The first time my brother took time off to travel, he was twenty-two years old with his mind set on experiencing Southeast Asia. A recent college graduate, his next stop was Washington D.C. where he would be working as a consultant. However, instead of going straight into his job, he took three months to travel around the jungles, cities, and beaches of Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos.
When Forrest returned home, I barraged him with questions: how much money did you spend? what did you pack? where did you go? did you make friends along the way?
But perhaps the most important question I asked was: how does one travel as a backpacker?
My brother is really the one who gave me my first insights into backpacking, and now we trade tips and tricks 🙂 Although we have very different traveling styles, we both agree on one thing: the best thing you can do for yourself is take some time to see the world.
The second time my brother took time off to travel was a few months ago. No longer a fresh college grad, he was offered a promotion. Instead of taking the job he said, “I’m going to take some time and think about it,” and he promptly traveled to South America. Although this meant he would essentially be jobless upon his return to the States, he went for it anyway.
Below are Forrest’s tips for traveling and his take on why we should all give ourselves the opportunity to travel and experience the world, despite the “costs” 🙂
Name three items that are helpful to have when traveling
- A mesh bag for toiletries
- Downloaded entertainment (Netflix, Podcasts, etc.) for long bus and plane rides
- As little as possible, and don’t bring anything you aren’t willing to throw away
What are some of the benefits to planning your own itinerary?
- More personal = more fun
- Experience the country and culture
- More flexible
Do you have any tips for planning your own itinerary?
1. Before you go somewhere, Google that destination and pick out things that appeal to you
What are some tips for saving money while you travel?
What are some "life lessons" you've learned while traveling?
- I’ve learned to have more of an open mind and to really listen in conversations because there are always two sides to every story
- You have your whole life to work on your career–get out and experience the world while you have the time and the energy