After circling the globe and living around the world backpacking through more than 100 countries and territories, I have decided that it is the time to share all of this experience to help others so that they, like me, can have the same feeling of living the adventure of a backpacking trip.
What is the goal of this website/blog??
There are two main goals of this site. The first is to give advice about how to backpack economically and effectively which, for many, can be considered an art!! Basically, I do everything, or almost everything that I would like to do on a trip, but in the most economical way, just as any other backpacker does.
I will try to be as detailed as possible in explaining everything from the basics of how to begin to prepare a trip, how to find cheap flights, which sites to use to reserve hostels, how to save money on food during a trip, and how to find the appropriate travel insurance for backpackers. Basically, I will be covering all of the steps that a backpacker needs to do to have a great trip at a relatively low cost. Much of what I say might seem very obvious to the most experienced travelers, but, believe me, I have met many people traveling who, although they have minimal experience and knowledge about backpacking, venture off into the world with nothing but their courage… and, the truth is, I admire this as well!!
Anyone can backpack as there are trips to suit any size wallet. Nowadays, luxurious backpacking is becoming “fashionable” where the travelers use taxi as their principal mode of transportation and stay in hostels that are more expensive than 3-star hotels!! However, there are still other backpackers that travel the world hitchhiking and staying in the houses of strangers using couchsurfing and finish their entire trip with minimal cost. For others, like myself, there is a middle ground where I try to save on transportation and accommodation, but I don’t keep my wallet closed when it’s time to have fun and adventure. For me, as long as it takes you out of your comfort zone, it is worth trying.
My idea is that I can help anyone; from someone that has never traveled or done a backpacking trip before to someone that has already traveled a lot but still might find some good advice on this site that can help him or her on the next adventure.
And as a philosopher once said: “I know that I know nothing.” Even after all that I have already traveled (but believe me, compared to some people that I’ve met, I’ve still only seen very little of the scope of the world), there are still a lot of things that I do not know as I am always learning and developing myself as a person. Because of this, on all of my pages, I will have a section for comments so people can critique, offer better ideas, give suggestions, or simply ask questions which I will try to answer the best that I can.
My second goal of this site will be to give advice and ideas about how to get out of your comfort zone, just as the address of the site says. There are many interesting activities that I’ve done over the course of my years on the road that I hope might interest some people.
I describe activities like how to be a volunteer for the World Cup and the Olympics, how to participate in a Divermaster Trainee program in Thailand, how to make a living as a ski and snowboard instructor, and many things that I will mention later on in this page.
Ahh, but I don’t like backpacking!! It’s a thing for vagabonds, very uncomfortable, and difficult as I have to always be walking and using public transportation while carrying my bags. I like my comfort and therefore this site won’t help me!!
As I have already said, although I really like backpacking as it is the most economical way of seeing the world that I have found, this does not mean that I don’t like other forms of travel. For me, the important thing is to be in a new place with the opportunity to meet other people and to see cultures and customs different from those that I already know. Therefore, the type of the trip doesn’t matter to me whether it be a package to Disneyland, a luxurious beach resort with my family, a Caribbean cruise, or a ski trip with friends. I like to explore the world, however it may be.
Saying this, I am sure that many people, regardless of whether or not they are backpackers, will find interesting and important information on this site.
Everyone that travels needs travel insurance and I discuss an excellent and affordable company that I always use, no matter what kind of trip I do, whether it is adventurous or not. Everyone also likes to stay in contact with their family when abroad and I give advice about how best to do this. Additionally, I give advice about what you should not forget to put in your backpack, even if your “backpack” is a Louis Vuitton!! I talk about the best way to deal with money abroad as well as what to do during your trip. Certainly, no matter what type of trip I am doing, I always do a Free Walking Tour if they are available in the city that I am visiting… if you have never heard of them, I will explain them more on my site as they are something not to be missed!
I will also keep a Blog with some advice about specific locations, general travel information, and some interesting stories that have happened during my wanderings.
Well, that’s all for now folks. If you would like to know more about me and how I “left the system” to begin traveling around the world, continue reading below.
I hope you enjoy the site and happy travels!!
My name is Rodrigo, a common name for a common person. I was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil and therefore the majority of those who grew up around me during my infancy and childhood were, to a certain extent, common people.
I finished high school and went to a university for business administration (something that in Brazil, unfortunately, is a privilege for few). I interned and worked during my time at the university and then graduated. One year later, I already had a stable job and was living with a girl that I really liked. In summary, I was living life by the book.
But I knew that I wasn’t born for this lifestyle!!! I was not happy. I HATED my job. Although I really loved my girlfriend at the time, I did not want to marry so early. I wasn’t prepared to know the path of the rest of my life before I was even 25.
Besides, I knew how large the world was and how many interesting things it contained but I was stuck seeing it from behind a computer screen.
Truthfully, I began to have my “mid-life crisis” during my last year of university before I had even hit the age of 25…..I hope I don’t live only until 50!!
But I thought to myself, I have to graduate and give this lifestyle a chance. But it didn’t work… I arrived at a point of the famous: “STOP THE WORLD – I WANT TO GET OFF”.
I had become my worst nightmare…a chicken. Wait!! Let me explain. When I was 10 years old, I learned in science class that the chicken is born, grows, reproduces, and dies… and I didn’t want to be a chicken, I wanted more from life!!
But I couldn’t simply drop everything and fall into the world face first with my hands stuck behind my back. I had just a little bit of money saved and didn’t know how I could sustain myself once I had left my job. Therefore, I had to stay in a job that I abhorred from the bottom of my heart for two more years so I could save and leave for my adventure.
One day, I opened an Excel spreadsheet (a little sad, but this is how I organize my life…this is what happens when your first job is in an investment bank) and I made a list of my life goals. This included things that I would like to accomplish, places that I would love to see, courses that I was interested in doing, and anything else that might be possible, without any limits on my imagination.
Afterwards, I took a look at how much money I had and then at how much I would need to accomplish these goals. I separated my goals into those in which I would just spend money and others in which the costs and the revenue would even out. There were a few of these goals that, although there would be some initial investment, would eventually have a greater financial return than this initial investment (this would be what people call joint the useful with the pleasant).
It was here that I made my decision. I went against my family, my friends, and, of course, my girlfriend… leaving behind everything to chase my dreams.
It wasn’t easy. Thanks to the pressures of society, I was a guy that at the age of 20 was already working with a suit and tie in an investment bank on a prestigious avenue in São Paulo who, suddenly, began to clean bathrooms and serve food to people on the other side of the world. But everything in life has its pros and cons….always!! And I learned to place them on a scale. If the pros were better than the cons, excellent. If the opposite was true, it was time to change something in my life.
Now, one of my dreams that, truthfully, is impossible to complete in full, is to travel the world. I LOVE TO TRAVEL!! It is my addiction. However, it is one that will never be completed in full as I will never feel as though I’ve traveled enough.
Once, I was talking with my sister Roberta and I said that I would like to travel the world in its entirety. But then, she responded: “no, not me. The truth is that I would like to live in all of the places in the world.” And the truth is that this is what I want. It’s not enough to be a tourist and only view the world through the window of an air-conditioned bus, but to really live and feel how the world truly is. Obviously, this is impossible. You simply cannot live in all of the countries, cities, and locations of the planet… but you can try doing something close to that.
I then realized that besides spending some time working, living, studying, and integrating myself in other countries with distinct societies, I would be able to also travel around the world in the more authentic, more encompassing, and MUCH cheaper way.
This type of travel has several different names. Many people call it backpacking. There are many theories about how to be a backpacker, what is considered acceptable, and how to be a “traveler” instead of a “tourist.” To be honest, there is a certain “rivalry” between people who travel to see who traveled the most, who did the coolest activities, who has the most interesting stories to tell, who met the most people, who was the craziest, or who truly knows the best way to travel.
I try to avoid these “competitions”. All that I can say is that I travel the way I like, doing the activities that are important for me at a VERY low cost to the point where people always ask me, “how can you travel so much?? Where do you get all this money?? Did you win the lottery??”
Believe me, as I explained above, you do not need to win the lottery to be able to travel around the world!!
But the name of the site is OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE… why??
The beginning of my life story is an exact demonstration of how I was living life completely in my “comfort zone” but desired to get out of it, mainly through traveling, backpacking around the world, and pursuing other dreams (nearly all of which definitely put me out of my “comfort zone”).
Of course, passing the day on a beach paradise under the sun and in front of the ocean is a dream for many people… and I like to do this as well. But it is very much within one’s “comfort zone”. Obviously, the work to earn money to be able to do this trip is far from “comfortable” but it is something that we have to do to survive. The things that intrigue me are the challenges; to do things that take me out of the world that I am accustomed to and put me in a new world, in unknown situations with unknown people that allow me to have irreplaceable experiences during this process.
Some similar characteristics between these challenges are that many of them can be done by travelers around the world and, many times, allow you to earn money and start a new profession.
I will explain step by step how to become a ski and snowboard instructor and spend your life working and living in different ski resorts around the world as well how to become a Divemaster and work in true paradises. I describe how to work in hostels around the world and meet people so unique that you didn’t believe they could exist, how to make money as a mystery shopper, or use your body in the name of science (controversial, I know) to pay for your trips.
I describe other activities allow you to be part of something greater like being a volunteer lifeguard, working and living in other countries, or being a volunteer for large sporting events like the World Cup or the Olympics.
I know that many people are going to say “but I’ve already worked in hard jobs and have enough difficulties and discomfort in my life.” I can say this as well because my life was the same. I had many challenges in my job, a mountain of responsibility and problems… MANY problems. But here, just between us, how many people do you know that are really satisfied with exactly what they are doing in life??
Just ask your friends and family to see how many of them love going to work on Monday morning. The large majority of people just have a job out of necessity, because they need to sustain themselves or others as they might want to have a family or acquire enough possessions and services to have a certain standard of living. Therefore, this “discomfort zone” is not exactly the one you chose, but instead, almost something thrust upon you by life. On the other hand, my examples of ways to get out of your comfort zone are ones you have the ability to choose and therefore enjoy.
I am not suggesting that you drop everything and leave it all behind in a state of lunacy. There are a little over 7 billion people in the world and a large majority are at odds with my lifestyle. Many people do not want to travel and do not want to live with uncertainty about what he or she will be doing tomorrow or where he or she will be living in the near future. They prefer a routine and like predictability. Many that I know are like this and I respect and admire them.
You don’t have to radically change your life or give up your work to begin to backpack around the world and do the activities you like. There are holidays and weekends for this. Some people, especially in Western Europe, take a year off to travel around the world and expand their horizons, which is often viewed positively by companies as the individual may bring fresh new ideas. Therefore, even if you are not going to spend the rest of your life wandering around the world, you can still use my website to plan for short weekend trips and activities.
For those that for whatever reason cannot or do not want to backpack or do the others things I mention on my site, I hope, at least, this site will provide some “entertainment” for you.
However, for those who would like to change their lives but are afraid or simply do not know how to begin, I hope that this site offers some inspiration as well as some basic knowledge on how to start a happier and more fulfilling life.
As for me, I am still on the road with an undefined profession… but as someone once said, “you only live once!!”
A life update (2017): things have changed. After a lot of hard work, careful planning, and soul searching, this website has become my profession and business, allowing me to make a living while keeping my passion for traveling alive.
Besides that, I’m pursuing some new endeavors. I’ve been interested in international relations and global affairs my whole life and I’m finally going to start my Master’s in Political Science and Global Governance at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
In other words, life is pretty good. I’m working for myself online, helping other people travel, and studying something I love. Oh, and I found the best travel companion in the world
I don’t know what will happen with the website or if I will eventually work in this new field that I’m studying professionally, but one thing is certain: I’m pretty excited about the future.
More life updates (early 2021): after a lot of studying and countless hours spent in libraries, I finally graduated from my Master’s in Political Science in Sweden. Just after, I had the incredible experience to work as a trainee at the European External Action Service – EEAS (the “state department” of the European Union)!
After finishing this European Union traineeship, I joined a pan-European political party in Belgium where I’m volunteering as a policy advisor to help in their goal to “build a united Europe, where everyone has the highest human rights, environmental, social, and technological standards.”
And during the Covid-19 pandemic, I started an online course website in Portuguese, and I’m about to start another website for the Brazilian public focused on analysis of global affairs. My goal is to give honest and factual information about global events that might not be available in Portuguese to Brazilians. This way, I’m putting together my blogger skills with my recent academic background to hopefully build something that will bring quality knowledge about the world to my Brazilian peeps.
And still super excited about life!
Planning your next trip?
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Already reserved your hotel or hostel? If not, we recommend Booking.com. They have a huge selection of hotels and hostels all over the world. Plus, in most cases, you can cancel your reservation without any costs up to a few days before the check-in date!
Still haven’t booked your plane ticket and want to save big? Take a look at Momondo. It’s a flight aggregator that combines several other ticket search websites to make it easier for you to compare prices and make sure you are getting the best deal.
And finally, will you need to rent a car during your trip? Then check out Rentalcar.com to search and compare car rental companies from all over the world in a single website. Then, you can find the cheapest price for the best car!
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