7 Things You Do Backpacking That You Should Do At Home

Eventually most of us need to settle somewhere for work and make a home for ourselves. Your travels become memories shared with our family and friends about the journey you had. Then comes the full time work, bills, and other responsibilities you had to never worry about while traveling. As more days pass by, you might get back to your old habits that you had before you traveled. There are some things though that should never be forgotten and should continued to be used in your home from your travels.

1. Less is more – Don’t buy things you don’t need.

While backpacking you only carry what you can hold on a single backpack. A similar rule should be used at home. Be smart about your buying decisions as you were traveling.

2. Continue to be adventurous

Remember all the weird foods you ate abroad but it actually tasted pretty good? Well do the same at home. Try new foods. Look for new places to go to in your own home town. Find out what backpackers are doing in your area. For example if you enjoyed diving, continue the hobby back at home. Though it might be more expensive, take small trips every now and then.

3. Talk to strangers

While traveling you’re not nervous at all to wave, say hello, and catch a conversation with just about anyone. Same should be done at home. Traveling may now have opened you up socially so this should be easier now for you.

4. Willingness to deal with the unexpected

Goodbye Troubles

Goodbye Troubles by Ben Heine

Things go wrong backpacking and they happen often, it’s part of travel. There are many moments we simply can’t control or do anything  about. No one to file a complain to and yelling will just make the whole situation worse so what do we do? We let it be and continue on our days. Eventually it works out. Our calmness and willingness to deal with the unexpected is part of our nature in travel. Miss the bus? It’s alright, we’ll just get the next one. Take this relaxed nature of yours home with you.

5. Learn a new language as you said you would

You’ve now figured out how to say hello and thank you in a few languages plus some extra ones. I’ve heard countless times many people wanting to take a new language course when they get home but end up not doing it. No matter which career path you’re taking, it will be beneficial career wise and socially.

6. Stay internationally educated

Since there are so many people from different parts of the world in hostels, it’s easy to learn about their culture through them. Continue the education and read through books, forums, blogs, etc about the world. Couchsurfing.org hosts events to all travelers, expats, and locals in different parts of the world, find out if there’s one in your area and get together with travelers passing by your area.

You’ve become more aware of the world around you then just your home town during your travels. Don’t glue yourself on local news at home, find out what’s happening on the other side of the world as well.

How many countries, capitals, and locations can you name off the top of your head?

7. The journey never ends

Now that you’ve traveled, why end the journey? Continue the journey state of mind. Directly quoted from a friend of mine “I always find I’m most inspired when I’m away from home, it helps to put things and feelings into perspective and gives you a greater sense of adventure in life…hold onto to those feelings for as long as possible!”. Live every moment and continue to be yourself as you were traveling.

50 Comments

  1. Anil on December 26, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    I agree on #1, which helps so many of the other goals come into place. You’ll save money and it makes it easier to get up and move if you want later on.

    • Michael on December 27, 2009 at 3:09 pm

      Thanks Anil! Yeap. Makes it much easier to move more freely in life.

  2. Anil on December 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    I agree on #1, which helps so many of the other goals come into place. You’ll save money and it makes it easier to get up and move if you want later on.

    • Michael on December 27, 2009 at 4:09 pm

      Thanks Anil! Yeap. Makes it much easier to move more freely in life.

  3. Judah on December 26, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    good advice!!

    • Michael on December 27, 2009 at 3:10 pm

      Thanks 🙂

  4. Judah on December 26, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    good advice!!

    • Michael on December 27, 2009 at 4:10 pm

      Thanks 🙂

  5. ottsworld on December 26, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Great advice – I love #6. Prior to leaving on my trip I NEVER ever read the paper…now I”m a changed person!
    I think I did all of these things naturally when arriving back home after traveling for 3+ years…but then again, when you are gone that long living out of a backpack – these become your norm. However, it’s always wonderful to recognize them and remind yourself…especially going into a new year full of resolutions!

    • Michael on December 27, 2009 at 3:15 pm

      That’s great that you’re continuing to read up about current events! 3 years is certainly a long enough trip to build new habits automatically 🙂

  6. ottsworld on December 26, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Great advice – I love #6. Prior to leaving on my trip I NEVER ever read the paper…now I”m a changed person!
    I think I did all of these things naturally when arriving back home after traveling for 3+ years…but then again, when you are gone that long living out of a backpack – these become your norm. However, it’s always wonderful to recognize them and remind yourself…especially going into a new year full of resolutions!

    • Michael on December 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm

      That’s great that you’re continuing to read up about current events! 3 years is certainly a long enough trip to build new habits automatically 🙂

  7. chris2x on December 26, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Great list. #5 is the one I struggle with since I started podcasting.

    • Michael on December 27, 2009 at 3:19 pm

      Taking lessons in the country where it’s the main language is likely cheaper then home but I find there are still ways to study another language even just for a little bit everyday at home. Then of course we normally don’t have as much ‘free’ time as we were when traveling.

  8. chris2x on December 26, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Great list. #5 is the one I struggle with since I started podcasting.

    • Michael on December 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm

      Taking lessons in the country where it’s the main language is likely cheaper then home but I find there are still ways to study another language even just for a little bit everyday at home. Then of course we normally don’t have as much ‘free’ time as we were when traveling.

  9. goteresago on December 26, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    Great tips and pointers! I absolutely agree with #6. I think any traveler who gets themselves out there is forced by their own interest to be inspired by the international world!

  10. Transcendental Gypsy on December 26, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    Great tips and pointers! I absolutely agree with #6. I think any traveler who gets themselves out there is forced by their own interest to be inspired by the international world!

  11. flip on December 29, 2009 at 10:19 am

    i’m still struggling with #1, now that im back home, there’s a sudden urge to buy something especially when there’s a big sale. i try to psyche myself by thinking the equivalent adventure that i could have with that amount of money.

    • Michael on December 30, 2009 at 3:50 pm

      Ah I do that sometimes with that thought. I’ll be buying something and say to myself “This could give me — in so and so country”.

  12. flip on December 29, 2009 at 11:19 am

    i’m still struggling with #1, now that im back home, there’s a sudden urge to buy something especially when there’s a big sale. i try to psyche myself by thinking the equivalent adventure that i could have with that amount of money.

    • Michael on December 30, 2009 at 4:50 pm

      Ah I do that sometimes with that thought. I’ll be buying something and say to myself “This could give me — in so and so country”.

  13. Chris on December 29, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Once back from my RTW, I have to keep myself motivated; your list is just really inspiring.
    To be honest, I don’t want to think about that moment, probably because I love so much traveling and I do not want to see the end of our trip.

    • Michael on December 30, 2009 at 3:55 pm

      Once you start traveling, it never really ends!

  14. Chris on December 29, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Once back from my RTW, I have to keep myself motivated; your list is just really inspiring.
    To be honest, I don’t want to think about that moment, probably because I love so much traveling and I do not want to see the end of our trip.

    • Michael on December 30, 2009 at 4:55 pm

      Once you start traveling, it never really ends!

  15. Ellen Barone on December 29, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Fabulous suggestions for living the adventure at home. Beautifully illustrated.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Michael on December 30, 2009 at 3:56 pm

      Why thank you 🙂

  16. Ellen Barone on December 29, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Fabulous suggestions for living the adventure at home. Beautifully illustrated.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Michael on December 30, 2009 at 4:56 pm

      Why thank you 🙂

  17. James L. Moore on December 30, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Terrific advice and list, Michael.

    I would also add — Remain spontaneous. And — Keep it simple. One or two overarching objectives are all that you need.

    • Michael on December 30, 2009 at 3:58 pm

      That is very true!

  18. James L. Moore on December 30, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Terrific advice and list, Michael.

    I would also add — Remain spontaneous. And — Keep it simple. One or two overarching objectives are all that you need.

    • Michael on December 30, 2009 at 4:58 pm

      That is very true!

  19. Dave and Deb on December 31, 2009 at 3:24 am

    Excellent advice. I like the dealing with the unexpected point. It is funny how relaxed we can be about things when traveling, but if something goes wrong at home we get all bent out of shape. Keep the mood of going with the flow at home as well and I am sure that life will be more relaxing.

  20. Dave and Deb on December 31, 2009 at 4:24 am

    Excellent advice. I like the dealing with the unexpected point. It is funny how relaxed we can be about things when traveling, but if something goes wrong at home we get all bent out of shape. Keep the mood of going with the flow at home as well and I am sure that life will be more relaxing.

  21. luisaTieso on January 29, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I think #4 is a huge advise, we get to re-evaluate ourselves and think about the things that used to get us annoyed and stressed for nothing and the people we hurt in the past for no purpose. It’s hard to learn this if you’re in a 9-5 routine in a cubicle. Traveling is the best way to explore and experience other culture. Gives us an opportunity to reinvent and better ourselves as human beings

  22. luisaTieso on January 29, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I think #4 is a huge advise, we get to re-evaluate ourselves and think about the things that used to get us annoyed and stressed for nothing and the people we hurt in the past for no purpose. It’s hard to learn this if you’re in a 9-5 routine in a cubicle. Traveling is the best way to explore and experience other culture. Gives us an opportunity to reinvent and better ourselves as human beings

  23. Lucas Schifres on March 2, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Hi Michael,
    I am the photographer who took that photo of a Chinese mall. Please link back to us at http://www.pictobank.com and not to Flickr, and we’ll let you use the photo for free.
    Best regards,
    Lucas

    PS: can you shoot me an email when it’s done?

    • Michael on March 2, 2010 at 12:43 am

      Hi Lucas, check your email. Please review your Flickr settings if you do not wish to share your photographs.

  24. Lucas Schifres on March 2, 2010 at 1:20 am

    Hi Michael,
    I am the photographer who took that photo of a Chinese mall. Please link back to us at http://www.pictobank.com and not to Flickr, and we’ll let you use the photo for free.
    Best regards,
    Lucas

    PS: can you shoot me an email when it’s done?

    • Michael on March 2, 2010 at 1:43 am

      Hi Lucas, check your email. Please review your Flickr settings if you do not wish to share your photographs.

  25. Alex on September 19, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    This is completely true! Especially #1 and #4. It’s so easy to fall back into a slump when you’re back in the “real world”. It’s important to maintain the care free attitude you have while travelling.

    Love this! I’m going to save this post for a faraway day when i return to the real world 🙂

  26. Alex on September 19, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    This is completely true! Especially #1 and #4. It’s so easy to fall back into a slump when you’re back in the “real world”. It’s important to maintain the care free attitude you have while travelling.

    Love this! I’m going to save this post for a faraway day when i return to the real world 🙂

  27. Natalie Rice on January 5, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Michael- Thank you for reposting this on Twitter! I just got back from Bonaire last night and the article was perfectly timed. I am very guilty of the new foods on the road but not at home- tried bitterballen in Bonaire, but likely wouldn’t have done it at home.  Also, my husband and I were looking through local Mandarin classes to prepare for a trip in June… thanks for the extra push! Which piece of your advice do you have the most trouble with?

    • Michael on January 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      I’m glad this helped! Mandarin is definitely something you need to keep up with to actually learn. I think the hardest part is talking to strangers for me. I’m more shy at home I think.

  28. Natalie Rice on January 5, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Michael- Thank you for reposting this on Twitter! I just got back from Bonaire last night and the article was perfectly timed. I am very guilty of the new foods on the road but not at home- tried bitterballen in Bonaire, but likely wouldn’t have done it at home.  Also, my husband and I were looking through local Mandarin classes to prepare for a trip in June… thanks for the extra push! Which piece of your advice do you have the most trouble with?

    • Michael on January 14, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      I’m glad this helped! Mandarin is definitely something you need to keep up with to actually learn. I think the hardest part is talking to strangers for me. I’m more shy at home I think.

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