With my next adventure taking me to Thailand in less than a month I’m once again getting really stoked for traveling! Oddly enough it’s not the prospect of exploring South East Asia that’s the main reason for this excitement (although of course this is something to do with it!), the main reason behind my eagerness to get out there is to be once again thrown into the life of a backpacker.
Thinking about this has made me realise there’s a lot I miss about the backpacking way of life, so here’s the Top 10 Things I Miss About Backpacking…
1. The People – Without a doubt the biggest thing I miss about backpacking is the people. On the road you meet heaps of people from all walks of life. People from places and backgrounds that you’d you may never have considered chatting too, but all of whom are highly interesting (with the odd exceptions!) For me it’s the highlight of traveling.
2. The Partying – I’m saving a lot at the moment so my social life isn’t quite as exciting as I’d like it to be. Backpacking can be a non stop party and it’s constantly drink o’clock. Cracking a beer whilst still in bed isn’t as acceptable back in ‘real life’!
3. The Adventure – I’ve grown up in the countryside with people who I can imagine never leaving their home town. I thrive on the adventure and freshness of visiting new places and experiencing new things – in fact I think it’s what drives most backpackers to do what they’re doing.
4. The Lack Of Commitment – In the real world you’re slightly tied down, but when you’re backpacking you just look after yourself. There’s no real set commitments other than having fun and occasionally having to work, people don’t expect you to sit in an office trying to make ends meet.
5. The Spontaneity – At what point when you’re at home do you wake up and decide that jumping out of a plane or cage diving with sharks is the order of the day?! Have you ever woken up and gone “actually I’m bored of hear now…where next” and actually acted upon it?! You wouldn’t think twice about any of this whilst backpacking!
6. The Sun! A massive plus is the fact that most of the places I travel to are hot, or at least warmer than the UK! Sunny days lazing around make me a very happy chap!
7. The Minimalist in Me – I seem to have acquired all manner of stuff at home. More clothes than I need and shelves of stuff that should really be used more often. On the road you take only what you can carry. Life gets stripped down to the bare essentials – and you can manage on them just fine!
8. Hostel Life – Some people hate it but I love hostel living. There’s something about sharing a massive room with a whole heap of strangers that makes life rather more interesting! 10 bed dorms all the way! And there’s no way to get to know people better than living amongst all your combined possessions with no personal space!
9. The Jealousy! I have Facebook for 2 reasons; the first is to keep in touch. The second is to make people jealous!
Rather selfish of me I know, but getting lots of messages from people saying “OMG you look like you’re having such a great time” or “The weather is crap back here, I hate all your photo updates” is a great reminder of how lucky I am to travel and that all the saving and planning has been worth it.
10. The Stories – Everyone on the road has so many stories to tell. Stories from growing up, stories from where they’ve travelled, stories about where they’re going and stories of nights they can barely remember. Nothing is better than a good bit of fresh banter to inspire and entertain!