15 ways backpacking has altered my way of living
- Becoming a great cook
Being in different supermarkets all over the world, discovering new ingredients, improvising on recipes, trying out free styled cooking has definitely channelled the inner master chef in me.
- Learning different cultures and seeing that media has a way of influencing people
Going to places that the media has deemed unsafe and ignoring “travel warnings” has shown me that there’s two sides to every story, and sometimes… these places aren’t as bad as what people make it out to be. In fact we have much to learn about other cultures that we know so little about.
- Appreciating the small things
Living simply has taught me how to treasure little moments that we can never replicate again. First world problems have a way of creeping into your lives and you’ll tend to take things for granted.
- Seeing real problems as problems and ignoring the petty ones
When you’re exposed to different cultures and meeting new people, being in brand new environments you look past the petty issues that people stress over on a daily basis. Because really, there are bigger problems out there in the world and ain’t nobody got time for your silly complains.
- Fuck rules
Living and growing up in a strict city such as Singapore, there are often many rules to abide and many people live in fear of doing the wrong things, or what isn’t “allowed” or what shouldn’t be done in certain ways. I’ve learnt that rules are made to be broken and people should stop kicking a big fuss or overreacting when someone does something to break the rules. Can’t jaywalk? IDGAF. I walk where I want, when I want.
- Letting bygones be bygones
I’ve learnt to let go of any conflicts I’ve had with people because my time away from home has made me realize that life is too short to hold grudges over something that isn’t probably worth it.
- Being thrifty and knowing the value of things
Saving money on material needs in exchange for experiences that no amount of money can buy.
- Realizing that friendship cannot be basedÂ on how long you’ve known someone
Crossing paths with the most amazing people and realising the fact that you can meet somebody new and connect with them almost instantly, in ways you can never do so with friends you’ve known for years or decades.
- Being more independent than I ever will
I’ve come to a point in my life where I can truly say that I don’t need to depend on anyone else to do anything. If you chucked me on a deserted island at this point, I’ll survive and I’ll make the most out of it. Because “If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company.”
- Knowing how not to give a fuck & be daring
I used to be afraid of many things but backpacking has put me in situations that require me to challenge myself. Being spontaneous and growing some balls to do something that goes out of my comfort zone has made me more daring than I ever was.
- Living simply
If it’s dark in a dorm, use a torch. If it’s bright or noisy, sleep is still a few minutes away. My roommates complain about the most irrelevant things that affect their living conditions, and I find that these fussy issues don’t bug me in any way at all.
- Better knowledge
Immersing in history, cultures, experiencing other’s way of life. These are things you don’t get to learn anywhere else.
- Becoming more open minded
Growing up in a typical Asian family, you can only imagine the range of “acceptable” things I was taught. That has definitely changed and it’s good to see more and be more open minded about everything.
- Understanding that luxury is overrated
First world countries and their people with fancy things. It doesn’t mean that people who aren’t rich enough are any less than the people who make a choice to live a non-luxurious lifestyle
- Breaking out of the society-approved norm
I’ve come to realize I don’t need to conform to the typical route of life. Get a job, join the rat race, find a partner, fall in love, get married, start a family. Planning to live like this is as good as making plans til the day you die.