Backpacking around the world is more than just jumping from country to country taking photographs of pretty buildings. It's about finding yourself: taking a big chance and heading out into the unknown, unsure of what awaits you. On top of that, it's a lot of fun. Backpacking is the best thing you will ever do in your life.
The funny thing is, I did not realize this before I headed off, on my own, for the very first time. I just wanted to break free from my normal life for a full year. I wanted to live the dream, though I never realized what “the dream” was until I was relaxing in a hammock on a tropical, secluded beach in the middle of paradise.
Every year, thousands of people just like you are jumping on an aeroplane, heading off to live the ultimate adventure. Backpacking is a right of passage and you will experience things you will never forget: exploring exotic far of lands and rummaging through mystic temples with nothing more than a backpack.
Do You Think You Will Come Home The Same Person?
Everyone tells me that backpacking changes you as a person. I think this is true to an amount, but I believe it's about more than just changing you into someone else. It brings you out of your shell. It will bring out a part of you that's been buried away and has never had the chance to shine before.
Wait until you need to overcome a situation you've never faced before, while thousands of miles from home. It could be something as trivial as having to organize a journey using broken English and sign language; or something much more serious, such as dealing with a Whiskey Bucket hangover. Your survival instincts will kick in and you will find a hidden side to you. Sooner or later you will feel capable of anything.
With the ultimate freedom to do whatever you wish, you'll find yourself in a position you've never experienced before. Doing what you want; when you want. You will: try new and exiting things, change plans at the drop of a hat (just because you can) and come as close to stress free as you have even been before.
Stress has a habit of melting away due to all that fun in the sun. We all love the sun and spending each day basking in the heat makes us forget about our problems. Picture yourself on a tropical island: drinking beer, partying at a secret beach bar and watching the sun set over the ocean. It's hard to find any reason why you might feel stressed.
Who Needs A 9-5 Anyway?
Are you thinking of quitting your job to go traveling? It seems daunting. Should I go or not? Will I find a job when I get home? That doubt will not go away before you head off on your travels. The truth is: It's a scary decision to pack it all in and hit the road, but there will always be something out there for you when you get home. When you're backed into a corner you will find something, especially the new you that will return from your trip. Is it worth sacrificing the best time of your life because you are a little unsure?
At some point, you will begin to see the world through a new pair of eyes. Your outlook on life will change. One day, you'll be sitting on the porch of your bamboo hut, drinking a cold beer and listening to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. Any concerns about returning home will fade away. You'll have an idea of what you want to do when you go home and how you're going to achieve it. Once total freedom has set in you'll start to see the world for what it really is: a place to have fun and be happy.
Many people choose to take their life in a new direction upon returning home, once they've had that epiphany on the porch. You will not want to head back to that job you so willingly wanted to leave behind because you have new plans. Big plans! You know there is more to life than a mundane 9-5. It's all about doing something that makes you happy.
Small Change Goes A Long Way
You do need money to go backpacking so start saving right away if you have not already. Stop wasting dollars on pointless things you do not need. It will hit you like a wet slap in the face: the fact that the $ 20 you wasted on a pizza could last you a whole day in certain countries. YES! That includes: accommodation, meals, and entertainment.
Backpacking is not expensive. It can be cheap if you want it to be. After the first week or two of your trip you will learn to live on a shoestring. Sometimes, it becomes natural. It will not be long until you're standing around in the middle of Bangkok waiting for the 10 cent bus ride back to your guest house.
There's something special about backpacking on the cheap. It feels more like an adventure: staying in $ 10 dollar bamboo huts and drinking $ 1 dollar bears. Traveling the full length of the country, in a VIP bus, for little more than the cost of a cinema ticket back home. If money is a concern, there is no need to spend every last cent during your trip. You can work whilst away; spend money as you earn it. You have lots of options available to you and some you might never have thought of before.
If you'd like to help the less foster you could apply for a volunteer position where your daily meals and accommodation are provided, so you do not even need to touch your savings. If you'd like to work and travel, have a look into: completing a course to teach English abroad, or even applying for a Working Holiday Visa and having the option of working abroad for a whole year.
Setting Off On Your Lonesome
You might be unsure as to whether or not you could travel alone. The thought may even scare you. Thousands of people feel the same way as you, yet they put themselves out there, and succeed. It's amazing how quickly you become confident and take everything in your stride when you have no other option.
There are so many benefits to traveling alone that it rarely makes sense to travel with a partner. It eats into your freedom, or it will do, ever. Everyone has different goals and ideas. There's only one way you will get to do what you want 100% of the time. To be your own boss and travel alone, though, at the end of the day you'll never really be alone.
You'll meet so many friends on your trip. Friends for life! There will always be someone to share a beer with. Meeting and befriending people from completely different cultures and all walks of life is really amazing: chilling out on a tropical beach in the tropics, with strangers you've just just bumped into the beach bar. Everyone is in the same boat as you and they all want to make friends. It makes it a lot easier and you'll never be alone.
There is NO age limit for backpacking so please do not let this put you off. I've been to enough countries to realize there is always plenty of backpackers from every age range, out having their own little adventure. The point is: you are never too young or too old to travel.
The World Is Your Oyster
I'm sure your preferred destination is something you've put a great deal of thought into, maybe. Everyone usually has some idea of where they'd like to go: whether it's somewhere they've been recommended, or only read about on the Internet. There are so many choices available and I guess it depends on what sort of things you're into and what it is exactly that you want to see and do while you're away.
Will you stick to the main backpacker destinations or will you head off on the roads less traveled? There is something out there for you and you just have to find it. Try to decide: how much money you want to spend each month, what type of culture you would like to experience and what activates you'd like to try.
Once you've figured out the answer to each of these questions it will narrow down the possibilities and you'll have an idea of the right place for you. Research each destination that appeals to you and find out more about what it offers. Once you have a rough idea of where you want to go you can start making important decisions like: when you want to go; what you need to pack; any vaccinations you need; how much money to save; and if there is any Visas you need to apply for.
If you want to backpack around the world, the time is now! By putting your trip of any longer the idea will end up being one of those things you “should have done.” You do not need to book your flight tonight. But starting to plan your trip and setting a departure date will give you a goal to work towards. I hope you take the chance to experience what will be a life changing trip. We're out there waiting for you.