Having recently returned from travelling around Thailand for ONE WHOLE MONTH, which I first mentioned on the blog here, I am just about managing to get the jetlag under control enough to able to start sharing my experiences with you! (Happy dance!)
This first post derives from some key lessons I've learnt from this trip, as well as my previous backpacking trips. Here's 10 things that no one tells you about backpacking:
1. Wifi is like gold dust. If you're not specifically choosing restaurants, bars and cafes because they offer free wifi then you're totally doing it wrong.
2. Never book an important party at the start of your trip as delayed transportation or nasty tummy bugs are bound to happen meaning you miss out on your party :( SADFACE.
3. You will inevitably spill something down yourself on the first day and then you'll have to spend the rest of your time backpacking in dirty clothes. It's grimy, it's sweaty and it's disgusting but when in South East Asia! #yolo
4. Carting your backpack around in 30 degree heat is like slow torture. ONE LIMB AT A TIME.
5. If you're travelling to Thailand, for example, you will get bitten to death by mosquitoes. And then you have to deal with the itching all day every day, as well as all night every night while you're trying to sleep... OH LORD, the itching! It's enough to drive you insane.
6. You'll spend a good amount of time at the sink in your hostel or hotel room cleaning your dirty pants because you've ran out of clean ones... YET AGAIN! It won't be long before you learn that Fairy soap is like magic!
7. There will come a time where you have no choice but to use the nasty squat toilets. This time will make or break you. You'll either suck it up, tackle it head on and accept that there's a great possibility you might pee on yourself - or cry and refuse to use them, thus running the risk of damaging your bladder by having to hold it until you come across a *proper* westernised toilet.
8. Speaking of toilets, they might not function properly, hence you having to put all your dirty toilet roll (if there is toilet roll as, more often than not, there won't be!) in the same open bin as everybody else's dirty toilet roll. You will see some sights that will scar you for life - GOOD LUCK.
9. In some countries, like Thailand, your plug adapter won't fit into the wall plug sockets properly meaning that charging your phone is a nightmare as it keeps falling out! Say hello to 5% phone battery, your new best friend.
10. For some reason, in various budget hotels, the shower heads are halfway down the wall in the wet rooms. Be prepared to have to bend your head backwards as if you're doing some strange sort of bathroom limbo dance in order to be able to wash your hair. TRUE STORY. (I am five foot eleven, for goodness sake, give a gal a chance!)
All jokes aside, backpacking is one of the most enriching, fulfilling and, quite frankly, LIFE-CHANGING experiences you will ever have. You will never appreciate your own country and home comforts more than ever following a stint with your backpack. It also puts things into perspective massively in terms of how lucky we are to live in such a wealthy country such as the UK, with all of our little luxuries and privileges that we often take for granted on a daily basis. I have never been so grateful for our cleanliness and hygiene standards, in particular, and how we don't have to deal with the pesky blighters that are mosquitoes!
We have much to be thankful for. I always very much enjoy my backpacking experiences, as it's good to be out of your comfort zone and do things that unsettle you, but I also very much enjoy coming home.
There is a lot more to come on the blog regarding my Thailand travelling experiences, so keep your eyes peeled!
Furthermore, I am so happy to be able to say that I will be visiting my love in Green Bay in a couple of weeks time, for ONE WHOLE MONTH, so I will be able to post regularly and share more with you whilst I'm in the US! It's super exciting!
Until next time...
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