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Gokarna bus ride

10 Critical things to do every time you backpack

A traveller or a backpacker is so much different from a tourist. A tourist only looks at the popularity of a certain place or a certain culture, while a backpacker becomes one with the people, the culture and the place. Here are 10 things you must do every time you backpack:

1. Take public transport

Taking public transport has many advantages when you backpack. You not only cut down on your expenditure but also, you explore a lot more. The fun of taking public transport is that you meet so many locals, interact and look at their home through their lens. So what if you get lost, as long as you are safe, you have another street to discover while you backpack.

2. Finding a souvenir while you Backpack

Nowadays, you get souvenirs even online. The beauty of a souvenir is that it reminds you of your adventure. Buy anything from anywhere or you can even look for something that symbolises your trip like a fossil at Spiti Valley in Himachal or shells at Gokarna in Karnataka.

It becomes a part of your experience. Avoid buying the mainstream ones from the souvenir store. Keep your souvenir for life and it will always remind you of the challenges, risk and the different encounters you went through during the trip. And trust me it will definitely bring a smile on your face

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3. Learn the language while you backpack

When you learn the local language, you can of course brag about it and be proud of yourself. But, there is also one more advantage. It is 100% guaranteed, that any local you speak to in their language will be much kinder and helpful to you. There will always be a sense of commonality between you two. There is always a smile on the faces of the Himachali men when you address them as “Bhaiji”.

Every place or region has its own hidden gems. Unlike the popular ones that turn very commercial, these places are known only to locals and are not very famous. Try a place like this, and you will surely get to taste the different delicacies of that place and the authenticity. Try and communicate with the locals in their language and they will recommend such places that may fit into your budget as well.

5. Keep a travel diary

When you’re backpacking, you have so many things on your mind. Budgeting, places to visit, cuisines to try, things to buy, etc. With all the excitement in your head, you tend to forget sometimes. Hence, keep a diary.

It will not only keep an account of your expenses, but you could also make a checklist for yourself. You can even write about your discoveries, emotions. Who knows the poet or the writer in you might just ooze out in the midst of nature!

6. Explore a neighbourhood

Sticking to the same itinerary or blueprint is so mainstream. Instead, get lost and explore a new street or a new place. As long as you know you’re safe, exploring can be so much fun.

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Just take a walk or take the most convenient transport and keep your GPS away. Don’t set time constraints and just look around from morning to evening. Stop whenever and speak to whomever and feel like a part of them.

7. Venture off the oft taken path

It is easy to be a tourist and take the easy way out. But as a backpacker, you need to come out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. Don’t just look for the regular things, instead do something you would have never imagined.

Take a dip, go that extra mile, break boundaries and drive away your fear. Move away from your comfort boundary and you will be surprised of what you are capable of. It may change you a little but it will create memories you will never forget.

8. Check out a bar or a night club

Every place has a certain vibe after the sunsets. This is the best time to go to a bar or a night club and interact with the locals. You can meet different travellers like you, as well as share your experiences and get some more information about the place. Also, remember you have the independence to take decisions for yourself so hit the town because nobody knows you here.

9. Sending a postcard

If you want to show your loved ones how much you missed them on your trip or you want to show them the places you visited, do send them a postcard. It’s one of the sweetest gestures that make you feel connected to the people far away from you. It definitely makes their day and will always be remembered by them.

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10. Go on an excursion

Finally, if you’re going to a specified place, you can always take a road trip to a nearby village or go camping under a starry night. Let it be completely unplanned and go with the flow. Let the trip take you to a new place and do not anticipate anything. It will be a journey that is totally worth it.

So remember these ideas every time you travel. And try and make the most of your trip. You may not visit the place ever again so give it your 100% and enjoy the result.

Text By- Ravina Banze

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