of tourist loserdom.
4. I like having all of my important travel stuff right in front of me:
I have my wallet, keys, camera, video camera right in front of me within easy access of my hands. I can take a picture, buy a beer, shoot some video just as fast as some western gunslinger can pull out a gun. Call me Quick draw McTraveling Ted.
3. Deters theft –
Thievery is probably the biggest threat to travelers. Pick pockets and cutters are the two main styles that thieves use to separate tourists from their dollars, pesos, baths, doung etc. . . Fanny packs are kryptonite to pick pocketers. They can pick my pocket when I travel all they want and they will only get a piece of gum or handful of lint.
Cutters are people who use a razorblade to cut unaware tourist backpacks and then remove the goods. It would be pretty difficult for a cutter to cut into my fanny pack. If they did this would mean someone has a razor sharp object with intent to use near my vital organs and more important vital things down there, so if this happened the last thing I would worry about is losing stuff from my fanny pack.
2. Loss deterrent –
Travelers lose objects more often than have them stolen. I place all of my important items in my fanny pack. I am screwed if I lose my beloved much maligned geeky looking bag around my waist, but this has not happened nor will it ever happen.
I am so used to having the feel of the elastic around my waist while on the move that it feels like I am missing a leg when I am without it for one second. For the most part, I never take it off until I am in my room.
1. I think the fanny pack looks lovely –
I have actually had comments on past blog posts with people sarcastically complimenting me on my fanny pack. I do not care what the fanny pack haters say: fanny pack oh fanny pack, how I love thee.
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