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World Travels by Casey

A bit of backpackers knowledge.

A mash up of thoughts and things I've come to learn during my time away from the states.

You will receive an education from traviling that only the world itself, experienced first-hand, can teach. This education is sure to change the way you view the world. 

A mother and daughter returning to their motor bike after leaving offerings at the temple. 

Maintain an open mind while always welcoming, and continuing to grow from, the experiences and interactions that come your way, no matter what they may be. Good or bad. 

A snail I found during a walk.

Bring a student Id if you have one. You never know, they might get you some discounts no matter where you are in the world. It worked for me!

A Hosteling international card can get you discounts in the long run as well. This card you have to pay for and it will take awhile before it's paid for itself. 

You constantly meet new people from all around the world. Interesting people from all sorts of backgrounds. Some of them you will share great adventures with and create wonderful friendships. Often you have to say goodbye to all of them, shortly after you meet. Usually this is because you have plans to travel somewhere else or they have plans to go their own way. You may keep in touch and meet again someday, you may also never see them again. 
"Good bye for now" is always a good thing to say as you part ways. 

Diana from Germany, myself, and Laura from Spain. In the Gilli's, Indonesian. 

understand that travel does not involve never-ending days of fun times, that there will be obstacles, tough situations and moments when you might feel confused, frustrated or even a bit lost. But at the same time, despite all of those, there is a reason why it’s so hard to find a traveler who regrets having traveled. 

Be aware that bringing a new pair of shoes on a month + back packing trip isn't always going to be the best choice. They may or may not cause you pain. This is obvious information but I bought a great pair of water shoes from my favorite shoe co. KEEN and now at the start of my trip I'm putting duck tape on my feet to help against blisters.

Bring duck tape! Maybe not a huge new roll like I brought but bring at least some. You might need it for a ripped bag, to cover blisters, to "McGeiver" something...

Bring 1 or 2 combo locks (or keyed) for hostels/backpackers or anywhere else you may run into a locker to store your belongings. 

If your packing light and backpacking, organize your clothes into shirts, pants, shorts, dresses... and then roll them and put them into ziplock freezer bags. The bags help for compressing the clothes and makes for quick packing. It's much faster to pull plastic bags out of your pack then digging for a certain shirt or whatever. 

I recommend a dark swimsuit. I brought 2 a black one and a brighter colored one but I've been wearing the black one the most. The reason for this is because you never know what kind of water you will be getting into or how long tell you can actually wash the suit again. We found some thermal pools to get into that turned the white part of the inside of the swim suite an orangish color. Much of it washed off but not all of it. I'm glad I had a black swimsuit for this reason. 

Be who you are! 
Many told me the best travel advice they could give me is to be Canadian. Sew a Canadian flag patch on my backpack.  I'm glad I didn't. I tested the waters a bit though. When I was asked if I was Canadian or American (a few times) Alicia & I responded with oh you can tell that much, huh? Then we'd say, what if we are Canadian and we'd get a funny look. When we told them we lived in oregon the next question was always... Portland!? Portland and Eugene are the 2 cities other travelers seem to know of. The fact we are from the west coast and that we are from Portland Oregon, we have been a huge hit! 
So take pride in who you are. And yes I realize not ALL countries like the US but most do.

Rice fields in Indonesia. 
Photo by Laura. 

Look for rewards in the tiniest of things. Let a handshake or an exchange of smiles bring you happiness. 
Allow small actions such as these to create a bond between yourself and people of other cultures. 

Pack as lite as you can! We found out the hard way when we were forced to check a bag with Tiger air. They made me weigh my personal bag with my big backpack and together it was over the weight limit. I paid more money to check a bag then I did for my airline ticket! So luckily we have a friend visiting for 10 days and I'm sending him home with a bag of stuff I don't really need.

Now that I have sent stuff home with our Oregon friend, Mitchell my bag is much lighter. But it's still over weight at the airport when both my bags are weighed together. I have discovered that most my weight is coming from my roll of duck tape, a costco size pack of baby wipes, my sleep sack and that pair of shoes that I'm still trying to stretch out. 

This varies by travler and by country but it's not a bad idea to have your own roll of toilet paper with you.

Indonesian floating flower decorations. 

When your in a country with bad water ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth with bottled water and don't open your mouth in the shower. 

Know that you will often be challenged and face unexpected situations, surprises and plans that change for one reason or another. You need to be able to handle a lack of routine and possaibly not knowing where you’ll be in a few days to a week. 

A colorful building in Indonesia. 
Photo by Laura. 

Sleeping in different beds all the time is part of the lifestyle of a backpacker. Some will be comfortable and nice and others hard. Often your so tired you just don't care, a place to lay your head is all that matters. 

The further from home you travel the bigger the variety of different foods becomes. Some foods will be quite different to anything you’ve ever eaten before. But so incredibly delicious! It's possaibly that these different foods could leave you sick as your body isn't used to them. Be prepared but there's no reason to be scared. 

Street food in Indonesia. 

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