A Candid Letter to First-Time Backpackers

Although backpacking has been highly popularized by millennials, there are still plenty of people out there (millennials included) who have never experienced the joy of backpacking in another country for prolonged periods of time. And if you are here on Backpackers Belize, then I can only assume that you are looking to embark on your very own backpacking journey or are at least considering it. But if you have never backpacked before in your life up until this point, then there are sure to be some reservations as well as general questions about how this sort of experience will go for you.

With that in mind, I wanted to take some time to give you some candid words from the heart that will help you not just take the leap and go on your very first backpacking adventure, but other tips and advice that will certainly prove useful to you, from someone who has backpacked numerous times in her life.

When it comes to backpacking, you need to embrace the idea of leaving your old world behind, first and foremost. You will be leaving not just many of your family and friends but will also be leaving your old way of living as well. The first few days and weeks may be tough, especially as you adjust to not just your new surroundings, but the new way of living that inevitably comes with inserting yourself into an unfamiliar culture.

Over time, you will get used to your new surroundings and new way of living. But it will admittedly take longer for you to truly feel “at home”, especially when you no longer have your friends and family beside you. All I can say with certainty is that eventually, your new location will grow on you, especially as you start meeting new people and bonding with them. The longer you stay there, the longer you will see it as a second-home to you, to the point where you will not want to leave when your backpacking journey is all said and done.

You may get lonely while you are on this journey, even after you have established new friends in your new location, if only because you will be missing your friends and family back in the states. This is totally normal, and something that even experienced backpackers have to deal with from time to time. If you are able to communicate with your loved ones back home, even if it is only through writing letters, then definitely take advantage of that. Otherwise, the best way to combat any loneliness that you may be feeling is to simply live in the moment and try to live out each day to the fullest, which will take your mind off of those feelings that in all honestly will just hold you back from having the time of your life.

If you are still on the fence about backpacking, then the last thing that I can tell you is that the journey will definitely be worth it once you take that leap of faith. Despite the many challenges that you may face while backpacking, especially on your first adventure, the exhilarating and meaningful experiences will stick with you for the rest of your life, and likely drive you to go on many more amazing adventures in the future.