Travelling changes your life, but hiking and backpacking in your travel destination is a different story. Exposing yourself raw to the cultures, sights, sounds, and elements of a city make a vast difference compared to staying in a hotel room and visiting all the tourist spots. When you backpack, you’re left with the essentials, no frills. You’re out to capture the experience, not for the artificial and commercial gratification. Hiking tests your limits and your capability to prepare for circumstances, as well as your ability to make good decisions on the go. Ready to see how far you can go? Here are some of the best hiking and backpacking destinations you should try out.
Australia is perfect for the beginner backpacker/hiker. While the terrains give enough elemental challenge (as well as scary wildlife… yikes!) to push you, you also have the option to go around the more developed parts of the continent for a calmer, more secure experience. Australians are also friendly, and they take safety measures seriously. Australia also has beaches, mountains, jungles, rivers, and seas; all different types of settings if you prefer tasting the entire buffet of hiking and backpacking conditions. The biggest plus side for beginners about this continent? It’s safe, and people understand English (that’s a huge plus if you aren’t equipped with any other language in your vocab!) You most likely won’t get stolen from, and you can probably have a swig of water from the tap. Let’s just say that it gets a little more adventurous when it comes to other countries!
Amp up your travels with the next level of adventure. Between hikes up beautiful mountaintops in National Parks and vistas that Spanish Kings and Queens have overlooked, Spain inspire you to stop and smell the flowers. This country lives on parties, the spirit of being carefree, and being surrounded with beauty. You can find places for as cheap as 15 euros a night, and go on a whim to see intricate architecture that has withstood the test of time. Art is everywhere you look in Spain. They serve cheap sandwiches (called bocadillos) that you can essentially live off on if you’re into chorizo, eggs, and cheese. Their metros and buses are also relatively cheap, costing you at most 3 euros for a trip. Just make sure you have enough spare change to get around the city, as well as a Spanish translation guide.
For thrill-seekers and people who love the smell of uncertainty, Thailand is the place for you, especially if you like living on the edge (of a budget!). You can take a trip to Bali and see one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, and accommodation is no problem in terms of price, so you can sleep in their cheap hostels while discovering the different facets of the city. Thailand is home to spicy food and exotic dishes, as well as fun stuff to do. You can leave your backpack and hiking gear in your hostel room for a different kind of exploration; underwater! Thailand is great for diving, and you can learn a lesson or two in its lovely waters.