Life As A Freshman Backpacker

[:en]Here I stand, a little lost, for the first time in my life in a hostel in Sydney. Backpacking is hip, so I’d thought I give it a try. It seems the best way to discover your inner self works best when you fly halfway across the world.  My mother wouldn’t have mind some light farm work in Norway instead… First Time Travel – Backpacking   I feel like the first day in High School. As a freshman without friends, I stand in the middle of reception with an impossibly oversized bag. And nobody told me I don’t really need all the books from my reading list, calculator, full set of pencils and atlas for the first day. From a complicated system of numbers and colours I have to find the right room, meanwhile tracked and ridiculed by the kids from higher grades. Courageous, I struggle myself through this initial stage of embarrassment.

The Dorm Room From Hell

A slight feeling of terror comes over me when I open the door to my 10-person dormitory. It seems the area has just been struck by a violent storm – and they’re still looking for survivors. Carefully I jump over the remains of what once used to fit in a backpack perfectly (and of which the rightful owner undoubtedly has a more comfortable version at home), towards the bed that looks the least slept-in. After the pole vault, next seems to be wall climbing. With my 20 kilo pack still on my back, I try to use the steel steps at the back of the bed to climb up, which of course results in a massive thump on the floor. I’m more lucky at my second attempt. After launching my bag over the side of the bed, a swan dive and half a somersault, I land with my head against the wall at the head end of the bed – concrete dust sticking to my face. Because of the double axle with motionless dismount, I end with a jury score of 34.10 points. Not exactly a World Cup record, but enough to continue the course ‘Backpacking for Beginners‘.

Will I learn all the essential survival skills the experienced backpackers have?

I Am Not Alone

While still enjoying my first steps in backpacker-land, a guy with tousled hair stomps in. With long strides, he makes his way straight across the room and throws his backpack on top of the bed. He hoists his baggy pants, introduced himself as “Scott from Canada” and disappears as fast as he entered, ‘to use the internet for a bit’. Before I can properly answer him, he’s already gone and I am left alone again as the sole survivor in a disaster area. I wonder silently how long I will need to get used to the mess in a hostel and how quickly I will learn to spot that one free bed in a dorm straight away. Will I learn all the essential survival skills all the experienced backpackers have? How will I get through the next months of travelling solo? Too many questions to answer right now. I’ll just have to take it one step at a time. Let’s start by taking a shower. Even I should be able to do that…

Do You Remember The First Time You Went Backpacking?

 

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 [:nl]

Here I stand, a little lost, for the first time in my life in a hostel in Sydney. Backpacking is hip, so I’d thought I give it a try. It seems the best way to discover your inner self works best when you fly halfway across the world.  My mother wouldn’t have mind some light farm work in Norway instead…

First Time Travel – Backpacking

 
I feel like the first day in High School. As a freshman without friends, I stand in the middle of reception with an impossibly oversized bag. And nobody told me I don’t really need all the books from my reading list, calculator, full set of pencils and atlas for the first day.

From a complicated system of numbers and colours I have to find the right room, meanwhile tracked and ridiculed by the kids from higher grades. Courageous, I struggle myself through this initial stage of embarrassment.

 

The Dorm Room From Hell

A slight feeling of terror comes over me when I open the door to my 10-person dormitory. It seems the area has just been struck by a violent storm – and they’re still looking for survivors. Carefully I jump over the remains of what once used to fit in a backpack perfectly (and of which the rightful owner undoubtedly has a more comfortable version at home), towards the bed that looks the least slept-in.

After the pole vault, next seems to be wall climbing. With my 20 kilo pack still on my back, I try to use the steel steps at the back of the bed to climb up, which of course results in a massive thump on the floor.

I’m more lucky at my second attempt. After launching my bag over the side of the bed, a swan dive and half a somersault, I land with my head against the wall at the head end of the bed – concrete dust sticking to my face.

Because of the double axle with motionless dismount, I end with a jury score of 34.10 points. Not exactly a World Cup record, but enough to continue the course ‘Backpacking for Beginners‘.

 

Will I learn all the essential survival skills the experienced backpackers have?

I Am Not Alone

While still enjoying my first steps in backpacker-land, a guy with tousled hair stomps in. With long strides, he makes his way straight across the room and throws his backpack on top of the bed. He hoists his baggy pants, introduced himself as “Scott from Canada” and disappears as fast as he entered, ‘to use the internet for a bit’.

Before I can properly answer him, he’s already gone and I am left alone again as the sole survivor in a disaster area.

I wonder silently how long I will need to get used to the mess in a hostel and how quickly I will learn to spot that one free bed in a dorm straight away. Will I learn all the essential survival skills all the experienced backpackers have? How will I get through the next months of travelling solo?

Too many questions to answer right now. I’ll just have to take it one step at a time. Let’s start by taking a shower.

Even I should be able to do that…

Do You Remember The First Time You Went Backpacking?

 
 

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[:]

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