Perhaps the scariest thing about backpacking, or even moving to a new country is wondering how you will be able to maintain your regular, everyday lifestyle. To avoid shock in a new country, just follow these tips.
Here is How To Live Comfortably While Travelling:
As with everything in life, preparation is key. Do some research, give yourself a head start. No matter what you read, you probably know best so you’ll ignore all hints and bring the necessities of home. For me, this meant clothing. Lots of clothing. Oh, and shoes. (“So, I’m heading to Australia in the middle of summertime? Yea, better bring 5 different jackets. And 5 pairs of Vans. Just in case they don’t sell these super necessary things down there”).
Packing is key. No one wants to be under-packed, so over-pack instead. People can live off 60L bags for months? Nah, you’re no peasant. Bring 2 suitcases worth of stuff, after-all you’re no back-packer, you’re a ‘traveler’.
It’ll be alright for the first few weeks, a little bit of discomfort is expected… right? Ubering everywhere (like my name was Madeintyo) because the amount of luggage you will have is more than a little difficult to get from hostel to hostel with. Whatever, finding a house is the next step anyways; THEN you will be glad I have all of this stuff.
Turns out, it’s not that easy to find a place in a market that you have no idea about. It’ll take a few attempts. You’ll buzz an older couple on the 7th floor for a showing. They’re nice. Weird, but nice(ish). The gentleman would offer you a beer if he wasn’t on his last one already. The compromise seems strained, but in the end it doesn’t work out anyways.
Back to the hostel.
The rooms are crammed, the bathroom is dirty, and for some reason the simple task of making friends is more and more difficult with each move. It’s kind of like that one time your family moved cross country and you had to make all new friends in the 5th grade… except you’re 20-something and you’re just moving down the street or to a new room, but there’s no playground this time – only booze.
You’ll finally luck out on a house – It’s a little out of your price range, you’ll be sharing with 10 other people that you haven’t met yet, and you pray that your roommate isn’t too strange; he’s cool and everyone is nice, but for some reason you feel like it’s taking some time to fit in. You’re alone most of the day, and you’re fine with that because….
You know what? Fuck this article. This is NOT why I started doing this.
I started writing this piece last week while I was feeling down on my luck. I’d been in the county for exactly 1 month, with what seemed like very little to show for it. I was sleeping on a bed without sheets, without a job nor enough money to pay for the 2nd week in my new house, all in a city where I knew virtually no one. The honeymooner-vacation phase was over and real life was crashing down on me. Hard.
To be honest, I can’t recall how upset I actually was or if I just felt like some sob-story views would make me feel better. But what I can say with certainty is that I made this website to share my stories and experiences, and always keep it 100% real. I did that, and at the time, I couldn’t even finish this post. That was my reality – and most likely will be the reality for every traveler at some point. Travelling isn’t always what Instagram makes it to be; There isn’t always cold drinks and beautiful people at hand, and the sun definitely isn’t always shining. You’re in a new place for a reason: TO LEARN. Though learning often means absorbing something from every great encounter that you have, sometimes it also means understanding what can be taught from the hardest times in your life as well.
Today, my reality is nothing like it was at this very same time last week, so in an effort to keep these stories of my adventures 100% real (okay, I might have to embellish sometimes… but what kind of storyteller would I be if I didn’t?) I cannot finish that post the way it was going. What I can do is tell you about some of my more recent experiences, and finish explaining ‘how to be comfortable while travelling’ – it all comes back to the same point I was trying to make, anyways.
I may get into more details a little later (most likely later this week on my other website, RLGTcanada.com), but so far this week I have: Got a well-paying job, had some amazing conversations with my roommates from around the world, caught up with some old friends & made 1 or 2 new ones, went to my first concert in Australia, got to meet an artist I’ve been listening too since I was 19, redesigned this website, and done the most writing that I’ve done in months. I’m not sure if it was the natural energy of being back in a music environment, or the paycheck (it really is amazing how $400 dollars can make you feel like a king) – but whatever it is, my creative side hasn’t been this invigorated since I started RLGT 2 years ago.
I feel full of energy, confident, and interested – but not comfortable.
But maybe that’s the beauty of this whole thing. Going back to the Bas article that I published a few days ago, this lifestyle will always be one big lesson in culture. It’s not about being comfortable or feeling like I’m at home. It’s about being attentive & adaptive to the world around you… and possibly seeing some cool shit every now and again. Travelling is fun, but it’s not easy. And part of me thinks that is the way is supposed to me.
-A how-to, by Hospey.