Going on a backpacking trip changed my life, and I want it to change yours. In this article I am going to show you the 8 reasons that can change the way you see the world forever.
In 2016 I was a project coordinator in a multinational with 16 people in charge, earning a very good salary, I went out to dinner at restaurants on weekends. Despite that comfort, I was tremendously unhappy, so I made the most unexpected decision for my family, I sent everything to the &#$! And on January 11, 2017 I took my backpack, I went out to the outskirts of my city, raised my right arm, picked up my fingers leaving only the thumb pointing to the sky, and that’s how this divine experience of being a backpacker began.
On that trip I learned many things and I want to summarize here why you should:
- PERSONAL GROWTH: backpacking taught me that very few things are needed to be happy, a tent was my refuge, an insulator and a sleeping bag was my bed, I learned to give more value to the immaterial, a good conversation, a sunset, to see a sea lion, feel the enormous force of the waterfalls, see the sky reflected on the ground and most important of all, understand the real value of a simple bottle of water. I stopped worrying about “HAVING” and began to be more interested in “BEING” and “DOING”.
- LIVING CULTURAL DIVERSITY: Deep down we are all the same, but it is interesting to see the ways in which different cultures live. I gave my mother an aguayo, a very colorful and resistant fabric that the natives of the Andes use to carry their children or to carry heavy things. My mother, in contrast, the first thing she did was use it to cover and decorate the table. (I was waiting for her to carry me on her back, with just 65 kilos and 27 years of age of course):)
- ESCAPE FROM THE ROUTINE: Are you one of those who works 8 hours a day, 8 hours doing unimportant things and the other 8 resting to start the same routine the next day? I gave up that, I work one or two hours a day and try to live the rest to the fullest. Traveling you are always living new things, and flowing to the next, everything is new, and in that flow is when the most extraordinary things happen.
- OVERCOMING DIFFICULT EMOTIONAL STATES: We all have internal struggles, some for love, others for economic situations, others for family, and so on… My opinion is that learning to control your emotions gives you control of life and to do so it has to come from an internal initiative and not external. But sometimes it is difficult when negative stimuli are always there. Moving to another place takes you away from them and creates new situations that will make you think about other things and overcome difficult times.
- SEARCH FOR ADVENTURE AND CHALLENGES: For me the synonym of “Happiness” is “Adventure” doing things that make adrenaline run through your body gives that pleasant feeling, being awake to what is coming, moving with the expertise of a fox, challenging your body and mind and discovering that your limit is much further than you thought. That to me is happiness: Adventure and challenges.
- SEARCH OR DEVELOP YOUR IDENTITY: According to the dictionary of the Spanish Royal Academy, identity is the set of characteristics of an individual. I believe that a person with more lived experiences is more aware of the world, aware of cultures, of the good and bad things of the human being, and can build more grounded identity traits.
- DISCOVER INCREDIBLE PLACES: You can’t imagine the incredible things that are out there in the world, landscapes that seem out of this world, ancient man-made constructions, nature reserves that will make you feel in paradise, in contrast there are also mountains of garbage , and sad scenes of children looking for food in the garbage, knowing this reality will make you reflect on the care that we must have with the world and humanity.
- SHARE AND MEET LOCAL PEOPLE: I have traveled as a TOURIST, and it is possible that I will do it again when I go with family or friends, but traveling as a BACKPACK TRAVELER gave me the opportunity to really meet the local people, when you travel on a tourist circuit with guides, you generally go to only to the tourist spots, the entire itinerary is planned and timed, the people you make contact with are usually other tourists or employees who want the day to end quickly to return home to their family or who are after a sale or a tip. When you travel backpacking, the opposite happens, you are the novelty, people want to meet you, they want to know how you had the courage to come so far, they open the doors of their house, they feel empathy with you, they help you and take care of you, some people go to make such a deep friendship relationship with you that you will feel that they are your family and it will be difficult to say goodbye. That is why you are not surprised when you ask a traveler: What is the most beautiful place you have been to? And he answers: It’s not the places, it’s the people who are in those places.
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