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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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