I am not quite sure if this is gonna be a declaration of love or hate. Maybe both. I’m going to write about the very specific life as a backpacker. In advance I should say that I have only experience with backpacking in Australia. It might be different in other countries, but I doubt it. 😉 There are a few things of emotional nature about being a backpacker. There are also spiritual thoughts. Being on the Road and so on. Well, how do you know you’re a real backpacker? I collected a few unmistakable signs…
You know you’re a backpacker when:
1) You don’t care anymore about the “the dirtiest hostel I ever slept in” comments on hostelbookers or other hostel pages. It’s cheap, so what?
2) You feel lonely. But only for short because then you’ll find a new friend, mostly another backpacker. Because we’re all the same and nobody likes to be alone. ❤
4) You spend no more time thinking about what clothes to wear. The simple reason: Everything you possess you carry around on your own back. Everything you’ll buy will make your backpack even heavier. So shopping is no option and yes, this is the same t-shirt I wore 3 days ago but I did wash it in between, no worries. 😉
5) Food becomes incredibly important. Ok, maybe this is just me because I LOVE to eat. But face it: It’s noodles four times a week and the rest is basically toast with jam or peanut butter. To prepare something else in the hostel kitchen would also be far too stressing… But hey, I heard there is free Pizza in the bar next door tonight?!
6) You have learned to sleep everywhere no matter how uncomfortable. And if it’s too noisy once you always have “oropax” with you.
What I am about to say is this: Backpacking is basically just scaling down your expectations and living standard and replacing comfort with lots of amazing experiences. I won’t gloss over the part of being dirty and sleeping in dirty rooms and cooking in dirty kitchens. But possessing little can also be a beautiful experience. You realize what’s important in your life.
Backpacking may not be for everybody, it’s a choice. It’s the choice to go traveling instead of having simply a holiday. It’s the choice to spend your money on seeing many different places instead of one big nice hotel. It is also the choice to be independent. It makes me feel free. I like my life but sometimes I just have to get out. No appointments, no pressure, no special aim, just me. That’s the backpacker’s life: Traveling in it’s purest form!