Is your wanderlust kicking in after seeing countless pictures of your friends’ backpacking trip on your Instagram feed? If you’re still contemplating the right time to go on your own backpacking adventure… the time is NOW! There’s no excuse not to pick up your backpack and travel places you’ve always been dreaming of while you’re still young, fit and energetic.
Need more persuasion? Here are 8 more reasons why backpacking is truly for an adventurous soul like you!
1. You’ll be able to make friends with people from all over the world almost instantaneously!
One of the ultimate reasons to backpack is the capacity to make friends! (For that, I placed it first on my list, and not for nothing). You can backpack a country alone or with a friend but you’ll leave the place with a few more in hand. I can personally vouch for this and it’s amazing what backpacking can do as a common ground for you and your newfound friend.
Credit: Roderick Eime on flickr
Besides, this gives you more impetus and motivation to see different places when you promise to visit him/her in the future! Interestingly, the tendency to befriend someone new increases exponentially when you’re facing a challenging circumstance together (eg. freezing temperatures or bumpy overnight buses!)
2. You’ll have a pocket full of stories to share for the rest of your lifetime
“Traveling- it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller”- Ibn Battuta
No other quote perfectly sums up the transformative blessing of travel than Ibn Battuta himself. No matter what you do, where you go or who you’re traveling with, backpacking exposes you to great stories of people and cultures around the world.
Credit: Hamza Butt on flickr
Well it’s really up to you to share your amazing stories, but how can you resist telling the whole world about your experience surviving a local bus moving at the speed of a snail while getting squashed like a canned sardine? Or the beautiful sunrise while you’re perched comfortably at the rooftop edge of a glowing pagoda? You’ll want to start exploring the world with your backpack right now!
3. HUGE OPPORTUNITY to lose yourself and push limits– even boundaries you never knew existed
Here’s what backpacking is not: clean, comfortable and cosy. If anything, you’ll be challenged mentally, physically and maybe even emotionally, but hey, the opportunity to grow through these challenges is what makes backpacking gold.
Credit: jesslikestohike on Instagram
You might often find yourself in a highly discomforting situation (on overnight buses or flimsy mattresses in hostels) but think of it this way: you can only grow when you are pushed beyond your limits. The more you face up to your fears, the more you grow as a person. 😌 A gentle reminder: your personal safety comes first! A du’a is also mandatory hehe
4. Ability to travel on a tighter budget
If you want to travel the world on a shoestring budget, especially as a student, there’s hardly a better way than to backpack. For most parts, backpacking goes much easier on the pocket, even more if you’re creative in managing your finances while traveling.
Credit: Hamza Butt on flickr
While hostels/ guest houses are generally cheaper, you can also explore alternatives such as couch surfing, and you’d even find yourself lucky to meet a Muslim owner (that makes Halal food readily available too). Taking overnight buses is also a handy trick if you want to save cost and traveling time! There’s an array of ways to cut costs but you’d still be able to see God’s creations in an even more satisfying light.
5. BACKPACKING LESSON 101: You need little to be happy
Backpacking is so basic, it forces upon you the simplicity of life. Time and again, you’d be reminded of how little it takes for you to be happy and that the simple pleasures in life such as the warmth of other people can make your trip memorable. One more promise! You’ll learn something valuable along the way. It might be a small lesson or a life-long reminder, but one thing’s for sure, you’ll never leave empty- handed.
Credit: Christian Haugen on flickr
You’ll definitely appreciate people and things back home a lot more. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Don’t be shy to smile too (it’s sadaqa after all) and always have a kind spirit when traveling, in life for that matter.
6. Experience the local culture and surroundings more intimately
Backpacking allows you to interact with locals and the opportunity to liberate yourself from the confines of being a visitor. Taking the public transport, home stays in villages or trekking activities can offer you the experience you need, all these made possible by the freedom of backpacking.
You’ll realize how locals are usually very helpful towards young backpackers and would most certainly extend their helping hand. If a map fails you, a local’s help would very much be your next best hope. Put aside your reservations, and learn the local customs and a few basic phrases in the local language whenever possible. You’d be surprised at how these small gestures will lead you to beautiful coincidences and more meaningful interactions. Remember, the world is our classroom!
7. You’ll feel like you’re on an adventure
Think Indiana Jones or Mission Impossible. Even better, why not create your own action-packed adventure? Backpacking will bring you places you’d never imagine yourself to survive in, much less enjoy. Just with a backpack and a determined spirit, the adventure waiting for you is boundless. In your story, you’ll feel so lost yet so found.
After all, you’ll realize that an exhilarating adventure deserves a worthy hero. And that hero is… you!
Not all heroes wear capes, some carry backpacks and a smile on their face! 😊
8. Backpacking gives you a raw perspective of the country
While backpacking is the most rewarding thing ever, be warned: it’s not all sunshine and roses. You’ll be exposed to the less picture-perfect sides of the country. It will not always be completely safe, nor beautiful. It’ll exhaust your energy and your body will ache. Getting lost is part and parcel of the adventure, but overcoming these obstacles will make your experience even more fulfilling.
Moments during backpacking can’t be practiced or perfected because it’s life happening. And life is imperfectly beautiful.
9. Besides, only cool people backpack 😝
This is self explanatory.