Top 10 Reasons Why Backpacking is Awesome
After backpacking around the world for the last two years roughly, I feel it is appropriate to share the top 10 reasons I personally think backpacking is totally awesome.
Top 10 Reasons Why Backpacking is Totally Awesome
1- You learn to let go. By this I mean it gets easier and easier to detach from “things” and get over leaving that one (and usually only) sweater that you loved so very much back in Munich Germany, or your hiking shoes in Austria, or your make up bag in London. Yea, after losing a few things along the way, I started to realize more and more what was truly important in this life- and (no surprise here) it was never those few “things” I had left. I have also learned to let go of thoughts that no longer serve me- by thoughts I mean to say pre-conditioned ways of thinking that are limiting and useless- more on this one later 😉
2- You gain a broader perspective. Backpacking allows one to gain a broader perspective about this world, as well as about yourself with each new day. There have been so many times that my perspective has changed through my travels from simple things like how I used to think milk was the best thing ever, to learning what the head scarf (or hijab) in muslim culture really means for the women wearing them, to how you can find more community in places that have less resources. And this is just the super short list of how my perspectives have changed dramatically through my backpacking adventures.
3- You become more tolerant. It is almost inevitable that you will come across something that simply does not mesh with your belief system, your values, or in some cases your morals. I have personally been challenged so many times in these areas during my travels, and have come out being more tolerant and understanding of things that initially rub me the wrong way. This does not mean that I have to always accept or adopt these new experiences as my own, nor do I have to fight them either. It simply means that my tolerance level to things I don’t necessarily agree with or understand has gone up quite a bit. More than anything I become curious about these things before I become combative, which I enjoy much more anyway.
4- Your patience ability reaches new levels. Anyone who has been a long term backpacker knows all about this one. There are some times where things just don’t go as planned and patience is absolutely required in order to avoid stressing yourself out unnecessarily. I have learned to see the opportunities in these “unexpected turn of event” times which can become quite comical if you allow them to be. Developing more patience feels healthy to me in so many ways and I am grateful for all the opportunities I have been given through travel mishaps in order to grow in this area.
5- Trying new things never gets old. This has to be quite possibly my favorite of the top 10. There is nothing like the amazing rush you get when it’s time to move on and explore. I absolutely love trying new things and the accompanying rush of excitement when it’s time to adventure on. I can think of so many areas of my life that were an absolute bore to me and totally got old (like being able to predict my week before it even started) before I started traveling. Now, without the mundane routine of my past to haunt me, I am enjoying the unexpected possibilities that occur daily and are almost always a surprise that leaves me smiling and in wonder.
6- The media does not control you. This is a big one and albeit a bit controversial. Let me explain. Back in 1998 I stopped watching TV and reading newspapers. Some people saw that is ignorant and stupid, but I don’t feel this way at all. I have felt what it was like to constantly be bombarded with commercials, advertisements, and fear based stories and I have also felt what it was like to create my own reality excluding these things from my vision. And I can say with certainty that I will never go back to watching television and why would I with all the amazing scenery to breathe in and people to meet?!
7- You constantly surprise yourself. Yes, yes you do. While I have been traveling there have been so many times that I have ended a day with a “Holy S$%^, was I really able to do that?” When you are faced with navigating a new country and cannot read the signs to the metro, and don’t speak the language, what shall you do? What you end up being brave enough to do makes it even easier when it’s time to surprise yourself again.
8- You make friends all over the world. This is an obvious perk of traveling around that I love. Making friends along the way is always such a positive experience that I look forward to having in each new place. Although it’s hard to say “see you later” when it’s time to go, I have found myself running into some of these people again later down the road and usually in a different country then the one I originally met them in. And with technology readily available, it’s become quite easy to keep in touch with these amazing souls that cross my path.
9- You learn all kinds of new skills. And by this I mean ALL KINDS OF SKILLS! I have learned to milk cows, drive tractors, build earth ships, develop websites, design things, construct things, film and edit, and so many other random things that I never imagined I would have the opportunity to learn before I left on this trip, and look forward to learning new skills every new day.
10- You find your true self. “It’s when you leave all that is familiar behind, and venture into the unfamiliar, this is when you find your truth”. -OneNomadWoman All my life I have been conditioned with others (and well meaning others who I am certain love me) ideas of what I should be doing, wearing, eating, studying, and the list goes on. When you leave these ideals behind, and start peeling the layers of what no longer serves you off, what I found was that my true self was able to be exposed. And it feels amazing to discover what really moves you- not what another thinks is best for you.
So these are the top 10 reasons that I think backpacking is totally awesome. Do share your thoughts on why you think backpacking or traveling in general is good for your health by clicking on the comment button below!