Why would anyone want to go backpacking around the world?
First of all, the backpack is a very uncomfortable thing. Its straps can dig into your shoulders and hips, especially after months of use, when they’re worn down, sharpened and intensified. Then you have the problem of money and how to make it all come together. Not to mention that you’re always on the move. Who the hell would want to put up with that?
You don’t hear much about roller luggaging around the world. Something about the backpack has given it the prestige of “around the world” nomenclature, but for good reason. Backpackers are the ones who are usually roughing it more than the rest. It’s not easy to always lug around a heavy pack, but it’s a sign that you’re on a budget, and that you can deal with abstract discomfort much better than your money-toting contemporaries.
How can you afford to backpack the world?
Like any other group or category of people, “backpackers” can refer to folks from all different backgrounds and financial capability. I’m going to put it out there right off the bat–and it shouldn’t come as a surprise–that I say that the best and most affordable way to travel around the world as a backpacker is by thumb. There are a lot of us hitchhikers out there, and I shit you not that we know better than any other backpacker how to travel on the cheap. There is no long explanation here. It’s simple. Eat cheap, hitchhike, camp and couchsurf. Don’t pay for hotels. Don’t pay for touristy crap. Work for food, work for money on the road, work for a bed. There. Now you know how to afford backpacking around the world.
How long does it take to backpack around the world?
If I said it takes a few months, I’m full of crap. If I tell you it takes 20 years, I’m exagerating. There’s no time limit, but if you can do it in a year, you’re probably rushing. “Backpacking” includes those travelers on round-the-world plane tickets, so you can’t quite expect to get a realistic mean when comparing them to the true vagabonds, those who live while they travel, those without thoughts of a future sedentary in some thought-out place.
So, backpacking around the world does not have a defined time limit. But it’s recommendable that you draw it out–that you feel like being wherever it is that you are at any one moment.
What should you do now that you’ve backpacked the planet?
I think you should write a book. Is that what you were expecting? Maybe you should show family a photo slideshow–that should pretty much sum up the importance of the trip.