Backpacking travel is a new travel inspiration for me in the year 2012, we always have the concept that traveling is suppose to be a get away from our stressful jobs or lifestyle back at home.
So we need to enjoy our trip to the fullest by staying in luxury hotels, eating fabulous meals in recommended restaurants, or buy a package in a tour fair promising that you will enjoy this and that, where you will at least spend $3500 SGD for a 12days 11 night trip on transport, accommodation and food alone.
That travel budget can now last me for 3 months in the same country with backpacking travel.
I remember when I just started to work, had some travel inspiration and saved my first travel budget, then with my friends, we bought a tour package for around SGD$3800 in a tour fair with a local tour company to spend Christmas in Korea.
Just because we wanted a White Christmas, we paid extra $700SGD to spend 25th December in a Ski Resort.
Things didn't turn out as what was promised. My poor savings…
So on the night before Christmas, we were told that there are changes to the plan, then we ended up in a nice remote town without snow, and the reason given was, the Ski Resort was fully booked.
The thing is, this trip was booked and paid 3 months before the departure date, why do they have time to plan for ginseng store, gems store, souvenir stores in our trip but you have no time to book the Ski Resort earlier!
From then on I never trust big tour groups anymore wahahaha /: )
Luckily my travel inspiration was brought back to life during my backpacking travel in Japan December 2012, I found an exchange program in Hokkaido to teach English to preschool kids for a month.
Food and accommodation were covered so I just need to pay the air tickets and my own expenses outside the program , which is far below SGD$500 inclusive of the budget airfare i've gotten.
Most unforgettable experience I had on my first solo backpacking travel was that I got to see my first snow (it never snow in South East Asia) and then the whole town turns into ice on Christmas.
Days after, the city was covered in snow till me knee level, it was so unforgettable.
OK one wish fulfilled!!!
With this travel inspiration I felt that I might be able to fulfill more traveling desires with a lower travel budget by doing backpacking travel, so I do not have to spend years working and saving a lot of money before I can go travel the world.
So what exactly is backpacking travel? If you Google it, you will probably get some traits like someone that goes on a budget travel, usually internationally and for a longer period of time as compared to conventional vacation.
They will also prefer taking public transports and staying in a hostel, sightseeing and engaging with the locals, oh and stuff everything into a big backpack where you carry on your back.
Well of course you can modify some of the traits to suit your travel lifestyle, be creative so you will have a uniqueness in your travel where you can share with others next time/:)
As a newbie with a new travel inspiration, I just went on with my own intuition, so on my first backpacking travel trip, I brought with me a haversack, my ukulele and a luggage that weights around 35KG.
I regretted on the 35KG…
After 2 months of backpacking travel, I decided to cut down my stuff by more than half and changed the luggage into a small-wheeled backpack, which I am still using now.
It is much more convenient to bring a wheeled backpack so that I don't overload my poor shoulders, further more it is versatile enough if you meet roads that are too tough to roll your wheels on, or it rains or snows, you can just carry them on your back or front.
This new travel inspiration really got my brain working everyday, because you had to forgo the luxury of having your travel itinerary planned nicely for you, now you need to do it yourself. DIY.
Usually I don't do a deep planning so I can leave some space for recommendations from the locals that are mostly interesting and off the tourist track.
Here are some other benefits when you engage on backpacking travel.
You get to chose which period of time to travel, like I prefer autumn or where you want to travel to, the number of days you want to stay in a city, the food to eat for lunch, the mode of transport etc.
You don't really have to accommodate others except yourself and your body condition, its a total freedom but also total self responsibility.
It is very fulfilling to plan your own backpacking travel trip, if you manage to get cheaper transports or accommodations and save more than a regular trip, you will feel proud of yourself.
If you didn't plan well for this trip, no worries you will do better the next one as you build up the experiences.
I realized that my first 9 month of backpacking travel, I spent a lot of time reading for information, the total time I spent on reading was more than the total time I spent reading in the past 10 or 20 years, I just hate reading.
So now, I watch Youtube for the bulk part of my planning or learning new skills or searching for new travel inspiration.
You will need to handle whatever unplanned events that happens during your backpacking travel trip, for example your money got stolen, missed a train or flight, fall into scams or what to do if you showered without bringing your towel.
You might feel sad or heart broken or even cry for a while, but as time goes by, you will be trained to handle them like the way how you snap your fingers, you’ve grown stronger within.
A broken heart builds a stronger soul.Click To Tweet
This is my weakness as I am pretty shy when talking to strangers and sometimes classified as anti social, but for most people, you will have a lot of chance to speak to locals, asking for directions, train's information or places of interest.
Yes, interaction does bring the soul closer.
There are times you might want to join in a conversation with hostel mates on trips or places that they visited, you will find people are much friendlier than you though they are after breaking the ice.
Only you know what is good for yourself. What are your limits, those things that you like and dislike to do. Even if you don't, you will be slowly discovering them during your backpacking travel trips, it’s so magical.
Sometimes people will just point out your differences or characters that you might not be aware of. Well sometimes in a nice way, and sometimes straight to the nose.
So set out on a journey soon and maybe we will meet someday in some country doing backpacking travel. Who knows /: )
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