Rather than merely being a parenthetic detour in time and space, a backpacker’s trip to the tropics can be understood as a creative effort by the individual to regain the control over time and space thought to be lost in places travellers call home. Yet, at the same time backpacking reproduces structures of power, through (re)constructing the image of a ‘primitive other’ upon which much of a successful ‘western’ identity rests. However, the success is not only dependent upon inventing and encountering primitive others but also upon the gender of the traveller as well as the competence in mastering manifestations of adventure and risk. These are some of the conclusions Torun Elsrud has reached following her qualitative interviews, fieldwork and media analysis, searching for new ways to understand the backpacker phenomenon. By approaching the topic using theoretical questions concerned with time, gender and identity she finds a complex web of powerrelations built into the social world of long-term independent travelling.