Don’t carry unnecessary weight: I intended to go backpacking for a year with 3 jeans, 2 shorts, 8 blouses, 1 dress, 4 leggings, underwear, 2 bathing suits, sandals, mountain shoes, thermal clothing, socks, face creams , blocker, shampoo, conditioner, hair cream, among others. Oh and add my photo equipment: 2 DSLR cameras, 3 large and heavy lenses, 3 external hard drives, computer, chargers, filters, batteries, external trigger, steady cam, tripod, and the list goes on.
I walked kilometers for months with more than 20 kilos in the back and I can assure you is not a good idea. So when I accepted reality, I had to literally throw away my clothes: in Norway I got rid of jeans, 1 short, 3 blouses. Later in Spain I left 1 leggin, 2 more blouses. In Paris I could not stand it and I gave away other leggings, a camping tent, and I lost tripod at the Palace of Versailles. In Oman, I threw a backpack that was almost new and at the Malaysia airport they did me the great favor of removing my face creams, sunscreen and shampoo. So you see, the last two months I survived with 1 leggings, 3 blouses, 1 bathing suit, basic hygiene stuff in mini-bottles that I recharged when I needed.
It couldn’t be better. At first,I cried because I didn’t want to get rid of clothes that I liked a lot but I began to detach myself from the material possessions. I learned to enjoy the experience, the people, savoring the languages, the culture. Getting rid of death weight was getting rid of bad mood and fatigue.
Route flexibility: This is something I mentioned in other posts because having the possibility of changing the route allowed me to explore sites or countries that I didn’t know existed. Recommendation or self discovery, the point is that we can be surprised and watch something spectacular. Also if you lose a bus, trains or flights, you won’t have the stress to lose the rest of the reservations or pay penalties for late cancellations.
Eat well: Don’t let a low budget limits the good food. Remember that to explore a place, the body will ask for energy. With each different climate and environment, we will be developing defenses to adapt. To backpack is exhausting and to take advantage of your time, the idea is to have a healthy body to explore, especially if there are demanding trekkings or activities that take us to the limit. In addition, I think that taking pleasure in learning about local cuisine is not necessarily expensive, it depends a lot on how much you take the time to explore the surroundings. For example, in Cambodia I loved the Lok Lak traditional plate and found places where they sold the dish at $ 2. In Spain, I found a place where a paella for two people was around 10 euros (not bad for being Europe).
I have experienced both paths: I have eaten too well, so well that I started to gain weight and I have eaten badly, so badly that my defenses fell low enough to leave me with a flu for a month and a half. Having a low budget should not be synonymous with dying of hunger. There are many ways to save and spend the least and the main one is: to cook, buy in supermarkets or look for markets or places that are frequented by locals, stay away from the touristic shops. Do not be afraid to try different things, the same fruit can have an exorbitant price or be super cheap depending on the geographical location, adapt to what’s offered and enjoy this side of the experience.