A fictitious 1st person account of a modern backpacker traveling the world for a year, based on my own experiences and other travelers.
*THE PLANET EARTH
DAY 001 After saying final goodbyes to the friends and family that came to the airport with me, I excitedly get my boarding pass, go through security and take the long walk to my gate… Waiting to board is excruciating but realize its far worse sitting in my airplane seat looking out the window waiting to move… Finally in the air. My journey has begun. The lack of sleep the night before is paying off as I feel sleep creeping on me. I turn on my iPod, close my eyes and catch some Zzzz’s.
DAY 002 I’m here. I’m actually here. In Thailand. But it hasn’t really hit me yet since I’m only at the the airport. I hit up the ATM for some Thai currency then catch a taxi… Jet-lagged, I look out the window of my taxi getting deeper into Bangkok, still hasn’t hit me… I fall asleep but minutes later the taxi stops as the driver yells at me in Thai. I open my eyes but takes a moment to adjust to the car interior light in my face, then I see the madness. The chaos of Khaosan Road. OMG. I pay the driver and attempt to find my hostel that’s in the belly of the beast of this insane street… After checking in, I realize what culture shock feels like and it hits me hard.
DAY 005 It took a few days but my culture shock has finally passed, but the jet-lag is still a bit of a bother. Luckily, I made friends with a couple of Canadians backpacking and have been touring with them.
DAY 013 After seeing most of Bangkok, a new friend and I take a night train to Chiang Mai in Norhtern Thailand. Cheapest and best train ride ever. So many backpackers doing the same thing I am, many friends are made. Already having an amazing time.
DAY 019 We take a 5 hour bus ride from Chiang Mai to the Mekong River in Chiang Khong which is the Loas / Thailand border. All of the 20 or so backpackers from the bus stayed at the same hostel to cross over to Laos in the morning. We eat, drink, party then sleep.
DAY 030 After traveling with some new best friend travelers for the past 11 days touring Luang Praband, tubing in Vang Vieng and island hopping in Don Khon, I realize it’s now been exactly a month since I started backpacking. Already 1/12th into my year long journey and I’m dreading the day I have to return… Today we cross into my 3rd country, Cambodia.
DAY 062 With Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam crossed off my travel bucket list, I returned to Bangkok to take a flight to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur for a week then to Indonesia for a month.
DAY 071 Singapore was cool but expensive so its nice to arrive in Bali. The heat however is intense but welcoming for the beaches. I check into a hostel in Kuta, now time to make some new friends… I hit up the beach for the first time since I started traveling and tried surfing for the first time ever. I sucked but it was awesome. Still no friends, I have dinner alone… But once I get back to the hostel, there’s a party going on and the loneliness fades. I have my first Indonesian beer, BINTANG, I friggen love it.
DAY 100 On my last night here in Indonesia, it just so happens to be my 100th day of continuous world travel as I fly to Korea in the morning. All the backpacker friends that are still around throw me a party at the hostel. We had toured much of Bali together and have become very close friends, so it’s sad to leave them in just a few hours. I’m beginning to realize saying goodbye to all the amazing people I meet along the way is the hardest part of backpacking.
DAY 128 Thinking Korea was going to be bland, my originally planned 10 days here has extended to almost a month. A lesson learned; never judge a country without actually visiting… After hitting up Seoul and Busan with crazy amounts of partying and kimchee eating, my exhausted body is ready to take a ferry boat from here to Fukuoka, Japan.
DAY 146 Having made my way from from Fukuoka to Hiroshima to Kyoto then finally Tokyo, I realized Japan is my favorite country so far but has destroyed my budget. I want to stay longer but my money wants to leave and as a backpacker, I can’t always listen to my heart but to my wallet… I take a long flight to Amsterdam but with a 24 hour layover in Hong Kong of which I quickly regret not staying longer in as it’s an amazing city. There’s always next time.
DAY 153 I almost felt reverse culture shock in the first few days in Amsterdam after being in Asia for so long. But I’ve been Couchsurfing with a local that made me very comfortable the entire time here. It’s a nice change from hostels but I do miss it and will be checking in to another one when I arrive in Paris tomorrow.
DAY 217 After a hectic tour through France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, I finally arrived to my final destination in this part of Europe; Berlin. I met up with a fellow backpacker that I met in Thailand all those months ago. She welcomed me into her home like old friends for the week I was in Germany… I arrive in Istanbul tomorrow.
DAY 249 It’s been a while since I found good people to travel with. So my time in Turkey was made even more memorable with the 5 backpackers I was with the whole time here… Satisfied with my second continent, I will step foot on my third when I get to Cairo in just a few hours. More hard goodbyes to good friends, such is the way of the backpacker.
DAY 294 As I lay here sick with the flu in my Cape Town hotel days before hitting my 300th day of backpacking, I realize how lucky I am. Backpacking the world has been the greatest time of my life and it saddens me that only 2 more months remain until I return home to the United States.
DAY 300 On my 100th day of backpacking, I had a huge party with the entire hostel and was planning on doing the same for today, the 300th day. But I’m still too sick to even leave my hotel. But it actually doesn’t bother me because I’m happy of what I’ve accomplished and experienced… I spend the whole day inside but have a nostalgic time looking through all the photos I uploaded or was tagged in on Facebook throughout my travels. It’s a good day to reminisce. I’m sick but happy.
DAY 334 I fell in love with a fellow American backpacker in just a short 12 days of meeting her here in Madagascar. But today is the day I leave for Brazil, the final stop of my adventure. Fortunately, as a flexible traveler she changed her plans last minute so we fly together in just a couple of hours.
DAY 356 Today marks my 1 year and final day of traveling around the world as well as the first day of our engagement. What should have been a sad day as my journey is now over is actually one of my happiest as a new journey begins with my new fiancee… We have a final drink at our favorite bar in Rio and then fly home together to my apartment back in the States… As soon as we get there, we immediately start planning our next around the world adventure.
There are many more destinations, experiences and endless routes a backpacker can take traveling the world, this was just an example of a typical year.
A year in the life of a modern backpacker.
The world reveals itself to those who travel on foot.