Have you ever thought about how you want to see the world?
It is not just about where you want to go; it is also about how you will be traveling the world. You know how the saying goes, it is not about the destination but the journey. Some people want to see the world with their partners, others want to take their parents with them, and some want to go solo. There is no wrong way to travel, as everyone enjoys things differently. However, we are focusing on the last one: the joy of traveling alone and seeing the world on your own. The thought of getting on a plane, finding cheap accommodation, and doing your own itinerary without anyone rushing your time gazing at the view can fire you with enthusiasm.
For some people, especially women, traveling alone can be scary and dangerous. Not to mention that it is also to be traveling alone to a new place. Without the proper knowledge and resources, it is easy to get lost in translation and find yourself going the other way. However, everything can be learned and mastered through experience. So if you let this fear come over you, you will never truly enjoy the experience of backpacking.
Here are three essential things to remember for first-time backpackers:
Learn the Language
Do not expect everyone to speak English; it is up to you to learn their language. After all, you are in their country.
We have mentioned getting lost, and most of the time, it is because of misunderstanding. See, you do not have to completely dedicate your time learning the language, but managing to understand the basics will help you survive. It will not be a situation that demands you to survive, and it will allow you to enjoy your time with the locals more. You will get to enjoy the culture and food from the grassroots. When you see a country from the grassroots, you are not a mere tourist but a real traveler.
You can install a few translator apps to help you get by with the simple sentence exchanges. However, what will you do if you do not have a signal, mobile data, or running out of battery? Well, did you know there are some T-shirts printed with common local phrases that help many travelers get their points across? Such unique traveler shirts are used more in countries with their own characters such as Japan, China, and Greece. You can simply point at your top if you want directions, and locals will understand what you are saying easier!
Carry Cash With You (And a Widely-accepted Credit Card)
One of the most horrifying things that can happen to first-time backpackers is running out of cash in a place that does not accept cards and without ATMs. What will you do then? You will need to walk back to your accommodation unless you find a kind cab driver that will drive you back to the city.
It is a cardinal rule that when you are traveling, you always bring cash with you. So it would help if you did the same with the local currency when you are traveling abroad. You would not want to get caught up in any inconvenience in finding money exchange services. However, you can also get local cash by withdrawing from the airport right after the touchdown.
Finally, always carry it with you. As a backpacker, you will not be staying in five-star hotels like tourists. You will be out and about, and you cannot afford to leave it inside your bag. Keep your cash with you all the time, but also don’t put them in a single pouch just in case.
Find Safe Accommodation
Backpackers like to camp outside and enjoy the sunrise, but you still have to find and book safe accommodation for yourself. You need a place to start with, a ground zero, and it is always best to consider your accommodation as your starting point. It is where you go back and stay after coming back from a local trip to the mountains, for example. You rest, regroup with your itinerary and get back out there for your next adventure. This way, you will also be looked after by your host. Also, who knows? There will also be other travelers staying there whom you can bond with.
Traveling alone does not have to be scary. Truthfully, it is quite simple. It is just up to you to get that plane ticket and go. The rest, you’ll figure out along the way.