If, by some odd chance, you didn’t already know – I’ve just been travelling in some of the best countries in the world (Australia & NZ, duh!) and have just returned from the most amazing 3 month holiday!
Having never travelled for this long a period before, in a brand new country – not to mention one located as far as physically possible from my home – and on my own, I thought it smart to do a bit of research. I found blogs and YouTube really useful for this (sites & channels I’ll link below), as well as telling everyone I know and asking them for tips, and a common theme that came up was…
‘OMG I’m so jealous, you’re going to have the most amazing, incredible time of your life’
‘Backpacking alone changed my life’
Now it’s possible that these are both spontaneous statements – because who’s going to tell someone about to head off travelling that it’s a huge mistake? – but since it came up quite a bit, I decided they may be true! And since the first statement I can confirm is correct! I thought I’d think a bit about the second and so results in this blog post!
A stereotyped thought of backpacking or a ‘gap yarr’ (or gap 3 months) is that a young pre/post-uni student will head out to – most commonly – Asia/Australia (or both) for a year of drinking, partying, and fun adventures and come back all tanned and hippy, appreciating the little, deeper and more meaningful things in life.
Now even when writing that – attempted piss-take of the common backpacker – I couldn’t help but think, ‘Oh god that’s me!’ and yet I still feel like me – I haven’t changed – just maybe with a spot more confidence and experience.
I think I’ve definitely learned a lot from travelling – something I’ll do another post on – and in a way yes it’s changed me. Not that I’m now some hippy pro-surfer with an Aussie accent (however much I wish I was), but it’s changed me like any big experience changes someone – for the better.
It’s made me a lot more confident in myself and has given me perspective but taking my mind out of a world it’s been stuck in for so many years. I’m probably not the first to say it was a hard and sometimes difficult experience – an opinion not shared by all and not mentioned much – but helped me work through some demons of mine and has made me a much better person.
Sorry if this post was a bit jumbled/irrelevant/incoherent! It’s a very difficult thing to try and get down into words!
Any other travellers feel they’ve changed from their first trip?