I remember years ago, a mate of mine sent me a text when I moved to London for a work stint. It went something like: ‘your eyes are going to be blown wide open’. And they were. Now, almost a decade later and dozens more countries under my belt, I feel this needs to be refined further to include the people you’ll meet- they will change you too.
There have been a couple of overwhelming themes I’ve experienced in the past 16 months, but none as powerful as the fear that us humans are ruining the planet at an alarming rate. That being said, there are some places that are yet to be overwhelmed by this virus.
In the spirit of making lists, I thought I’d put together the 5 biggest frustrations I’ve encountered and continue to encounter whilst backpacking. Whilst most of this is tongue in cheek, there is an undeniable element of truth in these 5 points and I’m sure many backpackers will agree.
It has almost been 11 months on the road now and as I sit here in Bali, on Kuta Beach, enjoying my third (fourth?) Bintang, I’m reflecting on this and realize I was a bit of an arsehole prior to jumping on that plane all those months ago.
The month 8 marker is around the corner and I’ve just restarted the backpacking route after taking 3 weeks ‘off’ in South Africa and Australia. Now here I am, on the eve of my departure to Malaysia, and I find myself asking why the hell am I doing this to myself.
Something has been bugging me quite heavily over the past 6 months and it has reached a fever pitch of late. Whilst I know that what I’m about to say applies to what in all likelihood is a handful of tourists, the spill over on the rest of us is big. So here goes, vilify me if you have the inclination.
Brad Pitt spent 7 years in Tibet. I spent 47 hours on a train getting there. Thus, I feel like we have gone through the same journey and are effectively the same person. I’m just waiting for Angelina Jolie to jump out of the cupboard and tell me I’m married to her, and then I’ll be quite content to die thereafter. All my life goals would have been met!
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!
Typing the title to this blog post makes me think of that movie of a zombie apocalypse. 28 Days Later or something? Anyway, just to assure you, I haven’t been bitten by the undead. My mind is a 6 ring circus, and I can’t blame that on the walking dead!