It is a known truth that a little lone time gives better perspective to life. Backpacking is an adventurous and glorious trip that can even change your way of life and the way you see things. People look up to backpackers as it is not something that everyone can pull off. It requires a lot of physical and mental strength and so those who succeed in pulling it are revered. The sad truth of backpacking is, however high your levels of preparedness for the trip are, there are always situations that challenge your adaptability and tend to disappoint you in the expectation of the experience.
Let us look at some of the unspoken truths about backpacking:
When you are on the road, with limited funds to make your trip, you cannot expect to be put up in convenient or clean places. Most often you are walking in the dirt, wearing the same clothes for over 4 days or more. There would be times when you need to be worried about encountering other people’s feces than relieving yourself. However upstream you want to go to finish your business, always remember there might be someone else doing the same – a little upstream than you.
With poor sanitation, ever changing climatic conditions and being exposed to them all the time, your immune system is bound to give up. You will fall sick more than you ever have. The places that you end up eating at and the water you drink are mostly the reasons that work against your health. An upset stomach can be a deterring factor in a backpacking trip. However, it is something that we have to live with, no matter how prepared you are.
Shortage of funds
When you are travelling from place to place, you will come across many temptations on the way. It might look like a good idea to pick up souvenirs. However, it just takes a toll on your plans and forces you to cut your trip short. The sad part is that all your planning and preparedness of the expenses will not help you. You will be travelling through places you have never been before and just over priced meals and flared up fare of rides can disrupt your budget.
In a few days, you will not be the same strong individual who started the backpack trip. You will start missing your family, friends and your home. You might reach a new city and instead of feeling excited, you will despise the fact that you cannot explore the fun and activities in the city, especially with the limited budget. All the travelling and change of surroundings, at times can make you bored and lessen your spirits to continue with the trip.
When you are backpacking, you get close to anyone you come across you, taking a similar trip. You become friends in a very short time and often much closer than your other relationships that took years to build. Even when you think that the relationship will last forever at that point of time, they never do. You seldom even get to meet the person or even be in touch after the trip. It is hard to bid farewell to such friends and can be quite taxing, emotionally!
Mostly, people that do backpacking are quite individualistic and free spirited. However, when you are travelling for long time, you tend to get home-sick like never before. You will start missing the comforts at home, the warmth of your family and friends. An upside to that is that you will cherish your relationships better even though the feeling of missing your home makes you weak and emotionally drained. You will long to get back in touch with folks back home and cannot wait to complete your trip.
While backpacking, you travel through different countries, cultures and people. Even though most of the times you get help and support, you might encounter non-friendly situations which have never been part of your expectation. You will come across certain living conditions that are hard to digest and often leave a sour taste in your mouth. It is sad that you cannot do much to make things better for them and as a backpacker it is important that you move on.
Overall, backpacking is not always fun and sometimes it can make you feel really awful. However, to live a life that is less ordinary’; some are willing to make the move. If you are one among them, always remember that the difficult times are ones that make you stronger and that’s the whole idea behind backpacking.