Let’s get one thing straight, backpacking is not glamourous. It’s not easy. It’s not always fun. Heck, sometimes I wonder why we are even doing it in the first place. This is the low-down on the reasons why you shouldn’t give up your day job.
#1 You can’t have nice things. It makes you a target for thieves and scammers.
#2 You are always, almost broke. Regular pay checks or, having any source of income at all, are things of the past and your savings account?? Dwindling at whatever pace you piss it away at that foreign pub you went to with the person you just met in the hostel lobby.
#3 It’s really hard to stick to your diet. You’ll be expected to eat the local specialities when all you really want is smoked salmon, cottage cheese, and avocado atop Vita wheat crackers.
#4 Nobody speaks your language. Unless you’re backpacking in your home country, it is likely you’ll have to make the effort to learn the local dialect.
#5 You will find yourself in uncomfortable situations. Staying within your comfort zone is much less likely to cause undue excitement and we all know how challenging new experiences can be and don’t get me started on overnight buses to new destinations!
#6 You’ll have a larger network of friends. Imagine all those Facebook birthdays you’ll have to acknowledge later…
#7 You’ll have to do things for yourself. Used something in the hostel kitchen? You have to wash it. Can’t afford to eat out? You have to cook something. You’re clothes are dirty? You have to do laundry. Independence is awful.
#8 You only live once. So, why would you throw away your only opportunity to be truly happy in life by going backpacking? Get that mortgage, marry that special someone, have babies, and be a regular person. Life is too short for adventures.
#9 Backpacking is physical. First of all, there is a backpack that you have to carry. It’s often full of crap you don’t even need and it weighs a tonne. Then, there is the walking. You will walk everywhere and sometimes there are hills.
#10 Good Wi-Fi is hard to come by. You could fall seriously behind on the latest season of TWD or GoT and then, well, if you don’t have the Mother of Dragons, what do you have??
Honourably, I should also mention the late nights, early mornings, and opportunities to see some of the most famous landmarks in the world. You’ll probably also have to spend time away from your family…
So, the next time you think we are lucky to be travelling the world, (with everything we own strapped heavily to our backs) just remember how totally unglamorous it is and how much you’d hate yourself if you ever tried doing anything like this....
by Krystelle Wootton
I first ran away when I was 10. Forgot to pack the can opener.
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