Cellphones, Backpacks, and Following Your Heart

I know countless people who backpack and travel around the world for months, or even years, at a time. I know it’s do-able. But goodness, is it overwhelming! I’ve spent myriad hours staring at a glowing computer screen trying to figure out what I’m going to do where and when.

Not only do I still need to get travel insurance, my Vietnamese visa (which entails a trip to the embassy – thank goodness I live in NYC!), find a subletter, buy my supplies (I STILL haven’t decided on a backpack), but my phone has also gone missing. It’s actually been interesting not having a phone for the past week. I’ve realized I’m far too addicted to it, and I need to figure out if I want to get another iphone, stay w/ my current plan (Virgin Mobile no longer sells iphones, ugh), where to buy whatever phone I do want, and I need to figure this all out in time to receive it and set it up before I leave!

problems and possibilitiesI’m swimming in so many choices and problems  opportunities that I’ve become mired in indecision. I read an article today on Tiny Buddha, a terrific and inspirational site, which addressed exactly what I’m going through. This quote especially rang true.

No matter how many choices we are offered, we all have to pick one direction and just start going – Autumn Elizabeth

That has often been my trouble – I get caught by the fear of making “the wrong choice” that I usually end up making no choice at all! Yes, I loooove the Wayfarer 70 backpack. It has a perfect design and feels like heaven to carry. However, it’s much larger than I need, and I absolutely loathe checking bags.  The Farpoint 55 is probably the most used pack on the market – I know a woman who traveled 9 months around the world with just this pack. While it isn’t perfectly comfortable for me to carry, it’s carry-on size and how often will I actually be hauling it around? More likely I’ll be taking it shorter distances and leaving it in the hostel. Not to mention it’s $100 cheaper than the Wayfarer.  (Oh why doesn’t Osprey make the Wayfarer in a smaller size?! It’s the perfect pack! Le sigh.) It’s time to just make a decision and see what happens.

I will say this: I have gained so much practical knowledge through all this research – about backpacking, different countries, all about cell phones/sim cards/networks/and plans (ugh), visas, and foreign train systems.  It’s really quite amazing.

So, while the fear and uncertainty and overwhelming decisions will keep piling on, I’m going to breathe deeply and imagine all the wonderful opportunities coming my way. Yes, maybe I’m not exactly sure why I’m taking this trip – but maybe it’s about learning to get out of my head and follow my heart.


About juliamenn

Performer. Artist. Author. Lover of food and travel. Animal enthusiast. Avid reader. Globe-trotter.
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3 Responses to Cellphones, Backpacks, and Following Your Heart

  1. Chris Cook says:

    You know, one of my friends from Esper is doing something really similar to this, but more extreme – selling all their possessions and backpacking around the country and maybe further – they’re an expert at it by now. Maybe I’ll see if she has any valuable advice that you might dig!


  2. Hi,
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    We are building our second and third bungalow – eco-friendly budget accommodation in traditional style – in Hirang village, Alor Island, Indonesia – a great place to meet people in the middle of nowhere!
    Contact us: +6282236111966 (Sony), +4368110344110 (Walter, WhatsApp)


  3. Nancy Menn says:

    So many choices. I suffer from the same difficulty.


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