Jon Krakauer in his book ‘Into the Wild’ writes that “the core of mans’ spirit comes from new experiences.”
Stagnation and conformity to the same old beaten path halt the process of self-evolution. We tend to develop a tunnel vision towards every aspect of our life. Therefore, it is important that we curate our experiences.
As a student, my earliest travel experiences were all about keeping things simple and focussing on the experience of exploring a new place. I was a novice at backpacking and the internet was my guiding light, sharing knowledge about travel and experiences, asking me to learn from others. As a diligent apprentice, I kept on learning from life, from mistakes and expanding my horizon.
In this article, I would share some of the traits that I acquired while living my life on a backpack.
Becoming adept at researching
The thrill of embarking on a surprise adventure might be alluring, but when you are backpacking you tend to keep a few things under control. As a backpacker, you must get a hint of the place and its culture that you will interact with for the next few days.
While researching about many places and about its people you will develop a sense of belongingness. You tend to prepare your mind about the possible warning signs. The last thing you want to do while on your backpacking trip is to get yourself arrested for crossing your boundary as a traveler.
Being in love with chaos as well as the calm
Yes, you will learn to love the binaries in life. On one hand, you will like to plan about the places in advance and enjoy the fact that you know what to expect. On the other hand, the wanderer bug in you will force you to keep something for the last moment. While creating rough itinerary will be at the tip of your fingers but you will never come up with an absolute plan. You will let your instant decisions guide you to more discoveries and explorations.
Learning to live a life on budget
Backpackers are good at setting a budget for their travel. Be it accommodation or transportation, they look out for the cheapest and most sensible options available. Since backpackers prioritize upon the experiences, the other luxuries are of lesser importance to them. They have to stay local, eat local and meet locals.
As a backpacker, you will always look for budget hotels at primary locations. To cater to this particular need, many budget hotel chains have emerged.
Being more flexible to change
As a backpacker, you will always be on the go to adapt to changes around you. Be it environmental threats or monetary constraints, your mind will be trained to face every hurdle with a pinch of salt and find a solution to the problem. While you are backpacking you have to keep your mind open to all sorts of possibility. You will develop a skill to find alternatives, rerouting, and rescheduling plans. Also, you will always take the road less traveled. You will steer clear from the popular tourist attraction and go to unknown, unexplored places.
Understanding that you live only once
When you start backpacking a lot of questions and dilemmas cloud your thought process. You are unsure about yourself and the journey that you are about to embark upon. This is normal. But as you go out more and more, you realize that nothing is impossible.
With every journey you discover a new side of yourself, beat a few demons that have always haunted you, push yourself to the extreme to understand how much you can endure. This is critical for discovering yourself.
So, go ahead, pack your backpack and book your tickets. Just go for it. Before you know, you will surprise yourself.