How to Become a Backpacker?
This question has been coming up often lately and I’m not quite sure how to answer it but let me try. If someone would have asked me 10 years ago what I’d want to be when I grew up, my answer would have been “to become a successful business woman”. ”I want to be a backpacker” would have NEVER been anywhere near my answer. This was my answer before I was exposed to traveling. The rest was history once I began to travel.
My first personal exposure to backpacking was at 14 when I was in Europe with my family. We traveled in France, Italy and Switzerland and slept in hostels. But I kind of forgot about the experience until I got to University. It all came back to me after getting accepted to study abroad for a semester. Living in a different country and being in such close proximity to other European countries, I began to go on weekend trips. Every week-end, I’d be in a different city. It was great! From road trips, I moved on to backpacking during spring break and then at the end of my semester, I backpacked through Spain, Portugal and Morocco for about one month a half. So guess what happened when I got back home? Yeah… I wanted to leave again! Got that right. So from there, I left to study abroad for another semester but wanted to go somewhere different so Mexico was my choice of destination. After that was done, guess what? I wanted to experience something else! So I head to Asia for a month… and then Argentina.. and then Brasil… and it just never ends because I keep on wanting more and more. And what I found adventurous 5 years ago is no longer adventurous for me now so I keep on taking it to the next step.
The thing is that you don’t necessarily think about becoming a backpacker. It just happens. It begins with personality and character. You need to have an interest in traveling and the willingness to go out there and explore. Once you reach that point, you live, you learn, you meet people and you’ll always want to take it one step further. You start off with a regular small trip to Europe for example. Then you start getting bored of Europe so you’ll head to South America. Once you get a glimpse of South America, you’ll head to Asia next. From one week, you’ll want to travel 2 or 3 or 4 weeks. Then you’ll look for a job abroad to experience living abroad for a few months or years. It’s like learning how to walk. You start by taking one step, then another, then another and guess what? Then, you’ll realize you’re a backpacker, without knowing how you turned into one! It’s an awesome feeling!
Any other backpackers want to share their experiences?