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Backpacking trips can be aptly described by three words – beautiful, rough and adventurous. Exploring some of the least fancy yet memorable experiences out there, dancing till you drop dead and befriending the locals – that’s what most of these trips are about.

Once you set out, you go with an unexpected flow because you’re only thinking about the fun that you’re going to have. Exciting, nerve wracking or cool, there are certain backpacking moments that are experienced by every backpacker.

So read on and mark off your list the things that you have experienced as a backpacker.

1. Meeting, befriending or getting in trouble with the locals

This is probably the best way to know the place, through its people. You must have experienced this at least more than once. Right from finding out cheap restaurants to amazing sightseeing places – nobody can be a better guide.

2. Stuffing yourself with food that you don’t eat everyday

Normal is boring and while you’re on a trip, it’s a big NO. Even when you’re looking for cheap food options, a true backpacker never settles for something ordinary. Count the number of times you would have chosen plain rice over rice cooked in red chilli powder and yogurt. No dieting on trips, please (at least for me). Food is the very first reason why I travel to new places.

3. Discovering the city’s historic neighbourhoods

Taking a walk around the less glamorous places in the city is definitely a good way to find some peaceful time on your own. Remember the times you’ve set out towards the charming old church or the fort on the hillside and they became some your most endearing memories. These culturally rich historical places enrich your travel experiences in a way that only nightclubs will not.

4. Taking the local mode of transport

Most of the times when you’re doing this, you would have felt like you’re putting your life in someone else’s hands. But there’s no better way to explore a place and you won’t end up burning a hole in your pocket.

5. That annoying traveller who acts like your parent

Such people have a long list of DO’s and DON’Ts that they willingly share with you even when you’re not interested in listening to them. Right from the kind of food you should eat to the number of times you should use the restroom – they can really get on your nerves. They always sound genuinely very concerned but end up being extremely irritating.

6. Maintaining a budget book

As a backpacker, money or the lack of it becomes a crucial part of your travels. When money is at the back of your mind, then keeping a budget book always helps. After all keeping a track of even the smallest expenses makes a lot of difference on the entire travel budget. Almost everything, from the candies I purchase to the amount spent on buying gifts is noted in my budget book. This way, you won’t be unpleasantly surprised in the middle of nowhere.

7. Taking pictures of everything that you see

Be it a yellow flower blooming on the road, a local woman carrying a child or a coloured stone – almost everything gets clicked. Digital cameras certainly bring out the photographer inside each one of us. Perfect or clumsy, every picture taken has a different story to tell.

8. Learning to bargain

It’s almost like you can’t do without acquiring the skill to bargain if you’re a backpacker. Every penny saved not only makes you feel good about your haggling skills, but also adds more to the fun. You can also boast about this among your friends who treat you as a shopping pro.

9. Staring at not just the scenic beauty but every hot girl/guy you see

This is one experience that makes one giggle every time you think about it. Checking out the beautiful girl at the coffee shop or trying to strike a conversation with the hot guy walking in front of you. Just like the amazing landscape leaves us feeling surprised at its beauty, it’s natural to check out every attractive person in sight.

10. Overcoming fear of the unknown

Most backpackers take off alone. It’s the best way to overcome your fears, be it travelling alone, climbing a mountain, reaching out to new people in new places. The fear soon gives way to thrill and excitement. And every new place is different coming with its own set of challenges and surprises.

I think every backpacker will agree with me when I say that every trip leaves them feeling more confident and happy.

Priyata is a daydreamer, glutton and a storyteller bitten by the travel bug. For her, humour is the best medicine and ‘Being Humorous’ is the best thing one can be.

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