Travel is one of life's great pleasures, and many people, especially while they're young, hope to get the opportunity to zoom around the world. The problem is that traveling can be expensive. A lot of young people will try to keep costs down by backpacking, staying in youth hostels and buying food at the local supermarket rather than restaurants. A new way of funding travels is becoming popular, but not everyone is on board with it. Some find it downright offensive.
It's called 'beg-packing', and it's catching on. Instead of saving up before the trip and budgeting carefully, travelers just pick up a ticket, grab a bag and head off for adventure. To help them fund their travel activities, they take to begging for money on the streets.
Beg-packing began to get notice in 2016 when a Singapore woman, Maisarah Abu Samah, posted photos of begging tourists.
"It was the first time I’ve seen something like that and it stopped me in my tracks. First of all, you don’t see many people selling knick-knacks or playing music in the street in Singapore because there are strict rules governing these activities," Maisarah explained to France24. "And, if you do happen to see street vendors or street performers, they are usually in the town centre and not near a bus stop in a relatively middle-class neighbourhood like this. I’ve also never seen white people doing that."
Beg-packers have now been spotted around the world, holding up signs asking for money to fund the trip they're in the midst of taking. Some sell trinkets or play instruments.
Many feel the whole trend is in poor taste. A lot of these travelers begging for money are standing on street corners with their iPhones, tablet, expensive cameras, designer backpacks and clothing. It's especially in poor taste when they're standing just a few feet away from local beggars who are actually homeless and starving.
"People from first world country asking donations from third world country to help them travel the world," wrote one person next to a photo. The photo was of a woman and her chubby partner begging on the streets.
Travel, as awesome as it can be, is a luxury. If you can't afford it, maybe you shouldn't be going.