Backpacking can teach you more than almost anything else by pushing yourself to do things you wouldn’t do sitting on the couch. Most of us are afraid of risks or not strong enough to face the consequences when it comes to a life changing decision. Our experiences are very tied to our surroundings and whether your purpose is to find yourself or not, you’ll still learn something new about yourself every time you jump on a plane and head somewhere new. With these tips, you’ll be able to get the best out of your journey.
Push yourself out of your comfort zone
Backpacking is a great way to get out of your daily routines and explore something completely different. Putting yourself in a new environment is already a big deal, and shows that you are ready to take it to the next step. Embrace the uncertainty and learn to say yes more often. Make a list of experiences that you want to gain and of fears that you want to face. That can simply start with taking a different route or saying hi to a stranger. You will be amazed by how much you are capable of that you didn’t know about yourself.
Do your research
Backpacking is more about being spontaneous and stepping out of your comfort zone that restricting yourself to a guidebook, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t research or have a plan. Researching how long your trip should ideally be, how much money you will need and what the area you want to discover has to offer will never hurt. In fact, it will give you more inspiration on how to structure your trip.
Less is More
The key to a successful backpacking is to pack light. You need way less than you think. The golden rule is: ‘If you think you don’t need it, you don’t. If you’re certain you will need it at some point, you won’t’.
If you’re taking you 5 jeans, 10 pairs of socks, 7 shirts you’re doing it wrong. Pack smart and also know where you packed things so you won’t have to unpack everything every hour looking for something. Put the things you will often need at the top and the things you’re less likely to use at the bottom. Hygiene is very important and it very simple to stay hygienic with much less than you think.
Go to places your travel guide don’t mention
Touristic attractions are definitely something you want to visit, and you should, but if you’re going to literally follow what your travel guides on everything it tells you, you’re probably only going to end up in tourist traps. Take a slightly different root than described.
Be a part of the local culture. A good strategy is to ask taxi drivers and doormen for the best places that you definitely need to check, with a bit of insisting, you’ll usually get amazing tips and directions.
Meetups are a great way to meet locals in a more natural way and do activities together. If you’re not familiar with Meetup, head over to their website or download the app, make an account and start searching for activities you’re interested in. It’s fun, free and great way to meet more people.
Don’t waste long train journeys doing nothing
It is easy to have so much time wasted while getting from a place to place. Start chatting to locals and ask about your next destination. Locals always have great tips that you can’t read anywhere online, maybe tell them about where you come from afterward. If no one is there to talk to, grab your camera and start deleting the bad pictures that you don’t want and free your camera’s memory, or maybe have a notebook and write about your most memorable things that you have experienced so far. There are a lot of things that you can do…
As tempting as it may seem to take a cab to your destination, it is much rewarding to walk the entire distance and explore different parts. If something is too far to walk, then take a bus or metro and be part of the local culture.
Don’t do everything at once
Make a simple plan for the next couple of weeks and be very relaxed about it. Allow yourself to settle down somewhere and enjoy the places you visit. Changing hostel every night, a different town or region every few days is very exhausting. After all, traveling is not about how much you saw but what you experienced there. Be present in the moment and enjoy yourself.
Might be interesting for you: