Teaches Hostelling 101
majority of young backpackers are heartily trying
to inhale life before they must commit themselves
to the routine of school, work, or family responsibilities.
Budget travel offers what no lecture hall can provide.
The world becomes the biggest classroom without borders—you
develop life skills that are essential to every human
are others too who have taken on budget traveling
in order to take a giant leap outside their comfort
zone. A number of travelers I met were ones who had
taken a leave from their jobs in order to rejuvenate
and assess what the fuller picture encompasses.
there are others, both young and old, who are trying
to inject a heavy shot of adrenaline into their lives.
There are quite a few who are escaping broken relationships—either
with partners or with their own families. The anonymity
of backpacking provides temporary refuge as they ponder
to be the backpacker who everyone wants as a roomie?
Fly under the radar. Put on your best weekend houseguest
behaviour and your fellow travelers will not turn
on you or ostracize you. Nothing
wrecks the serenity of a rainforest or ruins the beauty
of a sunset quite like a traveler who drags a U-Haul
truck of emotional baggage into camp. Being a relatively
quiet person, I often find myself exploring ways to
gracefully extricate myself from emotional vampires.
don't mind listening to someone in distress but find
it distressing when I am a captive and an audience
of one. The level of disclosure that comes from strangers
can be quite unsettling; I can understand this happening
to priests, nurses or police but I'm none of the above.
is hard to find an escape when you're out in the rainforest.
So you either pretend that you're asleep or you sit
under some tall tree, waiting for a cassowary (emu-like
Australian bird with dagger-shaped claws) to come
out to impale you. Not wanting to be a cassowary statistic,
I sat and listened. I guess that's all people need
form of travel definitely isn’t for those who
are germphobic or focused on luxury. From my recent
journey in Australia, I learned that the potential
finds of your exploration far outweigh the drawbacks
of loneliness and homesickness that are apt to be
part of the backpacking experience. Keep in mind that
the rewards await and the adventures are always about
to begin. Remember, you might have clear expectations
but the best made plans always have a wrinkle that
keeps life interesting and fascinating. Safe journeys,
hostels provide in-room locker storage; however, you
must provide your own lock. If you use a combination
lock, remember that you might be fumbling with it
in the dark so have a good flashlight
number of dorm mates would sleep with their purses,
wallets, and documents in their beds. Not ideal, especially
if you don’t know the others in the room. Better
to store these items safely. Luggage should be locked,
especially if you have precious items inside. Wear
the key on a chain. Some people traveled with a bicycle
lock that was used to secure packs to bedposts, etc.
short term storage, some hostels will provide luggage
rooms for a fee. Do not leave any food items in your
packs as you do not want to return to see that vermin
have ripped through your bags in their quest for food.
on the road...
possible, gather a few people and share kitchen duties.
Meal preparation need not be elaborate. Pastas, couscous,
and rice are wonderful with a good stew or protein.
Buy seasonal produce to keep costs down and only enough
meat for one meal. One of the problems in hostels
is food theft; some backpackers get into debt and
then get desperate.
you have room in your pack, travel with a Tupperware
box (doubles as both storage or serving bowl) and
your own cutlery. Eating a can of tuna with a disposable
pen made me appreciate having a fork!
basics such as cooking oil, butter, soy sauce, dried
oregano, and pre-packaged sauces. Save packages of
sugar, salt/pepper, and ketchup from your take out
meals. Food prep and cooking time should be brief.
Others will be waiting for their turn at the stove.