A few tips for your big (or small) backpacking trip
I guess you could say that I have gained some valuable travelling experience during this 16 months-trip of mine. I wasn’t really aware of it until recently, when I was chatting about backpacks and such with a young inexperienced traveller. He was very keen for (my) advice. So now I am writing down these few pieces of advise in case it can help somebody else. I myself did spend a lot of time reading this kind of articles before I left, while I was working to save the money for my trip and needed to dream about it a lot. But even then I got sick of all the “best way to fold your toothbrush into nothing bigger than a toothpick” and friends and just wanted to see for myself. However, if you’re in that first phase of I’ve-decided-to-go-on-a-backpacking-trip-and-enjoy-reading-about-others’-experiences”, here you go: my views on packing and choosing your gear, exclusively based on empirical evidence humbly gathered by me .
1) do NOT go cheap on the backpack! Here is why.
2) do NOT go cheap on the shoes! And why is that?
3) put whatever you want in that good backpack of yours – it’s now all up to you. Maybe you’d like to read some philosophical considerations to understand why I say this. Or maybe you want to get straight to the part where I tell you what I consider must-haves in a (my) backpack and how to organise your backpack, in a very practical sense. Well, both ways you’ll have to be patient because those texts, I haven’t quite finished writing yet .
4) Make your own rules! My friend Küç has this rule for example: if you didn’t use it in a month (whatever it is), you don’t need it –> get rid of it. I personally just go with the flow, I often wait for the right person to give unneeded items to. Figure it out for yourself but be critical and flexible.
5) If you’re going on a long trip to exotic places, you might consider getting vaccinated against a few things. That’s the only thing you really need to think about a little ahead of time, so that you can
- decide which vaccinations you want to get
- get all your shots before you leave (some vaccinations require 3 shots over a month)
Vaccinations are a tricky subject so do research it a bit. I’ll tell you more in another post!
6) What are you still doing in front of this computer? Once you’ve got the backpack, fill it with whatever you want, put those damn shoes on and GO! The important part in travelling is, guess what? The travel itself, not what you do it with.
Never forget that the important part is to be out there and feel, experience, learn and enjoy.
So go get the very basic stuff and go travel! The rest will figure itself out.