I’ve read something about BEG-packers. 

Before I catch up with my write-up for my previous trips, let me share my own insight regarding this ‘beg-packers’ culture happening now. No offense meant but, I find this topic a little disturbing as a Southeast Asian, and as a traveller too.

I stumbled on an article regarding backpackers begging/selling postcards/performing on the streets for money in SEAsia (Singapore to be exact) in order for them to ‘travel the world’. I don’t know what their stories are but, I don’t think it’s appropriate esp here in Singapore where we, foreigners (I am a Filipino), who are working here need to have intensive screening to get our working permits. And also, it is really illegal here to sell/perform on streets if you don’t have any working permit (that’s why they are not on the busy streets).

It intrigues me that travelers who, shall I say, quit their jobs and started travelling are now asking from locals to support their ‘travel around the world’ or for them to buy return tickets to their home country while neglecting the fact that most of the people from SEAsia, who ask or beg for help/money, are really those in dire need and just wanted to have food on their table for the day.

Hmm. For me, to travel is a privelege that comes from being hardworking. I can’t just quit my day job just to travel the world cos not all people have that luxury, money and bravery to quit and consequently, ‘might’ end up being broke (esp if you’re not resourceful, hmm, in legal way). I read stories about backpackers who quit their jobs and end up doing blogs, vlogs, learning yoga, massage and working as english tutors and all. Those type of travellers really inspired me cos they are so brave to quit and ended up being resourceful and successful. Now, they reap what they sow and their travels are being sponsored and in return they will give reviews on their blogs etc. They don’t just ‘beg’ from locals in order for them to travel or if they work, they actually work while abiding laws. I am not against on whatever people are doing in their lives but, let us be more sensitive on this matter (which also means respecting the laws of the country you’re in).

When people ask me who pays for my travel, or am I rich? Or How can I afford travelling everytime, this is my answer: I work, I save, I plan and I look for cheaper options without sacrificing the ‘experience’ that I will have in a place I’ve never been before.

I don’t think I am rich in terms of money, I just set aside for my travelling expenses. I am also grateful that I had the chance to work here in SG. In my case, I have a family to sustain and help with so I can’t just quit and travel. I am also not that courageous to work outside my field and I actually love what I am doing too so.. To have the means of setting aside a budget for my travel means prioritising my needs and wants at the same time. I don’t want to spoil my holiday just because I’m broke and I don’t want to burden other people just because I want to go elsewhere. If you want to travel, work for it, right? I respect all those backpackers who quit but, did everything they could, work their asses off doing edits, doing jobs they never thought of doing in their entire lives while following the laws of the countries they are in for them to travel the world and reach for their dreams.

Anyway,  just my two cents.

6 thoughts on “I’ve read something about BEG-packers. 

  1. Bruno says:

    Hello, I must say I don’t agree with you 🙂 I come from Italy, and I travelled with a friend of mine also in poorer countries than Italy, like Armenia and Georgia, and we hitchhiked and played music in the streets and made few money to eat and travel. We had a great experience and we gave many moments of joy to poor people also, who helped us offering something in exchange after our songs (money, food or accomodation). I really appreciated people that helped us and I definitively would do the same if someone of them comes to travel in Italy busking in the street. When you play music in the streets, you are offering a moment of relax from daily work, something different, and even if you are poor you can benefit from this. I don’t expect poor people to give us money of course! If you don’t have money, just don’t give me nothing! I don’t think that playing music in the street is begging neither is an offensive thing. Playing music in the street IS a job. Just like it is a job to paint, to make sculptures etc… if you are good at it, and make people happy with your music, you can make (few) money, if you’re not good, nobody will give you anything, poor or rich: it doesn’t matter. The world would be a very sad place if everyone would only travel staying in hotels and eating in restaurants paying tourist agencies and traveling in a “legal” way…I think that everyone should rely on other people’s help sometimes…it helps understanding that we are all on the same planet.



    • meyiii_ says:

      hi, i respect your opinion regarding this matter. as I read from the article I tagged and saw the pictures in it, I know that it is from Singapore. as you know, Singapore is a very strict country and have rules regarding this matter. yes, i am not a singaporean but a foreigner here working as well. the legal way I am talking about is that if they want to perform on streets, they better get permits on the local authorities but due to visa limitations, ofcourse they cant do it. I believe in every country, street performers are every where and I am not against them. I do understand that it is actually a good way to share your God-given talents and creativity to to others, but as you may know, not all countries allow these esp if your visa only stated for tourist purposes. some more, I am also strucked on the writings on their placards saying “support our travel around the world” which is a little insensitive in my opinion. I came from the Philippines and as you know, for us to visit other countries, one must have sufficient money on their bank accounts or your visa will be denied. I’m just pointing out that not all have the luxury to travel. and if we can, we have the responsibility to abide whatever laws the country we are in have. having said that, I am never against people busking on streets, performing and sharing their talents, as long as you respect the laws they have. the world is not fair all the time, and I know that based on my experience. the things is, I personally believe that respect begets respect and i hope i explained myself fully. thanks for having the time reading my opinion.


      • Bruno says:

        Thanks for the reply 🙂 I totally agree with you about the “support our travel around the world” signs. That’s for sure insensitive and a stupid request (anyway, just don’t give them any money and the problem is solved. If I see someone in the street with a sign that says “please help me buying a Porsche car” I would just have a laugh and go on my way). When I busk in the street I “ask” money for my performance and not for my travel. If I decide to use that money to make very cheap travel and meet cultures and locals (which is not so easy nor frivolous) it’s a thing to which some respect must be given I think. About the laws on busking…well, I have my own ideas and I think that in many places on Earth the rules are too strict (Italy included), so I usually don’t care too much on respecting this kind of laws (it is very hard to perform if you have to care about all the laws, because unfortunately busking is often considered as an annoying thing by authorities and police, as they like order and control in the streets 🙂 )but it’s important to me to point out that I behave exactly in the same way everywhere, in my own country as in other countries! It is not that I do this in poor countries only because I think I am privileged or whatever….if I break the rules I always know what I am risking, in Italy just like somewhere else. I am concerned about this issue because I am planning a trip in Asia next year and I was actually thinking to perform in the streets where I can, I hope to not bother anybody and give at least to someone some nice music 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • meyiii_ says:

        Yes, the placards made it really insensitive and I am not generalizing every street performer, or the backpackers trying their best to reach their dreams and travel the world with their own capabilities and talents. I love watching street performances because I know in myself I can’t do that, such bravery is needed (and talent as well^^) anyway, have a safe travel in Asia, well if you’re planning to perform on streets, please don’t put up such cards 🙂 on the otherhand, i am planning to visit europe soon. But i hope everything works well (visa and all haha) thanks for the reply and I appreciate your opinion.


      • Bruno says:

        thank you very much! maybe we will meet somewhere in Singapore, who knows? 🙂 And if you will come to Italy, and maybe to Turin, just text me and it will be a pleasure to show you the city!

        Liked by 1 person

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