Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Backpacking Tip No. 3 - Know thyself

To fully enjoy your backpacking adventure, you must know yourself. That might sound rather simple and yet it can save you a lot of frustrations and make your journey more memorable.

I'm talking about your travel preference. Do you prefer traveling solo or are you the type who can't live without a companion? Can you handle minor changes in your plans or do you fret over disruptions in your well-crafted schedule? Are you more into quantity over quality? This would determine whether your 3-day detour in Rome would be a journey to heaven or a descent to hell.

The best personality test I could think of is the Myers Briggs type indicator (MBTI) . While typically used for career profiling, an overall general description can give you insights on what delights you and what pisses you off.

As an example I am an ENFP. I thrive upon social setting, the possibilities, the big picture, values and flexibility. The E (extrovert) in me makes enjoy meeting new strangers be it inside the train or the hostel. The P (perceiving) in me makes me enjoy freedom and flexibility. I would prefer to take my time in a city and am quite flexible in changing my schedule. It is perhaps this reason why I would want to travel solo. I'd like to have a full command of my itinerary.

I would probably clash with a travel buddy that's ISTJ or ESTJ. This would typically be the folks who would like to have their itinerary covered down to the minutest detail.

There's no such thing as the best personality for traveling but knowing your preferences can at least help you plan your trip better.

You can take a free MBTI test here...

Monday, 13 August 2012

Backpacking Tip No. 2 - Make the System Work for you

Ok. Let's face it. The world is not fair.

If you happen to be born in the Philippines with no tinge of foreign blood then chances are you would have to pass through the eye of a needle to backpack across Europe. Really, the major obstacle is not in saving up the money for the trip. The challenge is really to get the visa and convincing the embassy that  you are only planning to visit Europe and not run away.

Whether you like it or not, that snotty bastard behind the visa processing window decides whether you get a Visa or not. I always suspect that these bastards have huge insecurities; they somehow enjoy their power over the hapless applicants.

Knowing which embassy to apply and knowing tricks of the trade can increase your chances of getting that Schengen Visa.

I won't list those strategies here for obvious reasons. But if you want to know how to increase your chances send me a note. If I am convinced that you're only in it to visit I shall give you the tips. Cheers.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Europe Dreaming

I got back in my country around 13 days ago. I am settling in although every night I dream about Europe. Things will never be the same. It's a bit weird because I do my usual routine here but at the back of my mind there is a place that I hunger to go back to. Is it just the thrill of the exotic that makes me yearn to get back there?

I don't know. I wish I have the answers but my game plan in life has definitely changed. I will go back. And maybe this time for good.