Backpacking is inconvenient. You are exposed to the harsh outdoors for days or weeks without the comforts you’re accustomed to. Too much unfamiliarity with the surroundings, the people and the experiences. Backpacking can be troublesome for other people. Still, the number of Boracay backpackers is increasing. Nevertheless, more people are encouraged to explore the great outdoors and regard the inconveniences as learning experiences.
But does backpacking have to be physically challenging? Definitely not! At Alta Vista de Boracay, backpackers can relax in elegant seclusion. You get the benefits of immersing in a new environment without the stress of huge crowds typical in popular tourist destinations. Plus, you’re pampered with premier accommodation at reasonable rates.
It is said that the charm of backpacking is in its spontaneity, which can also be daunting. Why do people get into backpacking? Let’s hear from 8 outdoor travelers.
“I prefer to stay at home and spend time alone. It’s not that I don’t like being with people. My sister encouraged me to “go out a bit more” by joining her for a day hike about three years ago. I don’t feel comfortable in crowds. Actually, I love being with my sister and two of my closest friends. But I have this internal clock that limits my energy in social circumstances. After two to three hours of socializing, I’d need to recharge alone. Backpacking recharges me. That day hike with my sister eventually became a monthly activity for me. Sometimes, I’m with her, but most of the time, I go alone.” -- Clark, 28, graphics designer
“I’m a medical student. Backpacking on school breaks keep me sane.” – Marianne, 23, medical student
“Years ago, a friend asked of the last place I’d like to visit before I die. I don’t remember how we got to that topic but I answered right off the bat — the beach! My father was a seafarer. Our house is filled with mementos from the places he visited around the world. One wall in our living room is dedicated to framed money bills he collected in the three decades he worked in a cargo ship. My father passed away five years ago. Since then, I’ve backpacked to different beach destinations in the country. Whenever I look at the open seas, I remember him. It’s sad, but it also calms me.” – Jane, 35, accountant
“Doing the same thing in the office everyday can take a toll on you. Don’t get me wrong. I love my graveyard job. I’ve been in the same company for the past eight years. I have an incredible boss and amazing workmates. Backpacking is a thing in our team in the office. It’s something that we look forward to every summer, or whenever we could use our vacation leaves. Exploring a new place is like a break from the monotony of our daily lives.” – Louie, 30, technical support agent
“My wife and I are avid fans of the Amazing Race. We’ve been watching that show since it came out sometime in 2001. We would sort of organize our own version of the Amazing Race while seeing new places here and abroad. We’d have a set budget for each trip. I confess that we’ve become closer since we started this backpacking tradition. The challenge is doing all items in our itinerary with limited resources. Last year, we invited friends to join us. They loved it! We’re actually planning next year’s backpacking adventure.” – Eric, 47, businessman
“I’m one of the Boracay visitors who don’t really spend time visiting popular spots. I prefer going secluded parts of the island and bonding with Boracay natives. I’m amazed at our local customs and traditions, and the best way to learn cultural diversity is by spending time with locals, observing their daily routine and listening to their trepidations and aspirations.” – Paulo, 25, financial analyst
“I was bullied throughout high school because of my weight. At 5”7, I was weighing at around 280 pounds. College gave a bit of relief as people there didn’t really care that I was occupying extra space. I mean, not as much as my classmates did in high school. I met my best friend in college. We share a common hobby: photography. On summer breaks, we’d go backpacking with our cameras. This was before digital cameras and smartphones became popular. Backpacking also encouraged me to live a healthier lifestyle. I reached and maintained normal weight on my last year of college. We kept the tradition of summer backpacking even after we started working and eventually settled with our own families.” – Andrew, 37, interior designer
“Is backpacking alone good for you? I was diagnosed with depression 10 years ago. It manifested when I learned that I had lupus. The idea of solo traveling was pitched by my doctor. He said that a new environment and getting closer to nature are effective therapy. I dismissed his advice at first, but despite my medications things were not getting better. My mother’s untimely death almost sent me to the edge. I knew that I had to help myself. My first backpacking destination was Boracay. Stories from travelers about the island encouraged me to experience its wonders. That trip changed my life. I still have my ups and downs, but somehow, I learned to live with my condition. Backpacking is something that I always look forward to.” – Michelle, 32, architect
Studies show that backpacking and/or hiking is good for your heart and mental health. This outdoor activity is particularly good for your cardiovascular system. “There’s a real sense of peace and composure you get from being outside and away from everything,” according to Dr. Aaron L. Baggish, associate director of the Cardiovascular Performance Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. Whether you’re traveling for leisure or are soul searching, leaving your daily stressors is good for your well-being.