Since I have recently lost all my money, I had nothing else to do than working my a** off. Why? Because no one told me, you had to pay for “road user charges” here in New Zealand. I already thought, it can’t be right, when I saw the cheap diesel prices… What am I talking about? Well, all diesel cars have to get a specific license and pay for their kilometres in advance, while petrol cars have to pay a lot more at the service station. Since I had no idea, that I had to get that license, until now, I had to pay for 7000ks that I was over already, plus another 3000 to keep driving for a little while. That was 620$ and thereby all the money, I had. The payment of my first job is already overdue. Hopefully, it comes in soon..
The bloody time change also killed me a little because I basically start work at four in the morning now..
Anyway since, my week was pretty similar to last week and the only “new” thing was, that I got to meet all the neighbours, here are some stereotypical expectations, that others and I had before I started my backpacking adventure and their harsh reality! How unexpected!
1. Expectation: You’ll spend a lot of time carrying your backpack around. Before I spend my travels, I often heard, that people thought, I would walk around in the desert carrying my backpack around with no other soul around. But come on! Backpacking doesn’t automatically mean, you end up as a nomad in the Sahara desert. In reality, backpackers usually always only carry a small daypack around, leaving the backpack in the car or hostel. Unlesd you have to take on half a daytrip with your backpack to get from your hostel to the train station, looking like a humpback whale: Your backpack on your back, your dayback at the front, another bag full of food in your hand and your phone with Google Maps open in your other hand.
2. Expectation: You will lose weight from all the walking. The above expectation is the reason, why people think, you might lose weight. I thought, I would lose weight, too. But not only because of the walking, but also because I wouldn’t be able to afford food, since food would probably turn into a luxury. However, in reality, you realize quickly, that fast food and instant noodles seem to be a lot cheaper than healthy food and is actually affordable. Usually not being able to carry dairy and vegetables around with you, you soon end up in an instant – noodle – addiction. Dangerous trap.
3. Expectation: You’ll have a lot of time for yourself. We have all imagined this scenario before. Sitting on a cliffs edge all by yourself, enjoying nature and thinking about life. But that’s all half the truth. In reality, you end up spending a lot more time around others than you asked for. In fact, there is always someone around you. Wether it is your hostel – roommates, other campers or a tourist, that is trying to enjoy the same scenario, you thought you had claimed for yourself. Even, when you stay away from tourist hotspots. You barely have time on your own… oh, this includes privacy. I don’t know, what privacy is anymore.
4. Expectation: You’ll figure out what you wanna do in life. “I’ll just take a gap year after school, so there is enough time for me to figure out, what I want to do in life.” You all know, what I’m talking about and you all know, that it’s a pure lie. In reality, you learn things about yourself, that you didn’t know before, which raises more questions than answers. In the end, we have more doubt, than we had before.
5. Expectation: Backpacking is a holiday. I always hear, that people envy my life. They tell me, that they wish, they could just take a two year holiday. Okay, first of all: you can! There is no excuse. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You can do anything, you want, if you really want it! But to be honest, backpacking is great, but certainly NOT a holiday. There is a huge difference between vacation and travelling! In reality, we end up losing a lot of nerves organizing our life. While you don’t have to worry about anything on your vacation. You have to worry about everything during your travels. Whether it is the insurance, the accommodation or the job. Travels are not financed by mum and dad (usually). In order to be able to backpack for two years, a lot of effort is required!
Of course, these points are all based on my opinion and experiences. Don’t take it too serious!