With all of these kickass travelling apps springing up, backpacking has never been easier. It’s like every app solves yet another problem and pushes you to get out. Take a lunge, no scratch that – take a teeny weeny hop into the world out there and live it up. It is just that easy, with backpacking at your fingertips these days, literally!
Back in the day, I simply hitched across the world with a battered map and a temperamental camping stove as my only aids but these days it’s much simpler. Bring out your phone, pop open an app and off you go!
When I was 18, I planned my first backpacking adventure and invited a couple of mates to tag along. As luck would have it, they bailed on me but I ended up having a bloody blast!
And when you are backpacking alone, you tend to be a little quicker on your toes, than you would otherwise be. So I delved into the deep realms of the internet in search of practical information essentially on how to be a nomad. My plan was simple; figure out the best ways to cheap out and make my money last and work out exactly what travel gear I needed to invest in for a life of vagabonding… I ended up camping and CouchSurfing my way around the world, hitchhiking from the UK to Morocco and then doing a U-turn and heading home via Romania… It was not a particularly efficient route but what the hell, I had a blast and travel costs in Morocco were damn low at the time… I could smoke, drink and afford a hammock to sleep in, the life of a king…
The whole ‘no idea what’s coming next’ was exciting but also pretty nerve wrecking at times. The trickiest part was finding fellow travellers and like-minded happy souls. Eight whole years later, having invested in a shiny new iPhone I finally have backpacking adventures, tips, inspiring quotes, tricks, hacks and meet-ups at my fingertips. A host of new apps let me do everything from booking a hostel to checking train timings to finding out free art events happening nearby.
From my phone, I can book my own apartment dirt cheap in Venezuela, while en route by bus. I can connect with fellow backpackers heading in the same direction and find people willing to host me for free in almost any city on the planet.
But what if I wanted to check out the Kygo show on a beach in Mykonos without even leaving my tent? What if I wanted to use the sonar imaging technology that Batman uses in The Dark Knight to see if the lines at The Louvre have thinned out a bit? Well, there’s no app for Bruce Wayne’s technology… (not yet anyway) but with Look I can do both of those things from the comfort of my couch, in the middle of an arduous train journey or while flying high in the sky. I can even request other users to stream videos for me from any location I desire. It is quite the game changer…
For me, being able to get these live streams really gives me that kick and fuels my appetite for adventure. There’s nothing quite like researching Munich for the first time and stumbling across a live stream of Oktoberfest; it’s one thing to see pictures of the beer and the tents, it’s quite a different experience to almost be able to taste the pretzels and the hefeweizen.
I’m quickly becoming an avid travel photographer, but having someone stream a location to you live is just so much more more visceral.
Besides helping find like minded amigos look-app also gives me motivation to get off my ass and work in the frigid, stone cold, dreary winters of the West. All I need to do is find a live stream of some gorgeous beach in The Philippines … Sigh… There’s nothing quite like seeing other people enjoying an epic lifestyle to give you the motivation you need to save some cash and hit the road!
Look has been a really fantastic revelation, and figures to be a permanent fixture in my ever-expanding travel app arsenal.
Download the app now and unleash a whole world of adventure inspiration…