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Southeast Asia has been crowned among travellers – also known as backpackers – as the most popular place to travel. When one stops to think about what kind of adventure it should be, the first thoughts that come to mind are dirty hostels, dodgy places, strange people, and so on.
However, if that were the reality, why is it becoming such an engaging activity for young people?
What does backpacking mean?
Given the simplicity of travel, planning a trip with a backpack on your back and passport in hand is a much more complex job than one might think.
First of all, when planning a backpacking adventure, keep in mind that the whole point of backpacking is that it’s a nomadic, low-budget trip. So it’s crucial to do your homework, decide which areas you want to explore and look for accommodation in those places. By alternating accommodation, you can save money on transport.
One of the great advantages of backpacking: you are where you want to be when you want to be because preparing well for the trip does not mean being locked into a hotel reservation.
This type of travel is much more flexible, and plans are constantly changing; maybe you discover that the place you are is wonderful and worth staying longer than planned, or maybe you meet a group of people who offer you a better plan than yours. Spontaneity is the captain of this adventure.
As for the hostel, it is essential to read online reviews from other guests to find out about the hospitality, food, cleanliness, atmosphere, etc., and avoid unpleasant surprises.
Freedom of movement
In this kind of adventure, you have to go with the flow; take the days as they come and make the most of every hour; it is an extremely different lifestyle from the one we are used to, where chaos reigns and every hour of the day is planned.
Being used to quiet holidays, I was uncomfortable about having to share a hostel with strangers. Once you get through that discomfort barrier, you learn that these types of travellers are very cultured people with a lot of worlds.
Most of these globetrotters travel solo and meet people along the way. Which takes admirable courage and a remarkable passion for learning about new cultures, languages, cuisines and countries, making them incredibly interesting people.
As for the local people, you are much more in contact with them than on any other kind of trip. It is a much simpler and smaller environment, which allows you to learn a lot about other people regardless of the language barrier; most of them don’t speak English. However, this doesn’t stop them from getting to know you or help you when you need it; to me, the beauty of backpacking is seeing how people from completely different countries, cultures and even languages are willing to help and learn about you.
Backpacking opens your mind and allows you to explore options you would never have considered. Food is a very important part of the culture. You can learn where the ingredients come from, what the local people’s preferences are and why. The local people in Thailand are incredibly helpful, always willing to explain the history behind the dish you are eating; it’s amazing how much you can learn in just one meal.
By living with the locals, you are much more in touch with their culture and traditions; another great beauty of travelling with more simplicity. Backpacking allows you to be much more in touch with the country you are travelling to.
It is an adventure trip, relax and learn about yourself; however, what you also learn in the process (culture, stories of wonderful people, discovering paradises, etc.) is so incredibly rewarding personally that it is priceless.
Low-budget tourism does not have to be “beer-brewing” or the stigma of backpacking. Such adventures are free and allow you to experience a more relaxed and different lifestyle. However, they are also planned, responsible and enriching.

Post Author: backpackers planet

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