Those are the 20 guiding principles of The Broke Backpacker Manifesto. Keep them close, my friend. There WILL be times when they can serve you.
“There’s no right and wrong way to travel.” That’s a platitude you’ll hear often in your time on the road. And to that I say, don’t be fooled. Just as there is a right and wrong way to live, so too is there a right and wrong way to travel.
What is ‘the wrong way’? That is not for me to tell you. That is for you to decide.
YOU must become your compass and your map. These tenets can help serve as a lantern in the dark, however, YOU must be your own guide and companion.
Travel is life of another form: it must be lived with as much courage and respect as you would back home. Find your morals, define your values, and strive to be that person every day of your life. When you have strayed from the path you have chosen for yourself, then that’s when you know you are travelling in the wrong direction.
To travel without conviction is to drift in the ocean of life, rudderless and unguided. Living free, easy, and without consideration of the impact of your actions may seem like the ultimate freedom, however, a life without values is the darkest prison of all.
Because it’s the one you put yourself in.
But to choose your values, choose who you want to be, and to live and travel in harmony with that choice… That is the ULTIMATE freedom.
These 20 tenets comprise The Broke Backpacker Manifesto. But more than that, they entail what it means to be a broke backpacker. The best version of a broke backpacker.
A broke backpacker is not just someone who travels on a budget. It’s not just an offbeat and upbeat human that slings a backpack and embarks on adventures.
A broke backpacker is someone who seeks the growth and wisdom that this beautiful world has in store for us. And it’s someone who understands that to find that wisdom, you must first be willing to experience discomfort. To uncover the true transformational power of travel, you must first choose to journey into the eye of the storm and put yourself through challenges – physical and mental.
Once, a woman saw me down by a river where I’d been peacefully camped, alone, for several days. She said:
“Are you homeless?”
And I said…
“Yes. But by choice.”
And she smiled. Because she understood.
And you will too, so long as you travel and you travel well. Go to the places and do the things that challenge you. Remember:
Growth Begins at the Edge of Your Comfort Zone
And when the time is right, return to the people who love you as the person you’ve become. They’ll be grateful you did. And so will you.
Don’t be scared of the hard roads; that’s where life’s greatest treasures lie. And once you’ve reached their end, you’ll understand why you travelled them.
Because you’ve lived a good life. And you were free.