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. Here’s why:
Flights cost way too much
A one way ticket on the other side of the globe can cost just as much as spending a whole month in the country you´re going to. Of course once you’re there then being on a budget is a breeze but its getting there that cuts our budget. I always travel by land as much as possible but in most cases you´ll need a flight sooner or later. Though it can be a hassle, I’m always on the look out for great airfare deals.
Who can I really trust?
The more you travel, the greater you´ll learn this ability. The ability to sense who to trust. This can be in regard to anyone from the tourist guide, hostel friends, or the cops. Even when you´ve become good friends with everyone in you´re hostel dorm, why do we continue to lock and hide our things? Backpackers always have their guard up but its an automatic guard without thinking much of it. It does suck regardless.
Not understanding a single thing that´s going on
Not understanding the language can bring some interesting adventures. I do enjoy surprises though some are less then desirable. With patience, everything can be resolved though. Always be on your guard and analyze the situation you may be in. Common sense seems to kick in while traveling a lot more then it does back at home.
Sooner or later you will run out of money
Unless you’re backpacking on a lotto ticket, it happens to all of us that sooner or later we will need to work and/or go back home. The thought of ending my trip had a mixed feeling. Though I know I´ll forever be in journey traveling no matter what I do, I cant help but think of getting back in the routine I’ve once left. Luckily traveling has taught me plenty and I’ll never forget the experiences I´ve had. Heck, I’m already planning my next trip.
You will never know who you will see again
Like most long-term backpackers, I´ve seen many travelers in one continent then spot that same person months later on the other side of the world. What I hate though is I´ve become nearly best friends with some of the people along the road and I may never see them again because of the distance. Thanks to Facebook, this has become a lot easier though but once the trip has ended on both sides, it´ll become harder to see them again. This becomes especially difficult when a more serious relationship occurs on the road.
Travel days suck
Moving from one city to the next seems like a waste of time. Being on a bus 20 hours with various other animals tagging along is not my idea of a good time. Having to hold my backpack and strap it around me on a extended bus ride doesn´t make the ride all that comfortable to sleep in either. There has been good experiences on travel days of meeting wonderful locals or travelers that are going the same direction but most of the time everyone wants to sleep off the ride and pretend the ride never happened. What´s taking teleportation so long to make?
By no means should these things stop anyone from traveling abroad. These are simple humps on the road that even on our worst days, it still puts a smile on our face to be where we are. When in doubt, just remember those days you were stuck in a cubicle then realize you’re living the dream.