… get good shoes!
Your health is, in life in general and on the Road in particular, the most precious thing you have, after you life itself. Bad shoes can lead to a sore back, hurtful feet or legs and that’s never good, even with a top of the art backpack.
Another reason for getting good shoes is that (and if you are on a low-budget or if you’re clever you already know it ) the best way to discover and feel a city is by walking around. And if you want to hitch-hike, you might also end up walking quite a few kilometres once or twice. So all in all you are very likely to be walking A LOT, both with and without your beloved backpack. And walking a lot is no fun with the wrong pair of shoes.
Real-life example: from the beginning of my trip until way into Turkey I had a pair of good-looking sandals. I really liked them, already owned them so I took them with me. Guess what? They were not meant for walking seven hours at a time under the sun. After walking a whole day with them, I usually needed to laze around for the next two days because my feet hurt.
Luckily for the whole length of the trip I also had an excellent pair of shoes that I bought in Austria (and that are actually handcrafted in Austria). Everyone I met during my first year there had been praising those shoes – but no shoe can be THAT good, can it? Well, it can . I even tested them out before my trip with the lower model, to see if they were life-on-the-road material. They were, still are! They are extremely comfortable – it’s quite simple, I’ve never had one single blister with them – and I can explore all day long with them, and do the same the next day, and never have sore feet. They are also water-resistant. They basically never disappointed me, even during my hardcore Great Wall adventure (I’ll tell you about it soon). For my next trip I would love to go with them again but since mine are really worn-out now, I’ll take a new pair, new colour and probably the vegan version (I left with leather ones).