Knowing that I will be traveling for a year, I decided to do a short term backpacking trip before the big trip. Admittedly, I’ve never stayed at a hostel before, I know I had to experience dorm life before setting off in my one year journey.

 

NW Portland Hostel

Short term backpacking

 

My sister and I purchased tickets to the World Domination Summit event hosted by Chris Guillebeau in Portland, Oregon. If you’re wondering what the event entails, it’s a mix of motivational speakers and academies to help you move forward in life. The event is also an amazing place to network with like minded individuals. Making new friends, travel buddies and business partners was my biggest takeaway from this event.

I decided to take the Amtrak (American rail company) from Vancouver to Portland so I can simulate a train journey when I travel abroad.

 

Amtrak – Short term backpacking Transportation

Short term backpacking

 

I also took a 10-hour Greyhound bus ride back from Portland to Vancouver knowing that long bus rides is staple in many areas in the world.

And of course, I stayed at a hostel which will be my main home for the coming year.

Here are my key takeaways from this short term backpacking experience:

  1. Taking the train beats the bus. Even if a train ride is a little bit more expensive, the comfort, ability to move around, and ability to purchase food makes it worth your while.
  2. Hostels are awesome. It does take a day or two to get used to it but the friendship you make and having that “I’m back in college” feel to it is definitely fun! Hostels usually provide locks to keep your belongings safe. Just make sure to bring an eye mask and ear plugs to block out loud sounds and bright lights from potential inconsiderate roommates.
  3. Staying a week beats staying for a day at any given place. It gives you more time to reorient yourself from culture shock and begin to adopt to your new surroundings.
  4. Doing your research on the local transportation goes a long way.
  5. Working while traveling is very doable. I managed to get a lot of work done during my stay in Portland.
  6. Hangout in your hostel during the afternoon if you need some alone time. Everyone is busy exploring the city so you’ll have the whole place to yourself.
  7. You make friends from all over the world who you can visit later on. Some people are very nice that they will offer to host you or show you around their city.
  8. You’ll learn how much stuff you can realistically pack in your backpack and get a good idea what is worth taking with you and what you should leave behind at home.

Haunted looking tub in the hostel

HauntedBath

 

Overall, it was an eye opening experience doing that “test” run. Now I’m better equipped with knowledge and experience when it comes to traveling for one year. Do yourself a favor and do a short term backpacking trip before traveling for one year.

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