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I'm really in need of opinions

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yangg
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I'm really in need of opinions

Postby yangg » Thu, 18 Apr 2013 11:42 am

Hi to all.

This is gonna be a little long, so if you bear with me and read through it all, thank you.

I'm a local (23/M). I'm have been working since I left the army last year, and as expected, I'm not loving my job.
Thus, I've been thinking about what I actually want to do, and only one thing comes to mind, travelling.

So now, I'm actually thinking of quitting my job soon, and going on a long backpacking trip. I'm considering Japan, since I can speak the language to a certain extent. The trip would consist of travelling through the country by bicycle. During this trip, I plan to try my hand at writing and record my journey.

As I'm not confident in travelling alone for such a long period, I'm thinking of finding a buddy.

I would like to hear of your opinions on the following:
- The idea of such a trip
- If anyone else would actually be interested (A yes doesn't mean you'll
have to join me

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the lynx
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Re: I'm really in need of opinions

Postby the lynx » Thu, 18 Apr 2013 11:54 am

yangg wrote:Hi to all.

This is gonna be a little long, so if you bear with me and read through it all, thank you.

I'm a local (23/M). I'm have been working since I left the army last year, and as expected, I'm not loving my job.
Thus, I've been thinking about what I actually want to do, and only one thing comes to mind, travelling.

So now, I'm actually thinking of quitting my job soon, and going on a long backpacking trip. I'm considering Japan, since I can speak the language to a certain extent. The trip would consist of travelling through the country by bicycle. During this trip, I plan to try my hand at writing and record my journey.

As I'm not confident in travelling alone for such a long period, I'm thinking of finding a buddy.

I would like to hear of your opinions on the following:
- The idea of such a trip
- If anyone else would actually be interested (A yes doesn't mean you'll
have to join me


My opinion as an experienced backpacker?

Start small if it is your first time. Go somewhere nearer, or do a shorter one first. Then only do the one you mentioned above. Backpacking can be a soul-searching experience but you can only truly experience it wholly if you plan enough. From your post, you're still a newbie in this, hence my advice.

yangg
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Re: I'm really in need of opinions

Postby yangg » Thu, 18 Apr 2013 12:04 pm

the lynx wrote:My opinion as an experienced backpacker?

Start small if it is your first time. Go somewhere nearer, or do a shorter one first. Then only do the one you mentioned above. Backpacking can be a soul-searching experience but you can only truly experience it wholly if you plan enough. From your post, you're still a newbie in this, hence my advice.


Hi lynx, thanks for your post.

I have backpacked about 4-5 times in the past, but nothing on this scale, hence the insecurity. And I don't have plan yet as I just came up with the idea, but I do intend to come up with an itinerary.

Seeing as you're experienced, may I ask about the kinds of risks which I might face?

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Postby Akimbo » Thu, 18 Apr 2013 12:12 pm

A backpacking trip is truly something one needs to do at least once in his/her life. It can be as short as a weekend out, or a 3 month long trip. (provided they have the capital for it I suppose...)

First time I did it alone, was a very short Europe backpacking trip back in 2009 while I was there for an internship, and I never regretted it at all.

During the CNY period, I just did my backpacking trip through Thailand. Only 10 days, but still managed to see the sights and meet lots of other travelers. I asked myself over and over whether I want to do it with friends or do it alone.

Frankly speaking, most of my Indonesian friends went back home, and the expat friends here are still adjusting to the life, and therefore couldn't take such a long leave.

So I went there all by myself. And you know what? Soul-searching trip such as that was really what I needed to do as I had thought.

To answer your second question, yang, I would also like to go to Japan, but not now, not so fast. Still gotta teach myself back the language.

I also have the same assumption as lynx when reading your post, and also considering that you just finished NS, I'd say that you also don't have any international experience other than Singapore, at least, not by doing backpacking.

Though I'm probably not as experienced as lynx, my advice if you do take it, is the same as hers. If you are a newbie, start somewhere near, do it shortly. Plan it right, but be ready to have last minute changes (usually that's where the fun is). You can find friends over the course of the trip, heck, you can try and find one via couchsurfing.

Course, if you want to do it alone, just prepare yourself for all the essentials, and also don't forget to have a safety precaution just in case anything bad happens.

I'm 24/m btw.
My thread...The Weekenders If you need my e-mail address, it's in the first post of the thread.

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the lynx
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Re: I'm really in need of opinions

Postby the lynx » Thu, 18 Apr 2013 12:18 pm

yangg wrote:Hi lynx, thanks for your post.

I have backpacked about 4-5 times in the past, but nothing on this scale, hence the insecurity. And I don't have plan yet as I just came up with the idea, but I do intend to come up with an itinerary.

Seeing as you're experienced, may I ask about the kinds of risks which I might face?


Since you have done it before, then you should not have any problem. Think of it as an extended version of your regular backpacking trips. One of the game-changing factor would be your funds. You don't want to be forced to end your trip prematurely just because you run out of funds, especially when you have to quit your job for it.

Another thing you will go through is the lost sense of time and familiarity. Happened to me before. After backpacking close to 2 months, I woke up in a small town near Hue and for first few minutes, I forgot what was the date and worse, I forgot where I was. Too much of bed-hopping :P

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Postby offshoreoildude » Thu, 18 Apr 2013 12:44 pm

Consider a Kontiki tour. Good way to travel with other young people around Europe etc and often a way to find others to hook up with for trips.
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Postby nutnut » Thu, 18 Apr 2013 2:02 pm

My opinion:

You should take the bull by the horns and do it! You've done NS right? You've got some cash and can buy a mobile phone when you get there, I really don't see the risk, just read plenty and go on your own! I did Europe on my own when I was younger, I had a great time, if you stay in hostels you will meet people within the first two weeks anyway that you end up traveling with - it'll be fine, just use common sense.
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Postby offshoreoildude » Thu, 18 Apr 2013 2:09 pm

Consider working as well... many countries have visa for short terms workers... working with people helps you stop from being lonely while experiencing their culture.

Pro-tips:

Fish canning factories in Iceland - Icelandic women are hot and loose.

Kibbutiz in Israel - same idea.
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Postby QRM » Thu, 18 Apr 2013 2:43 pm

Its always better to backpack on your own, that way you can hook up with other guys and gals who are in a similar situation. (and get your leg over without worrying about the feelings of your fellow traveller)

My tip is carry two small cans of baked beans in your rucksack as real emergency rations. Very handy when I was backpacking through Cuba, trying to find a decent meal in the middle of nowhere is often a challenge.

To get the feel of things why not just check into a local backpackers hotel for a few days and see the sort of folks you meet, ask around the dorms for sure some of them would have travelled through Japan.

Have a look at local marinas for ads for temp crew on charter yachts that need to be shifted to another part of Asia a great and cheap way to travel around.

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the lynx
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Postby the lynx » Thu, 18 Apr 2013 2:49 pm

Looping from QRM's post, if you are a Christian, you may be interested to join the Logos crew for one year or two to travel around the world, to preach the gospel of Christianity, while exploring different countries and undertaking some humanitarian projects.

http://www.omships.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=52&Itemid=88&lang=en

I have a couple of friends who were former crew members and so far I heard good things about their experience.

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Postby Akimbo » Thu, 18 Apr 2013 3:23 pm

Lynx, do you have any other links that I can go to apply for such humanitarian projects for international citizens like you've mentioned? I'm not a Christian, so I can't join the one you've posted...

I had thought about (cliche) joining the Peace Corps, but I just found out you kinda need to be an American to do so... :oops:
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Postby HA » Thu, 18 Apr 2013 3:48 pm

Hi all,

I've done a fair number of backpacking trips by myself/close friends, but never in a large group or with strangers. Any tips apart from Contiki? Would be good to combine travel with philanthropic activities but wherever I search, the middlemen seem to be keeping most of the profits from the payments one is asked to made... any honest (enough) avenues there?

Cheers

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Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 18 Apr 2013 3:49 pm

Akimbo wrote:I had thought about (cliche) joining the Peace Corps, but I just found out you kinda need to be an American to do so... :oops:


Not only that, but it isn't a "we take anyone" deal like you may assume. They are quite selective; plenty of top ivy league students seem to use it as a resume-padder to springboard up.

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Postby HA » Thu, 18 Apr 2013 3:52 pm

And a humble tip to the OP:

Trust your instinct. Plan only to the extent it is necessary (IMO: finances, rough sketch of dates and emergency action), else the fun of backpacking will run out sooner than you realize.

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Postby Akimbo » Thu, 18 Apr 2013 3:56 pm

Well zzm, actually I did think that the application process will be pretty rough, and they won't really just take anyone. At the very least, I take a shot at it...

But if I already fail the basic requirement of "Being an American citizen" then I already lost before I even begun the battle... :mad:

And yeah, it would've been a resume springboard if you have such experience.
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