Backpacking/ World tour

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    Sep 02, 2013 6:05 PM GMT
    I am planning to backpack probably Spring/summer of 2014. At this point, it is just me alone. My friends that said YES will flop out; no doubt about it. It going to be my first time and I am really not a big fan of travelling or doing things alone; always like to share the experiences. But I am determined to do this trip.

    Anyone done backpacking/ travelling alone? Any suggestions/ advice?

    So far my destination choices are:
    1. Latin/ Central american countries
    2. Eastern Europe countries
    3. South Pacific Countries/ Oceania
    4. Western Europe
    5. Iceland/ Northern Europe


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    Sep 03, 2013 5:17 AM GMT
    i would do western europe if it's youre first time. dont worry about being alone, just hostel or couchsurf it. europeans are friendly and are always up for a good time. check out traveling blogs and tips if you are scared, like nomadicmatt.com
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    Sep 03, 2013 7:53 AM GMT
    It really depends on what you are looking for. I have had a backpack strapped to my back for a good chunk of my adult life and have been to all the places you mentioned with the exception of Eastern Europe. They all have some positive aspects and some negative. I'll give you a bit of a rundown here but feel free to PM me.

    Latin/central anerica: tons of amazing places with fun lovin, lively locals. Central America is pretty compact and thus great for touring around but the landscape variation isn't as dramatic as a result. Mexico, Bolivia and Peru were all great...for partying and having fun but also for the nature. I would really recommend going to this region. One of my favourites!

    South Pacific/Oceania: I just returned from 8 months in Australia. Its a nice enough country with lots of open spaces. There's plenty of young European backpackers there to fill the hostels that are everywhere in the country. Great backpacker network but to be honest it is very easy to backpack here which took away the sense if adventure for me. If you like beaches then you will note that Australia has been blessed with beautiful ones; otherwise you might find the nature here to be a little less amazing than you might expect.

    Western Europe: Easy travel with a great backpacker and transportation network. Go to Europe if you want to take in some culture, learn some history and hit up some amazing parties and festivals (summer mainly). It isn't as expensive as Australia but will be more expensive than America and similar to Canada.

    Northern Europe: Obviously would be best to not go here in the winter. Iceland is amazing. You will love it there if you are into trekking, nature and the outdoors. Norway is the same. It offers a good mix of European culture and beautiful landscapes. There are less backpackers here than in the rest of Europe.

    By the way, you will certainly find other gay backpackers in backpacking meccas like the Thai islands and in developed countries like Europe. ..but once you get off thr beaten track you are likely going to be the only one. I encourage you to go against the grain and be that special guy that has done something not alot of your friends have.

    Happy Trails ;)
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    Sep 06, 2013 11:28 PM GMT
    zeffery saidi would do western europe if it's youre first time. dont worry about being alone, just hostel or couchsurf it. europeans are friendly and are always up for a good time. check out traveling blogs and tips if you are scared, like nomadicmatt.com


    have you done eastern europe?
  • cpgoose1

    Posts: 20

    Sep 07, 2013 3:56 AM GMT
    that's just a stereotype of Eastern Europe. I was in Ukraine for 2 weeks alone this summer and I met some absolutely amazing people.

    You just have to be aware that, generally speaking, Eastern Europeans aren't as personable with foreigners at first meeting, but after you've broke the ice with them, they are better than most.

    Be prepared to drink vodka, too. Lots and lots of vodka.
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    Sep 08, 2013 7:09 AM GMT
    Hey. Dunno what you consider 'backpacking' but I spent a month in Mexico this past summer. It was my first time travelling, and yes, I went alone. First time on a plane, first time outside the US, first time travelling. Anyway my experience was unforgettable.

    Definitely stay in hostels since you are travelling alone. This is how I met all my friends. Of course I met some off Grindr that showed me around the city but my hostel friends were more personable and didn't ask to see my dick within the first few conversations.

    I spent 1-2 weeks in each city I went to and had no trouble meeting people. Nightlife was fun and I'm not even a big fan of clubs. I particularly enjoy languages so this was a no brainer for me, but be sure you pick up useful phrases and basic vocabulary of whatever the language is in the country you happen to find yourself in.

    I recommend keeping track of how much you spend weekly. I personally had a budget of X amount of Mexican pesos per week, and if I didn't spend all of it one week, I knew I could splurge another week. For your entire trip, budget more than what you think you will need so you know you will come home with some money from your travel fund.

    I would also recommend having an "oh shit" fund, like if you need to suddenly fly back home for whatever reason. I went to Mexico thinking I'd stay there for 2 months but after a month I was ready to come home. Dunno if this is your first time travelling but apparently, for first timers this is a common occurrence.

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    Sep 08, 2013 7:17 AM GMT
    Register at couchsurfing.org,
    It's a good community with some safety nets to make sure you're not going to stay with a creepy person.
    I travelled alone in Japan for 1 month and actually was never alone.
    But meeting people with couchsurfing from one city to the next one can become tiring. You need to be sociable and thank your guest enough. So mixed with some simple hostels night it can be good.
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    Sep 08, 2013 7:43 AM GMT
    This past Spring was my first time backpacking outside of the United States. It was incredibly stressful preparing for my trip, but all of the anxiety was certainly worth it in the end. I backpacked through some countries in Africa.

    These are probably just the basics, but make sure you call your banks/credit card companies to let them know you'll be traveling. Scan your passport and keep that in your e-mail just in case you lose it or it's stolen. Write important phone numbers down, include embassies, as well. I would also recommend a money belt with rfid protection, just in case. Check weather patterns for the time you'll be visiting every country. Pack light - remember everything you take you'll be carrying for hours and hours. Actually, I would also practice unpacking and re-packing your gear, I know that sounds silly, but it was helpful on my trip. I learned to pack up my whole camp within about 10 minutes. Some countries may not have clean, drinkable water as easily accessible as you're used to - so look into that - steripens and drops are available. That's all I can really think of right now. I read some great suggestions already. You won't regret your backpacking experience!