Have you tasted the pasta in Florence just after you've visited the Duomo? Have you walked along the beaches of Southern Thailand? Have you seen the Mona Lisa? Have you wandered aimlessly through Central Park while it snowed on Christmas Day?
imagine backpacking is a backpacking lifestyle brand which brings the travel information to you so you can start travelling now, not later. The only help we had when planning our trips was Trip Advisor and our best guess at what might work out. In some cases, we did great, in others cases, we almost went home early.
Why imagine backpacking? We were imagining these big travel adventures while pursuing our Undergraduate degrees, but we were prevented from taking the first big step because of our nerves and having a strict travel budget. While we traveled a bit before our first trip to Europe, we were still a little nervous, so we booked a 4 week group tour. But then, after our group tour was cancelled 2 weeks before our departure, we re-booked our entire first month in Europe in 24 hours and we left, alone, with no idea as to how this would go. Finally, though, our imagination came to life, and the travel bug bit us hard. We firmly believe that if you can imagine it, then you can do it.
Here at imagine backpacking we want you to experience our trips through our writing and photos, to provide you with our expert advice such as planning and booking strategies, and to inspire you to imagine, create, and pursue your backpacking adventure. Not only will you be inspired by our backpacking stories, but we will provide the must know tips for planning your trips, picking accommodations (such as hostels), getting around by train or bus (and using your maps app to get around without WIFI!), and everything in-between! Including stories and recommendations for when things go a little wrong, like in Warsaw. No matter what, backpacking is an adventure and we want to provide you with all of the resources you need to plan your dream trip! We have travelled with varying financial budgets and have a lot of tips for backpacking on a budget and how to travel cheap and still have the best adventure you could imagine.
Can you imagine it? Then do it. Period.
imagine backpacking's Creative Director, Social Media Director, Amateur Photographer, & Secondary Writer, Editor, & Backpacking Trip Coordinator (for personal trips only).
Current Occupation: PhD Student in Sociology
Favourite type of blog to write: Stories
Recommended Country Destination: Croatia
Favourite Attraction: Duomo in Florence
Best International food tried: Ukrainian Stuffed Cabbage with Wild Mushroom Gravy - New York City
Next Destination Most Looking Forward to: Thailand
Between undergrad, MA and now PhD, Kristen’s career has been dedicated to research. After being a part of several research teams for many projects over the course of 8 years, she knows what it means to gather information, understand the results, and write it for an audience to understand. What this means for imagine backpacking is she will make sure that any information given to you as their audience will actually be helpful and useful for backpackers around the world.
After jetting down to Costa Rica during a Christmas break in undergrad, Kristen got her first taste of travel outside of North America and discovered something enlightening, “I was really nervous about not speaking Spanish and whether or not we would be able to get around or buy anything, especially bus and train tickets. Once I realized most people spoke basic English, and pointing and nodding was a decent method to get us around, my nerves relaxed and I realized this is do-able. I still get nervous about not speaking the countries native language, but being polite goes a long way. Smiling, learning how to say thank you, and just being respectful of those around you makes a huge difference. At the end of the day, they want you to buy whatever they're selling, they'll pretend to speak English for those 5 minutes."
As her life has evolved and she’s moved into different interests, Kristen stated “7 years ago, traveling was just a vacation, go and lay in the sun and read a book, but backpacking is a lifestyle. For me, being a backpacker means your career and your working-life is gearing up and saving for, the next backpacking trip. It has become what I live for. I think it has made me a better person, less naïve, more aware of different cultures, people, and places, and beyond all else, more respectful. Being a Sociologist, what I just described is what I am trained to study and understand. But how can you expect to grow as a person, if you don’t go anywhere? Reading a book is helpful, but seeing life play out in front of you is a gift.”
When asked to describe what backpacking is to her, Kristen said:
“Describing backpacking for me is like trying to describe a feeling. Backpacking is filled with moments. The moment you are walking away from your hotel and you see the Colosseum for the first time, when you hear the sea organ in Zadar, and when you eat the biggest bean burrito in Monteverde where no one outside the hostel speaks English and you're starving. These moments and memories are all equated to surreal feelings. Feelings of pure exhaustion after we just walked with 30lb bags for 40 minutes while staring at the Eiffel tower in the distance, of joy when you taste the amazing gelato in Florence, and of complete amusement when sharing traveling stories with other backpackers that make you laugh until you cry. Backpacking is a feeling. And I spend most days just trying to get back to it because it’s one of the best feelings in the world. Getting to experience it with an amazing partner makes these moments the best in my life.”
imagine backpacking’s Review Director, Principal Writer & Editor, & Leading Backpacking Trip Coordinator (for personal trips only).
Current Occupation: Practicing Lawyer in Canada
Favourite type of blog to write: City Spot Lights
Recommended Country Destination: Poland
Favourite Attraction: Palace of Versailles
Best International Food Tried: Turkish Stew (in Istanbul)
Next Destination Most Looking Forward to: Portugal
After spending 5 years in the legal field preparing briefs and writing for a legal audience, Trevor sees imagine backpacking as an outlet for more creative and descriptive writing. What this means for imagine backpacking is writing articles that give you a taste of what it is like to be in the middle of a brand new location, preparing you for the good, the bad, and the unexpected.
Trevor’s first major foray into travel began when he embarked on a two-month semi-solo trip through Central America. Having never been outside Canada and the United States before this, Trevor was skeptical about going to such an exotic locale independently. “I always get a knot in my stomach the night before travelling. I ask myself, are we totally prepared? Do we know how to get from the airport to our accommodations? Are our accommodations safe? Is there some cultural practice I am going to unknowingly violate the moment I step off the plane? However, what most people who travel soon understand is there is no way you can be prepared for everything, and that is half the fun. Our best stories are from when things went sideways, and as bad as things can get, you realize that no matter where you are in the world people are human and they will help if you ask. Most want you to leave their country with a good impression, and many will go the extra mile to assure that happens.”
When asked to describe what backpacking is to him, Trevor said:
“There is something primal about backpacking. You’re walking most places, often with up to fifty pounds on your back, the sun is beating down on your sweat stained shirt that hasn’t been washed in weeks. Your body is toned from all of the walking, your tan and the dirt on your face makes you almost unrecognizable. So much of how we feel about ourselves is tied up in how we look, and it’s nice to let that go for a little while and just be in the moment. To savor the adventure and nothing else. Ultimately, that is what I live for. To be able to seek out and experience the unknown, alongside my partner, and come home and share that with as many people as will listen is what I live for.”
Calling all travel bloggers! We want to work with you! Don't be shy, contact us for collaboration and networking!
Guest writing & collaboration ideas for imagine backpacking:
- traveling with kids
- dealing with Visas
- featuring your crazy travel stories
- partnering on a project
We are very excited to be developing a newsletter that will first, never spam your email as we will only email about new travel resources, blog posts, and apparel information. Second, by joining the newsletter you will get access to our (almost finished) complete library including FREE access to our travel resources. Our resources include workbooks to help you organize and plan your trip thus making the planning that much easier, example itineraries of our exact trips, and our exclusive personalized travel calendar that allows you to plan your trip down to the exact day; allowing you to visualize your trip.
Subscribe to the newsletter NOW and be the FIRST IN for our free library when we launch the site and release the password. Only our imagine backpackers who subscribe to the newsletter will get password access.