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7 Things Only Backpackers Would Understand

7 Things Only Backpackers Would Understand

Backpacking is one of the most exciting ways to travel. As you adventure to incredible places while carrying your gear on your back, you learn more about yourself and the human condition than you could ever imagine. Those who truly love the experience understand more than a few things about how to maximize on fun.

1. We know why REI is so amazing

Backpackers need specific types of gear. It’s not always easy to find the perfect sleeping bag or trail ready backpack. When you shop onREI, you can get everything you need to hit the road with none of the drama of failed equipment.

Plus, with a membership, you give dividends back each year, making it the best $20 membership a backpacker can have. But while REI is a fantastic option, you also know how to pull the ropes at Walmar.

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2. We get excited looking at maps

No matter what your next journey entails, you will probably need a map to get you there. Maps are glorious things filled with unlimited possibilities.

Since backpackers are happy to go off the beaten trail, we can’t always just find someone to ask for directions. That’s just the moment you need that handy dandy map.

3. We impress friends by mentioning how cheap we travel

Sure, you can buy one of those package travel deals that takes you all over Europe. But, you pay a lot of overhead when you get in on those group deals. We trade the simplicity of travel packages for the excitement of lesser known travel.

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Anyways, we love the stories we get from crashing at the semi-sketchy hotel and camping out beneath the stars. That’s really what travel is all about, after all. And it can save us a lot of dough. All the better to plan our next trip.

4. We have super buff back muscles

One of the best parts of backpacking is the simplicity of carrying all your stuff on your back. Forget the rolling bags and fancy people carrying suitcasesto your room.

With a few quick zips and snaps, you can easily carry everything you’ll need. Hoisting that pack up on your back is like a bonus workout for every journey. Back muscles are sexy and backpackers definitely have more than their share.

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5. We love to do as the locals do

When you are backpacking, you get to see the world in a radically different way than those doing packaged tours. You have the opportunity to really chat with locals.

This also gives you the opportunity to find the cheapest and best experiences in this new place. Instead of paying those tourist prices, you go hang with the guys at the local pub and enjoy a more authentic travel experience.

6. We have some really beaten travel clothes

Remember when you were hiking over the Andes? When you came back, your boots were really too beaten to take on another journey, but you couldn’t just throw them out. Those boots are an important part of your history.

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You couldn’t have seen all that you did without their help. It’s much easier to throw them in the closet and occasionally reminisce as they come out. And don’t even get me started on that old beaten jacket that helped you survive that long winter in Europe.

7. We have way too many travel guides

Backpackers tend to set their own agenda when traveling. This means that we need a book or two to help us plan the journey. If your family has some old school backpackers, you may find chunks of travel guides laying about.

Why take the whole book when you can simply out the parts you need? Modern backpackers may have printouts of digital guides or maybe just a phone overflowing with travel apps. Either way, we have lots of information about the places we love to visit.

Featured photo credit: Hermann via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019

How to Invest in Yourself: 3 Valuable Ways to Change Your Life

How to Invest in Yourself: 3 Valuable Ways to Change Your Life

Investing in yourself may be the most profitable investment you ever make. It yields not only future returns, but often a current pay-off as well.

The surest way to achieve a better quality life, to be successful, productive, and satisfied is to place a priority on investing in both personal and professional growth. The effort you put into consistently investing in yourself plays a large role in determining the quality of your life now and in the future.

1. Develop Your Skills

Improving your skills doesn’t always mean investing in higher education, though that’s surely an option, and perhaps a necessary one depending upon your career field. Investing in your knowledge and skills can take many forms.

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In addition, expanding your level of knowledge and skill isn’t limited to the business arena and doesn’t necessarily need to be formal. There are many “skill investment” avenues.

  • Advance your education –  extra classes, advanced degrees, relevant certifications, are all valuable investments. Take classes, either in person or online. (Lifehack also offers this Masterclass that helps you to break free from limitations.)
  • Utilize available training – enroll in workshops, attend conferences or participate in webinars.
  • Expand your knowledge – there’s a lot of information available on nearly any subject imaginable. Read books, articles, white papers, anything related to the talent or skill you want to work on.
  • Keep current – stay abreast of the latest trends or advancements. Subscribe to publications, read blogs of experts, and follow the latest news.

2. Explore Your Creative Side

There is a fountain of creativity within most of us that has never been tapped or certainly hasn’t been used to its highest potential. We may need to unearth, and hone our individual creativity.

Creativity, in any form, helps us to grow personally and professionally, to view problems and solutions in different ways and to utilize other parts of our mind that may have been previously untapped. It’s important to keep in mind that creativity has many faces. It’s far broader than being a painter or sculptor; it’s also about trying new things.

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  • Learn a new language –  take a class or use language training software.
  • Try gourmet cooking – enroll in a formal class, by a new cookbook, or ask someone you know who enjoys cooking in a different way.
  • Write something – a book, short stories, poetry, anything.
  • Explore the outside world – try gardening, bird watching, or landscape photography.
  • Enjoy music – play an instrument, learn a new one or join a music group of some kind.
  • Create something tangible – paint, sculpt, make pottery, make jewelry or design your own clothes.

Choose some form of activity that you have never tried, haven’t practiced in years, or have never explored fully.

3. Nurture Your Mind and Body

Nurturing both your mind and body allows you to have more to give now and in the future — more energy, more knowledge, more compassion, more ideas, greater strength, physical and mental endurance.

Expand your mind. Learning new things and keeping your mind active even in simple ways helps to grow and maintain your mental ability.

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  • Read – anything and everything.
  • Explore culture – attend performances, listen to different style of music, travel, or join an organization or group comprised of people from different backgrounds.
  • Open your mind – engage in conversations with those who disagree with you. Look at an argument and try to make a case for the opposing point of view.
  • Keep your mind active – play word games, (yes, even Words with Friends counts,) board games that include strategy, or try using your brain to perform simple calculations rather than relying on a calculator.

Care for your body. Your body is like a well-oiled machine. If you care for it in the way that you might maintain an expensive car, it will perform marvelously and last for a very long time. Remember the basics:

  • Give it high quality fuel – meaning to make healthy food choices as often as possible. What you eat does play a large role in your energy and ability to perform. You truly are what you eat.
  • Don’t push it too hard – meaning to rest and relax often, slow down and don’t overload your system. Also, don’t shift gears too quickly; it causes stress and damage to “your machine,” A.K.A. your body.
  • Get regular and necessary maintenance – meaning to go to the doctor when you’re sick – don’t put it off until you totally break down. Better yet, use preventative maintenance; get check-ups, take appropriate vitamins and pay attention to irregular or erratic behavior.
  • Polish the exterior – meaning to take care of the outside too. Many people dismiss this as frivolous and self-indulgent, but it’s not as long as you don’t go overboard. We’re not talking about facelifts and Botox, we’re talking about getting a fabulous haircut, and wearing clothes that make you feel confident and attractive.

The Bottom Line

Investing in yourself truly makes a difference in your life, your well-being, and your ability to thrive and perform to the best of your ability. The extent to which you invest in yourself, mind and body, not only shapes the way you interact with the outside world, it often reflects the opinion you have of yourself.

Your future is in large part determined by your willingness and ability to invest in yourself now.

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Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

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