Love to travel and learn about the world.
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My first experiences travelling I have to admit were kind of boring. It was at an all-inclusive beach resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Don’t get me wrong, the place was awe-inspiringly beautiful, but to me 7 days of sitting at the beach with a bunch of Europeans that didn’t speak English, and drinking free coco-locos got a bit repetitive and lonely for me. Beach, eat, drink, sleep, repeat! Even the novelty of it being a topless beach got old real fast, especially when Euro-Granny walked by……a vision forever implanted in my memory.
I’m often pointed at for carrying such a small towel for after showering. This is because I travel very light. By light, I mean my backpack is carry-on acceptable on most flights and this is the same backpack I used to travel one year around the world. In the backpacker community, we have a common ground of packing light and having little negative impact on our planet. Everything on our back and perhaps even in the front is all we own for many of us, and we love it that way. It goes without saying then, what we carry and how we carry it is the single most important thing for backpackers.
If you’ve been abroad and especially in a hostel, you’ve likely heard that some Americans are boycotting themselves as Canadian. United States is in every media outlet around the world. All eyes are on the Americans. With the current war and past presidency alone, it brings up quite a political debate that most of us would like to avoid. There’s already a common thought in United States that Americans are usually hated by the rest of the world. Americans are scared of being treated, talked to, and thought of differently than everyone else. So, should Americans just pretend to be Canadian to avoid issues abroad?
It would be a lie to tell you that backpackers are always having the time of their lives. Their are certainly bad days and even days when you miss the luxuries of home. There are hundreds of blogs much like Art of Backpacking telling people around the world how great backpacking is but not much on the negative side of it. One reason could be the positive obviously out weighs the negatives. Even living the dream can be a nightmare.
I road on the world’s most dangerous road in La Paz, Bolivia called Death Road (El Camino del Muerte). The North Yungas Road is the real name of the road.
Yes, there’s actually an unwritten backpacker code all backpackers must follow. Whether you follow them or not, determines if you’re a true backpacker. The community is wide spread throughout the world. We share the common interest of travel itself. The code is simple and known by most backpackers without having to think about it.
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.
“What advice can you give me about cutting down the contents of my backpack?” That’s the question that my wife, Nicky and I, are often asked by those about to go travelling. Nicky and I first met in Latin America on a round-the-world trip so we are old hands on the backpacking scene. We know the crippling shame and crippled spine that you can endure as you realize you’ve over-packed your backpack compared with other travelers.
My friend Steve is currently teaching English in South Korea. I’ve been interested lately in doing the same and thought I’d email him for some tips. The email response back was way better then I had expected. I’ll let his email take over:
As long as you know how to drive a car, renting a motorbike is perhaps one of the best and most convenient ways to explore an area. Motorbikes allow easy on and off access and getting in between areas cars normally wouldn’t be able to get to.