To Travel is always a pleasure. To many it means a temporary stop the routine they’re immersed in, and to others, it could almost be considered a lifestyle. Increasingly, in the past few years, backpackers have become a common sight; people, regardless of their economic situation are packing only the necessary items in their backpack and are capable of traveling for months on end to fascinating places.

Traveling can pose challenges

These kinds of voyages aren’t always easy. We all know the positive aspects, as they are inherent to traveling itself: enjoyment, relaxation, discovery, making friends, etc. However, going alone carrying nothing but a backpack and no small amount of uncertainties (such as where you are going), poses some serious challenges: fear, solitude, and exhaustion, both mental and physical.

But where some may see difficulties and problems, others find opportunities to challenge themselves and learn from it all.

Traveling for months alone is not an easy thing. You encounter people who come and go, who’ll brighten up one or two of your days, but you’re essentially alone. More than ever in your life, you’ll depend on yourself for everything, both for the good things and the bad. You’ll discover sooner rather than later that you should trust your instincts and abilities to live from day to day, as you’ll have no one around most of the time to help you out. To sum it all up, you have to learn to be self-dependent and disciplined, because, don’t be mistaken: traveling this way is no small exercise of discipline.

Learning to cope with fear

The fear of what is in store for you and the solitude with which you travel is something you’ll have to cope with the whole way.

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It’s in those “down” moments when you discover who your friends are and what they mean to you. Same goes with the family, always by your side, but whose importance you never thought about until you really needed it. Travelling is a way to make you meditate about the worth of the people that surround you and teaches you to properly value them.

Apart from the value of the people around you, after a couple of months living with the “bare essentials” that could fit in your backpack, you learn another very important lesson: you don’t need so many “things” to live and be happy. When one thinks about the massive amount of possessions we have, sometimes it would be good to ask oneself: Do I really need all of this to live my life? It’s possible the answer is no, and on many occasions, people who travel with only a backpack find it out sooner than later. Life’s not about having a lot of things, but about having those strictly necessary to make you happy.

Overcoming the fear of the unknown and realizing that you can do anything you set your mind to are good ways of learning about oneself.

It’s a great way to build confidence in yourself and learn that there are few obstacles in life you can’t best. This lesson learned through traveling, is as (or maybe even more) important than any subject you could have studied in your college degree because it’s the kind that builds you as a person.

Finding your own way to happiness

Travelling, and more so as a backpacker, isn’t something everyone likes to do, and that is actually completely fine as not everything has to work for everyone. There are many ways traveling and living your life and everyone finds his/her own way that will, in the end, make him/her happy. Backpacking is just a sort of therapy, the good solution to when you have too much in your head or feel frustrated.

From my point of view, traveling is something that can never hurt anybody. The trip could go well or wrong, but it will definitely teach valuable lessons and more importantly, will allow someone to get to know him/herself better. Putting yourself to the test is never a bad idea.