Why backpack?

There are many reasons why backpacking is beneficial. You become more self-reliant and confident. The more you travel, the more backpackers you meet and friends you make around the world. You have the freedom to come and go as you like and your next destination is completely your choice. You learn to adapt to different environments. Each time you step off that bus you realize that you are not going to be able to speak the local language, you donít know where you are going to sleep for the night and you have to figure out where thereís a good place to eat. This is your daily adventure: you are responsible for finding a place to sleep for the night, where and what to eat, what you are going to do once you are there, and where your next destination will be. You are in charge of how much or how little fun and adventure you are going to have.

Each destination offers new challenges and activities that you can choose to do. I go out of my way to place myself into these situations just to experience something new. These are opportunities that you could never have had back home. All you have to do is take the opportunity.

While travelling, you can make friends with not only friendly locals, but other backpackers like yourself. Your fellow backpackers come from their own unique culture but you already have something in common with them. You are both away from home and looking to try something new and possibly exciting. It is common to hook up with a group for a little while and explore your new surroundings. Before you part ways, you exchange e-mail addresses and potentially you have a place to stay if you ever visit their country. The locals often want to show you the best of their country and will go out of their way to show you around. They will take you around to all the little known places that tourists havenít discovered yet.

Backpacking also allows you go where you want, stay as long as you want, and do what you want on very little money. Even on a budget you are able to do many exciting things. Best of all, you tend to go to the less "touristy" parts and be exposed to what life and culture is really like.

After travelling to a few places, you get a better understanding of how the rest of the world works. You have to interact with the local people on a daily basis on such basic things as transportation, food, accommodation, etc. Often, you will find that your preconceived notions of what a place is like are incorrect. Those notions will be challenged and the result will be a deeper and broader understanding based on first hand experience, not stereotypes.