The not so glamorous side to backpacking

Let me start off by saying backpacking isn’t for ants. Yes, it’s an amazing opportunity to see the world and conserve limited cash and all that. But you know that already. This post is about what they don’t tell you about!

You’re going to do a lot of walking

That’s fine but hell, I miss my car. I haven’t walked this much in the history of my existence. I think the only reason I have to have a beer or 5 everyday is just to get over the 10 near-death pedestrian vs scooter incidents I have before lunch each day! It’s good exercise yes, but who gives a shit. I can be fat and happy too. As my friend Rob says, I’m pretty much an alcoholic Toyota Prius these days!

Hostel living

A great way of keeping costs down by living cheaply, and thanks to websites like Hostelworld, it’s pretty easy to find a decent, clean hostel. Facilities aside, you’re still staying in a dorm full of other travelers who have their quirks, as I’m sure I do too. But the snoring is sometimes too much! I’m pretty deaf but there have been times I’ve woken up in the middle of the night thinking China is under attack by a bunch of gun- wielding militants! 

The other thing that really irks me is that sect of backpackers that KNOW they have a 5am bus or train to catch but only decide to start packing their stuff at 3am when everyone else is trying to sleep. There is nothing like the sound of a zip being pulled on a backpack to wake one up. Seriously guys, have a bit of decency. If you’re one of these people- I hope you get shunned. 

Public transport

A great way of getting around the city for virtually nothing. Problem is the schedules are never in English, and secondly, the people giving you advice tell you about what they think are efficient routes which never really are. Another useful bit of information I feel the info-givers neglect to share is what side of the street one should wait for the bus (i.e north or south etc). You can’t decipher the route information, which means you have to go on a wing and prayer. But it turns out fate doesn’t favor me and I spend an hour of my life going the wrong bloody way!

Waiting

You’re going to be waiting a lot. For trains, buses and planes. For hostels to open. For sites to open. You queues to die down. But that’s fine- the alternative to this is being on an organized tour where your every movement is controlled and scheduled and I’d hate that. 

Laundry

Enough said – what a mission. If it weren’t indecent to wear the same set of clothes without ever getting laundry done, I’d do it. 

Squat toilets

I hate these things. I’m sure I’ve shared my fear of slipping and falling into one of these things already. If I ever do fall into one, the fall better kill me or I’ll have no choice but to kill myself. 

Rant over. Have a super day, folks!

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