There is no better feeling than being one with nature. What better way to accomplish this than spending a couple of days, or months, in the woods? Backpacking is an activity that anyone can do, all around the world, with a little preparation. This activity allows hikers to explore both themselves and the world simultaneously. There are so many perks to backpacking. Here are just a few.
While the equipment can be pricey, hikers find backpacking to be the cheapest form of travel. Not only are you able to go anywhere with a trail, but it's also an excuse to travel the world. Fortunately, you only have to pay for your flight, your food, your gear, and housing (if you want to occasionally stay in a hostel). Most vacations require many more expenses, which can limit what you can do and how long you can do it.
2. Meet new and awesome people.
If you meet someone else willing to devote several months of their life to backpack around the globe, you two are likely to have a lot in common. No matter what their age, nationality, social ranking, religion, and occupation -- or yours -- you both have one common goal: to finish!
3. Acquire new skills.
Backpacking requires a lot of prior knowledge in order to have a good, and safe, journey. But, after all that reading and documentary watching, you're still going to have questions. This gives you the opportunity to learn from others and their experiences. Bonus: If you're traveling in a foreign country, you're even likely to pick up on some new language skills.
4. Expand your cultural horizons.
Even if you're traveling in your state, you're likely to come across a wide variety of people with different stories and life experiences that you can personally grow from. If you're traveling out of country, then it's guaranteed that you will be immersed in a new culture. Who knew that walking could cause you to see the world and all of its many cultural and diverse treasures?
Whether you're alone, with a partner, or with a group, you're living day by day. You have no schedule. If you want to take a zero day, you go for it. If you want to enjoy an extra day in the city, that's your call. The world is your oyster.
6. Astounding stories to share.
While backpacking, you will hear stories of others' journeys. Not only will you have your own stories to share after your trip, but on your next one you will have advice for others because of your experience, just like they once gave you. I promise there will be a next one; backpacking is like a tick that you got on your trip, it clings to you. After your adventure, even with the high and low moments, you will be hooked and craving more.
Not only is this amazing for your physical health, but it's great for your mental health as well. Everyone deserves to feel free and have time to explore themselves and the world. Indulge in this great activity. Backpacking is an experience that is indescribable, breathtaking, and life changing. Susan Sontag said it perfectly, "I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list." This mindset is contagious. Indulge in the perks of backpacking and start planning a trip today.