Travelling is a great way to gain valuable life lessons. This statement doesn’t come off as an exaggeration; rather it lays emphasis on the importance of seeking out new, unfamiliar experiences. The virtue of travel is that it allows you to appreciate the nuances of life and to become sensitive towards other cultures; something which helps cultivate empathy in a largely indifferent world. Moreover, it promotes global citizenship: the acceptance that all people are citizens of the earth rather than of a particular state. Another perk of global travel is that it is a journey of self-discovery.
Despite all the aforementioned benefits, international travel comes with plenty of hidden costs; including air fares and hotel accommodation and meal charges. And people who travel on a budget tend to avoid these expenses. For these individuals, backpacking remains a popular travel choice. This form of journey consists of solo trips; people who choose to do so carry only the essentials in a portable backpack.
Beginning in the Europe and the Americas as a recreational activity in the 1900’s, backpacking has spread to other parts of the world in recent years – with most people in both Asia and Africa (home to a number of developing economies) now preferring to undertake independent, inexpensive journeys outside of their comfort zones for longer durations.
This blog sets out to list several reasons behind the massive rise in popularity of developing countries among lone travellers:
They are economical and accessible
Budget management is a top concern for most backpackers. Unsurprisingly, travels through developing countries in South Asia or Central Africa come off as less harsh on your savings than undertaking travels to places in the developed world. The currency exchange rates allow most travellers to get more out of the same amount in countries like Thailand or India in comparison to any place in Europe. From street food to travel and residence, everything is affordable. Similarly, in Pakistan, tourists generally prefer to rent Murree flats because of their affordable rates.
Ease of accessibility is another important factor that has contributed to the popularity of the developing countries among tourist, especially backpackers. It is much easier to get a visa for these countries in comparison to the countries in the developed world. Visa policies are less stringent and the visa fee is also less. This is due to the fact that these countries want to attract more tourists so they try to keep barriers for entry into their countries to a minimum.
They have their own mysterious charm
Large parts of the developing world remain largely isolated, since these regions lack proper infrastructural facilities. But, these hidden areas serve as home to some of the most mesmerizing creations of Mother Nature. The national governments in recent years have introduced measures geared towards making these areas more accessible to the world.
The entire point of taking a vacation is to disconnect, unwind and turn a deaf ear to the piercing noise of the fast-paced city life. And what better place to leave the world behind than in a remote location in the serene valley of Swat, or finding seclusion within the majestic mountains in Gilgit-Baltistan?
It is the mysterious nature of these unchartered territories that continues to attract tourists from all over the world, especially thrill-seekers. These individuals are always on the lookout for a challenge or a chance to explore new avenues, and developing countries present just the right opportunities to quench their thirst for adventures.
They offer the experience of a lifetime
Stepping into one of these countries can create a culture shock for most backpackers. But this surprise is neutralised soon enough and then the tourists become immersed in the rich culture and traditions of the place they are visiting. The cultural norms and practices in most of these countries are sheltered from the outside world and have remained untainted over centuries. The rich histories of these regions are preserved in their culture; which is enchanting and overwhelming to get into at the same time. This break from the norm is a major attraction for backpackers looking for new experiences.
Travelling through the developing world is nothing like doing the same in the developed world. The night life is altogether a completely different experience, since there are a variety of activities to look forward to. Visitors can experience night tours or go on spiritual adventures instead of the conventional nightclubs. The breath-taking experiences serve as added perks of the trip.
It is not just the travel destinations, but also the facilities available and the standards of living provided in affordable rates in developing countries that adds to the whole experience. There is a stark difference between the lifestyle choices these tourists are used to and the lifestyle choices available in the places they reside in during their trips.
They are home to some of the nicest people in the world
Since these countries are different in the lifestyle and experiences they offer, navigating through them on your own is an experience of its own kind. One trip can greatly facilitate personal growth in a traveller; making them more open to new experiences, more responsible, and more empathetic. Navigating through major and minor hindrances along the way builds confidence in a way which may not be possible elsewhere. Finding your way through unchartered territories and new challenges in an unfamiliar terrain with customs unheard of helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses.
People from the developing world are undoubtedly some of the most-warm and welcoming folks you will ever come across. They cherish all tourists who venture into their country and often treat them like royal guests. They offer them free food, free tours, and even a place to stay if they need it. This experience is very valuable for backpackers because their trips involve travelling on foot or on local transport quite a lot so they interact with the locals much more than the average tourists. The hospitality of the locals makes their trips easier and extra special.
Travelling is the best way to broaden your horizons and gain experiences worth a lifetime. But, an important thing that should be kept in mind is to respect the culture of the place you visit and to travel responsibly. It is our duty as global citizens to protect our planet so that future generations can enjoy the same views that we do today. Make sure you keep your holiday destination clean, and make the most of your holiday.
On a final note, regardless of where you go, before you embark on your next adventure, make sure to take a few minutes to check out articles, blogs and guides on common Tourist Traps you should be aware of. From accommodation scams to money draining tour packages as well as Faux Pas in Thailand which can get you in serious trouble, this guide details it all. As the old saying goes, ‘It is better to be safe than sorry!’