Don’t let anyone steal your dreams. Keep your dreams alive.
– Terrell Davis
There are just a few things that I continue to add to my already growing repertoire of backpacking and budget travel tips that have saved me money, saved me time, and have given me a better piece of mind knowing my important belongings were secure in their placement of abandonment. Understand that, just as in life, we are always growing and learning, and this ideal should never be short lived, but embrace the wonders of every day life by dreaming, big. “In reality, long-term travel has nothing to do with demographics–age, ideology, income–and everything to do with personal outlook. Long-term travel isn’t about being a college student; it’s about being a student of daily life. Long-term travel isn’t an act of rebellion against society; it’s an act of common sense within society. Long-term travel doesn’t require a massive ‘bundle of cash’; it requires only that we walk through the world in a more deliberate way.” This is a quote from the book Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts. While I know several people are wondering why I’m reading about something that I’m already living, but I think it’s always great to receive an extra dose of encouragement and inspiration for the sake of motivation, even if the material is slightly outdated. So without further interruption, here are 8 backpacking tips that I use on almost a daily basis:
Today is a celebration. Today, I have the pleasure of celebrating exactly 21-months of ‘life on the road,’ just 90-days short of two years since I left Colorado and the smile has not faded, friends. In honor of this celebration I’ve decided to go tubing down the Nam Song River, which is surrounded by the karst hill landscape, and the most popular activity for Vang Vieng. The luxury of time that is accompanied with extended travel has allowed me to relax for a few days and review the forecast for the week and it just so happens that this particular day is the warmest and sunniest of the week. Adjusting to a turtle’s pace of movement and taking in each day, I find myself slowly walking the dirt road towards the rental station for the large black inner tubes that are spray pained yellow. After paying 55,000₭N ($6.87) along with a 60,000₭N ($7.50) deposit, which includes renting the tube for the day as well as being driven in a tuk tuk about 3km upstream, I’m the last to climb aboard with about seven other people. Straddling the tailgate of the tuk tuk where I have half a cheek on the bench, my concerns of falling out are minimal since I have a firm grip on the interior railing and our maximum speed is about 20mph.