Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Continuing the NZ tradition

For my fourth night in Hamilton I had arranged to stay at an old university friends place in Hamilton. When I arrived later that day his place turned out to be a flat and the bed turned out to be his couch, regardless it was more than suitable for my continued youth tourism experience. In a sense it continued this New Zealand tradition of crashing on a mates couch while on their big overseas experience (OE) it also maintained this youth backpacker experience of travelling on the cheap.

I was glad to be staying in the flat as it provided me with an insight into the perspective and the lives of the locals, allowing a true feel of what its like to live in Hamilton, this worked to further my viewpoint of any claim to "really" know a place is claiming to get behind the scenes (Desforges, 1998).

In terms of the youth tradition of "crashing" with a mate where possible, it opened up this broader tradition associated with youth travel. Youth is a time in which travel and high levels of mobility play a strong role. It is a time in which youth have the freedom to find out about the world and themselves as part of this transition into adulthood. Travel is thus an important process, a rite of passage in youths life in which they not only gain valuable experiences and cultural capital but they also extend their own sense of identity. Travel therefore plays a fundamental role in youth's transition into adulthood helping to construct their own identity.

That night I attended a local gig in the city with my friend and his flatmate's and again the Hamilton nightlife culture did not disappoint. In my case the gig provided me with a chance to absorb some New Zealand culture and experience a majority local event not over run my tourists which provided a more "real" and authentic experience. It is important to note here that concerts, sporting events and other festivals often play a central part in youth tourism practices, dictating travel, accommodation etc.

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