Posted 17 May, 2013 | 6 Comments
Posted in: Musings, Travel Blogs

If you think about it, a backpacking journey is a bit like having sex! Since these are two of the great joys in life, we thought we’d explain why the two of them are alike. Enjoy 🙂

In the beginning, you’re nervous and unsure of what lies ahead

This is true. Even though setting off on a great round the world adventure is exciting and you can’t wait to get out there and see what this world has in store for you, it can be a bit intimidating at first. As with sex, give it time. The more places (or people!) you have under your belt and the longer you’ve spent on the road, you’ll become quite confident and the nerves will melt away.

backpacking indonesia
You may be nervous at the start, but the nerves will melt away – us at the start of our first backpacking journey

You need to find a “bag” that fits

Finding a backpack that fits your body is key to having an enjoyable time while travelling around the world. If the bag is too big and bulky or, too small and tight, you’ll be uncomfortable and it will take away from the joys of travel. Finding the right bag for your body (parts) is key. Do your research and find one that fits like a glove.

choosing a backpack
Finding a backpack that fits your body is key to an enjoying trip!

You may get lost and need to ask for directions

For us, one of the great things about backpacking is getting off the beaten path and purposely getting lost. However, if you find yourself in a city, with plans and things you want to see and do, this isn’t ideal! Get a map, get orientated and don’t be afraid to ask for directions.  The sooner you can figure out where you want to go, or should be going, the sooner you’ll be having a good time.

asking for directions when backpacking
You’ll most likely get lost a time or two…which can be a good thing, or a bad thing. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions – like Nick here in Greece!

You can travel as slow as you want, or as fast as you want

Some people like to saunter along, spending lots of time in each place and really getting a feel for it. Others, like to get in and get out! We like to travel at a slow’ish pace, spending a minimum of 3 days in each place. No matter what speed you prefer to travel, make sure you’re having some great experiences along the way…and make sure your partner is in agreement with the pace!

slow paced backpacking
It’s up to you to decide how slow or fast you want to travel. Sometimes we like to travel super slow

It can be very relaxing or it can be a total body workout

Some days will be filled with lazing around on a beach, leisurely strolling through a market or sitting somewhere with a great meal while people watching. Other days, you’ll be hauling your heavy backpack through train stations, tuk-tuks and taxis, all while dripping sweat and trying to endure the 90% humidity of some countries! Either that, or something a bit more enjoyable like trekking through mountains or hiking through beautiful valleys. Whether you put in minimal effort, or are really gung-ho, just make sure you’re having a good time.

trekking in nepal
Some days, backpacking can be a full body workout! Trekking the Himalayas in Nepal is a good example of a day like that

You can pick up new skills along the way

Before heading out on the road, you may think that all you’re good at is working in an office, or being a construction worker. Opening the doors to the world of travel allows you to pick up new skills, some you may have never even thought of. Who knew we’d be able to teach english, go on long distance treks, be advanced divers, photographers, or even writers? Gaining new skill sets in life are a great part of growing as a person. Just like in the bedroom, it’s always nice to try something new!

photography while backpacking
Picking up new skills on the road is one of the great things about travelling

The longer you do it, the more enjoyable it becomes

The longer you’ve been backpacking, the easier everything becomes. You know how to bargain for things, you know how to get from point “a” to point “b”, you know what to pack (and what not to) and you know the ways of the world a little bit better. Going from a backpacking virgin to a backpacking vetran is an interesting journey. We loved the experiences we had when starting out, and we love how we now travel with a few more years of knowledge (insert the obvious sex comparison here!)

bargaining and backpacking
Things like bargaining come all too easy after you’ve been backpacking for a while – Nick bargaining for some sunglasses in Tanzania

There you have it! Backpacking is like sex in a lot of ways. We’ve been through the ups and downs of travelling the world and have now been on the road for a total of 3.5 years. We’ve experienced these points first hand…and I’m sure over the next years we’ll be able to add more sex comparisons to this list!

What do you think…is backpacking like sex?! Would you add anything to this list? Leave a comment below!

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Written by

Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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6 thoughts on “7 Reasons Why Backpacking is Like Sex

  1. hahahaha Loved the comparison! “It can be very relaxing or it can be a total body workout.” hahaha

  2. lol, thanks Vanessa! I’m sure we’ll think of some more comparisons, but this was a good start.

    Cheers for the comment!

  3. Yeah! you are right, i am very nervous i am going to Philippines in Jan 2015 its my first solo trip , at age of 22 This post helps ME I should be not be worried Much let the things happens Keep prepare yourself . and Enjoy

    Thanks a lot

  4. Hahaha! So true! I sometime wish I was travelling for the first time again. The feeling was so special: excitement, nervousness, scared and curiousness. I don’t really wish myself back to the first time having sex….so awkward 😉 😛

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