Preparing for a 3 month backpacking trip in 1 week
Most people tend to plan their backpacking trip months before departing. I only had one week. The reason was because I didn’t even know I was going to backpack before the thought hit me – I’m going to book a flight and I’m going to to be away for a while again! I had just come home from Southeast Asia where I was for almost 3 months and I must admit, it wasn’t my favorite trip. At all. I was frustrated with it being so touristy and I was craving some authenticity. I didn’t feel like I was making the most out of this trip and I just wanted to go home. I stuck out for a long time, I thought my feelings would change, but they never really did. So I finally went home.
When I was back in Sweden, my mind just kept thinking of traveling to a place that’s not really on the “tourist map”. I’ve always been very drawn to Asia but I knew I didn’t wanna go back to Southeast Asia, I had already traveled in East Asia and backpacking in India didn’t feel like an option to me as a female solo traveler. So I remembered that time I saw there were cheap flights to Almaty, Kazakhstan, but I felt a bit too afraid to go there alone so I didn’t. Central Asia has always been on my mind though, but I just never dared to go. Until now. I thought to myself “what could possible go wrong?” and just booked a flight. It wasn’t until after that I realized I only had one month to prepare.
I started doing research about which countries I wanted to visit and settled for three; Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Then I decided to give each country approximately one month, which leaves me with three months of traveling. Then I checked if I needed any vaccinations (very important!) but I had thankfully already gotten the most important ones. I got a travel insurance, I made an economic plan for these three months and I did a lot of research on what to bring to these countries. In the end, my bag became full with hiking clothes because you’ll want to go hike at least once when you’re there. This time, I didn’t want to bring a lot of baggage with me so I decided to only pack a small carry on. If there’s anything that can’t fit in there, it won’t come with me. Only the absolute necessary things. Usually I have to prepare myself mentally for a while but this trip felt different to me. I think this was what I’d been waiting for for a very long time. This was the trip I was supposed to go to. And I was so ready to go, prepared or not.