I’m pretty new to this backpacking lark. With less than a week to go now, I’m finding myself speaking to lots of people who’ve “been there, done that” in the hope that I can learn from their mistakes. It’s very nice of them to have taken the fall, and I appreciate them learning the hard way so I don’t have to.
Anyway, here are the three questions I find myself asking more and more.
1. Where the bloody hell do I start with packing?
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve travelled with a backpack before, but that was only for a few weeks and I pretty much took my entire wardrobe with me. Amazingly, no matter how short my shorts were and how thin my scoop neck t-shirts were, I still felt like I was lugging a fully grown human around on my back.
Now it’s a bit of a different story. As I’m travelling indefinitely, I want to obviously pack light whilst still having enough clothes to not smell like a complete hobo every few days. The main problem isn’t a lack of choice, it’s the fact that I can’t bring myself to decide what I want to take! Add to that the fact that I have to think in terms of practicality as well as style (no snarky “style” comments please…), and I’ve got a serious struggle on my hands.
So far I think I’ve chosen:
• four t-shirts
• one long sleeved top
• a pair of jeans
• three pairs of shorts
I’m hearing that this is already too much, in which case I think I’m actually going to have a breakdown.
2. How much should I plan?
I don’t do planning. I don’t like sticking to rigid plans. I only bought a backpack last week for god’s sake. I’m extremely laid back and more than happy to just go with the flow and be spontaneous.
However, it recently dawned on me that it might be wise to have some sort of plan as I’m jetting off to the other side of the world with a one way ticket. Just an idea anyway.
Thankfully, I’m going to Australia for my step-brother Mike’s wedding with the family, which kind of forces my hand in terms of plans. In other words, my mum’s sorted out flights and a stopover in Singapore, time in Sydney and finally Coff’s Harbour for the wedding. After the wedding, I’ve decided to head to Surfer’s Paradise for a bit with my other step-brother, Chris.
When Chris leaves, I’m back to having no plans. I barely know anything about Australia so haven’t planned anything else. Here’s hoping I can wing it!
3. How easy is it to get work?
I’m under no illusions, I know the length of my stay is probably dependant on whether I get work or not. I’ve saved some money, enough to last me quite a while, but the more I hear about Australia the more paranoid I get about running out of cash.
Also, did I mention that I’m a little office boy who doesn’t like getting his hands dirty? A snob, some may say, so the idea of fruit picking in a field doesn’t necessarily jump out as a great option. Ah well, needs must.
Are you a seasoned backpacker? How do you like to pack, plan and work?