Anyone else randomly get really strong urges to just pack your bags and take a plane to anywhere? I follow a fair amount of travel bloggers who create awe inspiring content, and all I want to do is join them. Shame my bank balance doesn’t agree with that. My goal is to one day go backpacking and experience raw and unfiltered cultures, and travels. Don’t know much about backpacking? Let me help you fall in love
Backpacking, in the simplest way possible, is travelling with a backpack. Pretty straightforward huh?
There are so many pros and cons to backpacking, and it certainly is not for everyone. Partially the reason why I have yet never been. Someone come with me? Please? Please?
Why it could be the best experience ever
Backpacking isn’t expensive. Yes you do need money, and yes you need a decent amount to get started. But if you compare that to how many cities and/or countries you’d be visiting, you’d be saving a ridiculous amount compared to if you were to complete individual trips to each location.
You learn the ins and outs of the country. From culture, to travel to maybe even the language. Now, that’s not to say that you” be fluent in Portuguese on your 2nd night in Brazil, but you will end up learning a few bits and bobs. You’ll taste local food in the suburbs of the cities and dine with locals in small town restaurants. Forget about the fried chicken and chips from that takeaway in city centre, you’ll be wanting to try a variety of dishes and chefs’ specials. You may also be bus/train/tram hopping to get from one city to another, to see different sites and take them photos for the gram. I mean, if you don’t have a picture it didn’t happen, right? (Cheeky little self promo but maybe give me a follow over on Instagram?) Public transport is also a whole lot cheaper than getting taxi’s everywhere. To save even more, maybe try biking from one part of the city to another?
You’ll meet people and make friends! There are many travellers who backpack. Hostels are a hotspot and as far as i’m aware, everyone is super friendly there. Personally I cannot vouch for how the experience is, but I read a post that I found super informative here.
You’ll be more than a tourist. You will actually experience the places you visit instead of just dropping by and listening to a few facts from your tour guide.
Why backpacking may not be for you
It takes a lot of determination. People may look at you funny because you’ll be lugging a big ass backpack and you makeup may not be on point. Your feet will be sore from all that walking around. You might smell if you decided to skip a shower. Backpacking is all about travelling on a budget, so there are no fancy hotel rooms and spa treatments. The majority of backpackers sleep in hostels (some might be really good quality, others, not so much). Generally the view on hostels is a grim building with dirty bathrooms, sharing rooms with 20 strangers and waking up to find someone stole your purse. However, this is not the case (although sometimes it can be, so book carefully), some hostels are kept super duper nice and clean, come with security safes for your possessions and have decent bathrooms where you can take a hot shower. Sharing a room with strangers is inevitable, you will have to share with at least one person. The more people you share with, the cheaper the room will be. You will have all the basics you need, so why not go for it?
Some travellers even spend nights in airports or on a new friends couch to save a couple pennies.
You don’t know necessarily have a plan of what you’ll be doing today, tomorrow or next week. You could be sat in a coffee shop, drinking in a beach view, or hiding under a bus shelter to keep dry from the rain. Weather, transport, queues and places to stay are all very hit and miss. It’s a risk I know I’m willing to take, but are you?
You won’t have the most on trend outfits, or pristine condition shoes. There is only so much you can put in a backpack to travel with. You’ll have a couple of outfits that you can mix and match, shampoo, toothbrush and paste and maybe even an extra pair of shoes. If you’re lucky, maybe even some mascara.
With all that being said, my verdict is still very much for backpacking. Although I know I would adore staying in a private villa, swimming with turtles and speeding away on a watercraft, my desire for backpacking is too strong. I just want to experience different countries and cultures whilst i’m still young and able to. I want to walk my way around local hot spots, drink in scenery without being rushed and taste local culinary. To me, backpacking would be a raw experience of different cities in the most authentic way possible.
What are you views on backpacking? Is it for you?
Lot’s of love,