37 Thoughts Every Backpacker Has On Their First Trip

The week before a big trip.

1) Okay, so how many shoes is too many shoes? Wait, how much underwear should I bring? What if they don’t sell tampons in Vietnam, do I need to bring 6 months worth?? How is this all ever going to fit into my 50L backpack?! * TOTAL PACKING MELTDOWN *

2) I can’t wait to look just like those girls on Instagram with my new Topshop bikini on a secluded beach with a sick tan and a circle towel. My friends will be so jealous.

3) I’m definitely going to meet my soulmate on this trip. I know the man of my dreams will be travelling too, that’s so like him.

4) I’m going to be really good and budget really well and stay safe and not do anything dangerous at all. I’m definitely not getting on any kind of motorbike or moped.

5) Ohmygosh I’m so excited, I can’t wait!!

Bali Packing List - Bikinis

At the airport.

6) What have I done… I’m actually doing this. I’m actually getting on a plane on my own… What am I going to do when I get there? What if I don’t make any friends? What if it’s like a serious culture shock? What if I hate the whole backpacker thing? Oh no, my mum is crying now. OH GOD, HAVE I MADE A MISTAKE?!


On the first day travelling.

7) I love it. A new country, a new culture, I’ve already had some bants with that guy on reception in my hostel, that temple I just visited was jaw-droppingly beautiful. This is going to be great.

8) I’m so pale, I need to catch up with the other backpackers, I stick out like a total newbie. I also need to buy like 27 friendship bracelets, obvs.

9) All the food looks amazing, I’m going to have three courses for lunch. It’s okay, I’m on holiday after all.

10) Ooh drinks in buckets! What a novelty! * Takes a sip * I’m drunk.

Bangkok buckets on Khao San Road

Two weeks into the trip.

11) All these people I’ve met are like BFFs, how come I never make friends like this at home? Friends for life, definitely.

12) I’m kinda sick of temples. I mean I know I wanted culture, but not like everyday.

13) I’m kinda bored of sitting on the beach. I know I wanted sun, but not like everyday.

14) So I had a one night stand with some guy I just met. That’s okay, I’m travelling after all. No slut-shaming here. Besides, I’ll meet my soulmate any day now.

15) I love hostels, I’m meeting so many new people every day, we go out drinking together and make plans for the next day. So. Much. Fun. I love being a backpacker.

16) Moto taxi? Yeah sweet, thanks bro.

17) Oh my god, this ice cream is the best I’ve ever tasted, I’m going to get another one.

Tubing in Vang Vieng

Two months into the trip.

18) I’m bored of all of my clothes, I’ll just buy some fisherman pants and a vest with a beer logo on it from the market. Might as well.

19) Shall I get a travel themed tattoo? Oh they do bamboo tattoos here, that’s cool! I mean it looks like it hurts more than the usual kind, but it’s an experience! I’ll always love this tattoo because it’ll remind me of my travels and I’m sure it’s totally hygienic, everyone else is doing it.

20) I love all of the local cuisine. I could eat Massaman Curry every single night. And hey why not make it three courses, I am backpacking after all.

21) I’m over dorm rooms. Everyone wants to talk to me but I just want to watch Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix on my phone, okay?

22) Daym girl, I took LOT of photos of that sunset. * Buys another SD card *

23) Hmm, I should probably do some washing at some point… Shall we go out tonight instead? I’m sure we can manage 5 or 6 buckets each.

24) Fuck it, let’s blow the budget. Shall we jump on a plane to Bali? It’s so fun and spontaneous and I’m all for making memories for life. So it takes a chunk out of the budget, it’s all part of travelling it’ll be fine!

Gili T sunset

Six months into the trip.

25) Where the fuck did all of my money go? I swear I budgeted enough on my spreadsheet at home. What happened? I guess I’m going to have to take up some casual work. That’s ok though right? Part of travelling?

26) I’ve met lots of potential BFs. But the guys I’ve met don’t really seem like they want to find their soulmate… weird.

27) I’m a bit over the Asian cuisine, oh look chips!

28) Ugh, my tattoo is definitely infected. That was a mistake.

29) These new backpackers are completely clueless, I’m sure I was never that naive?

30) I love this country, I could totally live here, but I am really missing a roast dinner… And having clean clothes…

Bangkok, Thailand

Arriving home.

31) Ahhh home sweet home, my mum’s doing my washing, I’m soaking in the tub, I’m seeing my friends tonight, can’t wait to see what the new trends are in Urban Outfitters, can we go for Nando’s tonight?

A week into the real world.

32) Why the fuck did I get a tattoo of a travel quote? I look like a moron.

33) Wait, surely the scales are wrong? No way did I gain two stone? Mum, are these scales right??

34) They definitely are, I look like a beached whale in all of my photos. Shit, none of these are good enough for Instagram.

35) Definitely didn’t meet Mr. Right. I’m fat and single. What is life.

36) I literally don’t have a penny to my name. Ugh, guess I need to get a job now I’m back in the real world. Maybe I could work for six months and go travelling for another six months… Or do a working holiday somewhere… Or do some volunteering… Oh maybe I’ll go to Brazil…

37) Maybe I should start a travel blog…

Any of these ring a bell for you?? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!

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