The Joy of Backpacking

Have you heard of travel junkies travelling with their rucksacks scoring cheap options to travel around places? They are called “Backpackers” and their mode of travelling is called backpacking.”Backpackers’ are bona fide light travellers who travel to remote locations on a budget. They skip the convenience of travel agencies who offer scheduled tours complete with tour guides and detailed itineraries.Backpacking requires a lot of research. Backpackers do not depend on packaged tours from travel agents because they make their own itineraries. They look out for cheap but suitable hostels. They also research a lot about the local food fare and where to find them. Make a list of tourist spots to see and find a way to navigate from one point to another. Most importantly, it is advisable to calculate your budget for the trip in advance.Most of the backpackers seek inspiration and ideas from travel websites and travel blogs. They often pattern their itineraries with other traveller’s journey or they make their own route.Some people often wonder why some travellers love backpacking, instead of the conventional packaged tours that are usually more convenient. The answer is that backpacking has numerous benefits including the following:1. Acquiring New WisdomOne important thing about this humble way of travelling is that you get to learn something new along the way. You can also learn a lot about people, culture and ideas from your firsthand experiences. It’s also a good opportunity to learn something new about yourself.2. The SightsThe sights are the main reasons why tourists visit a place and backpackers often see tourist spots in a different light. It is quite different with packaged tours where you are brought to a certain place and only allowed to visit certain sights with limited amount of time.3. Your Personal Time to ReflectBackpackers enjoy their personal time and they happen to experience that during their travel time – those long hours of bus rides going to a tourist spot, or their idle time on the hostel. Those are great times to marvel on the beauty of the scenery or even have enough time for personal reflection.4. Get to Know the Person Travelling with youTravelling strengthens bonds and relationships between companions, and a backpacker’s itinerary often entails a lot of teamwork and rapport. Problems and troubles will most likely arise along the journey and your response and attitude towards the situation will eventually surface. Based on such situations, you will learn something about one another and will also ascertain your compatibility with each other.5. Meeting New PeopleBackpacking creates opportunities to meet other travellers and locals alike. It is a good way to socialize and share travel stories, and find new friends and future travel buddies.6. The Weather”Weather” is a good conversation starter and every place has different weather conditions. It’s something backpackers should consider since the weight of their backpacks depends on the weather condition of their destination.7. The FoodFood is also a form of experience. Your food palate shouldn’t be limited to the food you are used to eat back home. Foods teach us a lot about a place’s culture and also broaden one’s culinary knowledge.8. The WorkoutBackpackers are no stranger to the strenuous amount of footwork experienced when travelling. The added weight of the backpack also gives an extra level of difficulty, which makes it seem like you are also working out.9. Packing on ConfidenceBackpacking is also a major confidence booster. Solo-backpackers find travelling alone as a life-altering experience because it helps them realize that they’re capable of becoming independent. Independence is very empowering. It gives people a more renewed perspective in life.10. You’ll Live LongerTravel somehow helps you detoxify from stress. Those ‘fatigues’ are repaired by nature through breathing fresh air, eating fresh organic products produced by the locals. Your newfound view of independence also makes you more optimistic. Those things defer your chances of getting sick and travelling has this healing component to it.Considering those above mentioned points, backpacking is not really a bad idea. It’s definitely a great experience every traveller and adventurer should try even once in his lifetime.

Considering a Backpack With Wheels? – Check Out the High Sierra Wheeled Backpack

I had the need to do some air travel on my last job. Whenever possible I kept my luggage to a minimum: one carry-on to stow in the overhead and a briefcase to jam under the seat in front of me. Inevitably my connecting flight was across the terminal from my arriving flight and more often than not the incoming flight was late so it was a mad dash to get to my connector before it left the gate. Without my faithful wheeled carry-on, or as the flight attendants called them “roller”, I would have been in a world of hurt trying to make that hectic, cross terminal dash.But there were a number of folks that I noticed who used a backpack as their carry-on bag. Convenient, because it left their hands free for other things. Of course the inevitable evolution has occurred and a hybrid of the “roller” and the backpack was born: the wheeled backpack. Now you have the best of both worlds. Although it looks more like a roller with shoulder straps attached than a backpack with wheels attached, it offers great convenience.Here Are The BasicsThe High Sierra wheeled backpack is a prime example. In fact there are several models available from High Sierra. There are several common components of these wheeled backpacks:- Corner mounted wheels- Telescoping handle- Padded shoulder straps- Grab handleBeyond these basics there are changes to the configuration; function and of course color.The basic wheeled backpack model for High Sierra is the Chaser.- Approximately 2100 cu in.- Single-post style, telescoping handle- Large zippered main compartment- Zippered front compartment with organizer- Small, zippered quick access pocket on the front- 8 color selectionsThe wheels on the Chaser are in-line skate style and would not be considered truly “corner mounted” because, although at the corners of the pack, they are enclosed and not exposed. This configuration takes up some storage space in the pack since the wheels are not completely on the outside corners but rather recessed in some. Twenty-one reviewers give it a 3 ½ stars out of five with the biggest complaint being about the durability of the telescoping handle, while the most common praise was for the overall quality and usefulness. One business is using them to carry vital items out of the office in case of an emergency because they can be carried down a long flight of stairs like a backpack, then wheeled to an agreed upon location.More and Better OptionsTwo other models round out the High Sierra wheeled backpack offering. The next step up from the Chaser is the Freewheel and the top model is the Powerglide. When I traveled I always took my laptop with me and sometimes two. One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Freewheel and Powerglide is that they are laptop backpacks. Both can hold, up to a 17″ laptop. In the large storage compartment there is cushioned sleeve for the computer. In addition, they have in common:- Zippered front compartment with organizer- Zippered easy access pocket with headphone port- Corner mounted wheels- Corner guard and rub rail for protectionThese two models differ in three obvious ways:Freewheel PowerglideDimension – 20.5″ X 13.5″ X 8″ 21″ X 14″ X 9″Telescoping Handle – Single Post Double PostPockets – Open Side Pocket Zippered Side PocketSchool Use – Maybe / Maybe NotAll of that being said about the wheeled backpack being used for travel, the most common use has been for school, and particularly elementary aged children. Seems like a great idea to use the rollerpack instead of lugging around a heavy backpack on the back of a yet developing physical frame of a child. But a word of caution. Before you rush out and get one of these ingenious load bearers for your child, check with the school first. Backpacks with wheels may not be allowed at your child’s school.Many schools have banned the rollerpacks for these reasons:1. They clog the hallways2. They don’t fit into lockers3. Students trip over them and have accidents4. They are heavier than the typical backpack and when loaded cause greater stressSo check with your school to see if rollerpacks are allowed. Like most anything else, taught the proper way to use something can make a big difference.Well, a backpack with wheels may be the solution you have been looking for, for school or travel. The High Sierra wheeled backpack offerings are worth looking into if you are in the market for one of these helpful carryalls.

The Problem With Travelers

Don’t date a girl or guy who travels, don’t be best friends with travelers and don’t under any circumstances let yourself get surrounded by travelers who love nothing more than to talk about their experiences. You will never see them in new fashionable clothes. They think they don’t have to care about their appearance, because they are a backpacker. They hang around with backpackers and travelers in this clique that you are not a part of and will probably never understand unless you are constantly traveling with them. They will have harsh brown skin that is old before its time, hammered by the constant outdoors, lacking key vitamins from the lack of regular food, irregular hours and dehydration.You’ll recognize travelers because they are overly enthusiastic about the little things around them but then move on to the next “experience” They think everything is exciting and amazing but don’t stick around long enough to really get a deeper understanding of them. To them, it’s one superficial experience after another.A traveler thinks they are appreciating life but in reality it’s a form of escapism from something they can’t explain. They say they won’t judge you, and they probably believe they won’t too, but honestly, they are judging you all the time and expecting you to live up to their lifestyle. They will have no tolerance for those that don’t accept or adhere to it, they are judgmental of a society that wants to work 9 to 5, pay the mortgage and live on credit. They will think because they have “seen” things they know them, they will think they feel empathy with the less fortunate of the world, before returning to their highly paid job and doing their best to avoid taxes.When they meets other travelers they will immediately get competitive over what they have seen, what they did, how brave they were. They will share stories about the usual tourist trips and talk a few phrases they have learned in a desperate attempt to be the most traveled or the most knowledgeable.Traveling is an amazing, fulfilling and enriching experience and unique to everyone. The problem with travelers is that they go to the same places, follow the same tours and do it in large groups meeting other travelers on the way. Khao San road, Angkor Wat, The Killing Fields, The Chu Chi tunnels, all great places to see and amazing experiences, but don’t do them on a guided bus tour surrounded by other 20 or 30 somethings.Do it for yourself in your own unique way, you don’t have to do it all in the same holiday. Enjoy the experience for what it is, not just to say you’ve “done it” Meet some of the locals, not just people who are in your hostel or on your bus.Travel is individual, do it for yourself, not to fit in with some transient crowd.Happy Travels