Bartholomew Whitlock’s dream has always been to save up enough money to travel the world on his own and live out of a backpack. A self-proclaimed ‘traveler’, he says he’s definitely not a tourist. Vegan for 5 years now, he’s the kind of guy you’ll find in the hostel common room playing Wonderwall on his beat up acoustic guitar.
“Duuude it’s so easy, I saved up $6000 and been traveling for years now. It’s been incredibly freeing and so cheap! Where are you guys staying? Do you have a couch I could crash on?” he asked us nonchalantly.
“Actually we’re staying in a hotel, probably a word you’re not familiar with and we have a couch but it’s reserved for my dog.”
He says he’s been to 40 countries in the last 2 years and stays away from countries and cities that are “too developed or too touristy.” Resting comfortably in his elephant pants and worn out poncho, he explains to us in a condescending tone that we’re not “real travelers” because we’re staying a hotel.
“One can still be a traveler and roam the world in luxury,” we explained to him. “You choose to not shower and live in poverty like a hobo, we choose to shower daily and sleep in a comfortable bed and eat a healthy breakfast every morning. By the way, when is the last time you showered?” He remained silent after this question, but from the stench and stains on his skin we would estimate around 3 weeks.
We asked him if he wanted to join us for a drink but, as you’d imagine – he doesn’t drink. Getting up to leave the interview that we felt was going nowhere he stopped us.
“Wait! I’ll go for dinner though. Wanna help me out with some food? You guys have an extra cigarette?”