Where in the world should I go? This is the hardest question you are going to have to make and is completely up to you. Since you do have the entire world to choose from, where do you start?

Look for a general area of the world that you are interested in. Check out a map and look for a logical path that will take you to various countries. You are not limited to staying within the borders of one country.

Anywhere in the world is a possibility. Some spots are more popular than others and each place has something unique to offer. You have the world to choose from.

If you are still having trouble deciding, here are some questions that you may want to ask yourself: My general rule is to stay away from warring or potentially unstable countries. If you know that one country is planning on attacking another country or there is a possible threat of some sort of disturbance, I advise avoiding that country. I like having the knowledge that I am entering a relatively stable area and don’t have to be overly concerned about my personal safety.

Picking the date when you enter into a specific country is also important. Know what to expect if you enter into a country during high or low season. Most of the countries in the world have times when tourists tend to visit. This is high season. Prepare for all the services, the best weather, and the higher prices and more crowds during this time. The low season doesn’t usually have the best weather and sometimes there are fewer things to do but there are also fewer tourists and prices are offered at a discount. On the extreme, for some countries tourism completely shuts down during low season. A travel agent or a guidebook would be useful to determine this.

Think about the amount of culture shock you want to experience or think you would enjoy. Culture shock is basically a reaction to a different environment than what you are used to and how you adjust to that difference. Every area of the world offers a different way of living that is unique and different than what you are used to at home. The greater the culture shock, the more chance of finding some amazing adventures and some great stories to take home. If I am going to leave my country, I don’t want to end up paying to go to another country similar to my own where I know the food, the culture, and the people. I enjoy countries with exotic environments where I can immerse myself for a while. I would rather go to some foreign hole-in-the-wall eatery than a Western fast food chain.

Talk to other travellers and get their opinions. Some of the best and most accurate information comes from other travellers who have “been there and done that”. Walk down to your city’s local hostel and meet some experienced They are a wealth of knowledge. And, if you are fortunate, you can make some friends and get some contacts in their country.

Go to the library or your local book store and find some travel books on the various countries. Take some time to read through them to find out some specifics and points of interest. A good place to start are books that other backpackers have written regarding their travels.

Search the Internet for specific information. It is easy to get bogged down with too much useless information that is mixed in with the useful. If you have specific questions or need certain information, the Internet is a great tool. A travel agent is also a great source of information. Usually their information is limited to what they can sell you and many agents may not have personal knowledge of the countries. Most of them have tended to stay only at the resorts and travelled on the package deals. However, they are the source to provide you with the costs of travelling to various countries and other travelling options.

Remember that wherever you go, the place will have its good points and bad points. While you are at home, you are working with imperfect information. One of the great things about backpacking is that you only need a bit of preparation ahead of time before setting out. You can easily do the rest while you are on the road.