6 Things I Learned Solo Backpacking Thailand and Vietnam

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This past winter I set off for 42 days with a 10kg back pack, some books, and some granola bars. I had never been out of the Western world for longer than a week, so this was big. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and experience new cultures, and so Thailand and Vietnam were the destinations of choice. The trip was a total BLAST.

While solo backpacking, I learned some key lessons along the way:

1. Everyday is an Adventure – You don’t have a lot of routine when backpacking which keeps life very interesting. You wake up every morning with a hunger for adventure that day

2. Just Go With It – Buses, taxi’s, and ferry’s run late, you just have to adapt. I was in Vietnam on a 8 hour bus ride which turned into 12 hours because the A/C broke down on the bus

3. Say Yes – Within reason of course, saying yes when travelling is what it’s all about. Say yes to the food, to the excursions, the conversations. You may be scared at first but you will be thankful you did

4. Just Show Up – You don’t need to reserve tickets or passes or rooms weeks before. In some cases yes, but the vast majority you can just show up and get your ticket or room on the spot.

5. Pack Less – I brought 6 shirts and regretted bringing 5 of them. Whatever you need you can buy once you get there. You don’t want to be carrying a heavy pack around.

6. Things Don’t Make You Happy – The people I met in Vietnam were the poorest people I’ve met in my life, but they also had the biggest smiles. Happiness does not equal what you own. The more things you own the more you have to keep track of. Keep things simple and stop collecting stuff.

What lessons have you learned in your travels? Would like to hear from you!

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30 Days in Thailand in 16 Pictures

I bought a used backpack, a plane ticket, and flew into Bangkok, Thailand. I didn’t know anybody. I didn’t know the language. All I had booked was my first 2 nights in a hotel. The rest of the journey was an absolute adventure.

The opportunities for adventure in Thailand are unlimited.

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Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai is a must visit. For $13 you get to go into a cage with Siberian tigers, and who wouldn’t want to do that?

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Have you ever fed a 6 month old elephant? There are ethical elephant farms in Chiang Mai where you can bathe and feed elephants bananas.

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Chiang Mai, Thailand is a unique mixture of old versus new. Thailand loves 711’s, and with 300 Buddhist temples in Chiang Mai, Buddhist monks are everywhere

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Maya Bay in Koh Phi Phi is some of the greenest water you have ever seen. This is a popular tourist destination so prepare for crowds. The snorkelling here is awesome and you can swim up close with all kinds of cool fish.

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Travelling with a long tail boat is pretty common on the islands in Thailand. A lot of these tours even bring lunch and drinks for you so all you have to do hop on board. Be sure to chat up the drivers of these boats as they have some awesome stories.

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One of the coolest things about travelling abroad is all the locals that you get to meet. Everyone has a unique story and making new friends is all part of the adventure.

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The countryside in Phuket is beautiful. There are many bike tours in Phuket that take you through the city and out to the countryside to see some of the sites

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Adventures on the beach and sunset:

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