Planning a trip overseas? Read these tips to mentally prepare for your backpacking adventure.
1. Adopt a "YES" Policy
Travelling is addictive. We all know this. But why? Because it forces us to open our eyes, break out of our comfort zones and really live! Routine and expectations no longer hold us back and we have the freedom to do what ever we want! But to really experience all that a new country, new people and new surroundings have to offer - we need to need rise above our fears and worries, and just say YES! Saying YES opens us to new roads, paths and people.
2. Appreciate the Journey just as much as the Destination
Sure - we all want to take a selfie at the Whitsundays or on top of some HUGE New Zealand mountain - but the beauty and secrets of travelling really only reveal themselves to us in the most unexpected of ways. Have a goal, a destination. But be open to the people you meet, the obstacles, the mode of transport and the untouched beaches or untouristy towns you stumble upon along the way.
3. Don't take yourself too seriously
When we travel, we leave material things behind; our favourite shoes, gym memberships, our Macs (for some) and our favourite clothes. You may find it difficult to adjust at first, and you may feel a little sense of guilt when you first start laying off the gym or looking your best on a night out.
Enjoy it! This is what travelling is all about! Freeing ourselves of material pursuits, temptations and judgement. The travelling community is all about life, living and enjoying the now. Nobody cares what you look like, and you are appreciated for who you are - not what you do!
4. Don't Be Afraid of Goodbyes
People come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
- Reason - Chances are that many of those you meet will make an appearance for a reason - to give you directions, teach you a new song, give you a lift from one place to the next or show you another side of the unknown city you have just began to explore.
- Season - You'll find that a small few of those you meet will accompany you on your adventures for weeks, months, a season or even a year or two! You share a love for new experiences and you will always have that to share.
- Lifetime - And then you have the Lifetime buddies! These special gems will know not just your travelling, spontaneous self, but your family, your history and everything about you that makes you, you!
The point is - only time will tell! Embrace the NOW, keep true to your path and others will follow.
5. It's not always Peaches & Cream
Travelling sets us FREEEEE! It awakens the senses! It is our ecstasy, our passion and everything that makes us feel alive! You WILL have the time of your life. Know that. But also keep in mind that with the highest of highs, there can be some low times too.
Life on the road can get lonely at times. You may also get lost. Or lose a pair of shoes. Embrace it. Unfortunately life is not always smooth sailing. Use this time to Skype with your friends and family at home, splurge on a private room for the night if need be and just chill.
6. Lay off the iPhone
Most travellers will embark on their international journey with an iphone in hand. Don't get us wrong - they make a handy and safe companion, provide directions, offer us many Apps that can help with travel and are also a very easy way to keep in touch with those you meet whilst on your travels.
But know when to use it. You're in a new country, surrounded by new people and new opportunities. Embrace this! Take in the sights on your train and bus journey. Give yourself this opportunity away from home to think, reflect and really take in new sights, smells, places and people. We all love to update our Instagram - but try and give yourself a limit - 3 nights a week perhaps?
7. Allow Yourself Moments of Freedom
Planning a journey is fun, and we all do it to a certain extent. Visas, Flights, Tours, Safety Precautions - these are essential. But here at Base we are all about finding the 'X' - that little untouched spot of paradise on the treasure map! Sometimes the most breathtaking destinations, beaches, cafes or mountains are those you cannot find in a Lonely Planet.
Allow yourself some freedom to explore and make impulsive decisions. Head into the city for a day and get lost. Hire a campervan for a few days (or weeks) and head into the less touristy places, chat to locals and see what you can unravel.
8. Yes - you have changed... for the better!
We've all experienced the post holiday high - you return home to your friends and family who are over the moon to see your return. You have albums of amazing photos and crazy, unbelievable stories to share! You want to keep travelling forever. You don't want to grow old and you are already planning your next adventure!
But be warned - not absolutely everybody will be eager to read your blog or hear you talk about that time you got locked out of your hostel room naked. You may even feel like an 'outsider' or have the overwhelming sense that you have changed and everybody else around you hasn't. Don't let this get you down. You have changed - for the better. And you have found something in life that makes you happy. Hold onto that. Your true friends will love you just the way you are!