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What is backpacking all about?

BackpackingWhat is backpacking all about?  Can everyone do it?  And what are the situations one can encounter on a backpacking vacation?  These questions and more are what people ask when they hear about backpacking trips.  The philosophy behind backpacking isn’t one for everyone.  It isn’t that you can not do it, but it involves giving up some comforts and securities that not everyone is ready to give up.  Backpacking when going on vacation or for a trip also involves a type of traveler personality.  If you are thinking about taking a trip like this here are the elements needed so that you may know it is the right type of travelling for you.
1.       Adventurous – you need to have a spirit of adventure to head out on a backpack trip.  Backpackers usually do just what the word implies: they have a backpack with them and are planning to travel in the cheapest way possible.  They will take trains or buses to reach their destination and look for cheap hotels or hostels, or family homes when they get to their first stop until they reach their final destination.
2.       Basic Needs – if you like to have a bathroom always at hand, clean towels, a warm shower and all other amenities that seem basic ones; then backpack travelling is not for you.  It is obvious that everyone can do what they want, meaning if you want to backpack Europe and stay in a 3 star hotel in Rome, for example, you can.  But typically the philosophy of the backpack traveler, or at least the initial one, is one that wants to save and live his/her travels the closest to the people and town as possible.  In this way not wasting money and getting a full experience of the destination’s culture and way of life.
3.       Quick Witted – you need to be fast at making certain decisions and not go into a panic.  When backpack travelling situations could arise where they were not expected.  A storm or not being able to find a place to stay or missing your train are all situations that require quick thinking and the absence of panic.
4.      Multi-cultural Awareness and Acceptance – when travelling to different places, especially different countries, cultural awareness and acceptance is a must in order for you to enjoy your vacation.  People think and behave in different ways.  Before any trip one should try and learn a little bit about cultures and differences in traditions and behavior so to be prepared.  If you don’t do any research at least be aware that you could encounter this situation and try to be prepared for it so that you can react positively and learn from it.