The one where I met Josh, this colorful American backpacker.
Our little story
Some encounters are quick, and still, they will last for a long time. I met Josh at a bush party near Cairns in Australia. On an inflatable boat on the grass, we shared little talks and laughs. And that was it, so I thought… We took separate ways to finish our 88 days of farm work. He is since a great confident.
I got to know him through deep conversations and random talks… about life, travels, fears and expectations. If we will meet again one day? No one knows, but I would like to thank you, Josh, for having crossed my path on the other side of the globe!
Josh is a bubbly guy from Connecticut. He worked in New York as a bartender before he went traveling across 24 countries in Europe, South America and Asia. He chose to travel for a reason. Because of depressive health conditions, he needed to escape. Travels became a way to open himself to the others. He is a serial backpacker since his 18th birthday and he is not going to stop! His next goals: a second backpacking year in Australia, then New Zealand before moving to our good old Europe for studying.
9 questions from a traveler to a traveler
1.Why did you start backpacking?
To be honest, I start traveling because my heart was broken and in tandem with a depression I needed to escape. I didn’t know if running away would be the solution but it seemed worth a try.
2. Jobs while backpacking: how do you find jobs on a working holiday visa?
Gumtree, Facebook, and word of mouth should be enough for anyone. Search far and wide, I’ve traveled thousands of miles hoping I’d end up in a place where people were hiring. Join the backpacker group on Facebook for the city you’re in and the city you’re going to, as well as pages for backpacker jobs and second year jobs. Basically it’s hard but you’ll find what you’re looking for eventually.
3. Moments when you know exactly why you are traveling
To be kissed by a stranger, to see something beautiful and know it is the most beautiful version of whatever it is, to be lost in an environment where your world view is completely insufficient to get by. All of these are wonderful things, and eventually they happen so regularly that you mistake them for real life, but real life isn’t nearly as good as the life out here.
4. A favorite foreign word, Josh?
KURWA!! A polish curse. No matter who you are you’ll understand when you hear someone scream it.
5. How did you learn to overcome challenges while backpacking
Something will go wrong when you’re backpacking, it’s a fact of life. If you’re like me, your wallet will be stolen twice, your laptop will fall to pieces when you’re in the middle of Russia and don’t even know how to say “spasibo”, you’ll walk around the Top End of Australia with no shoes and literally a single penny in your bank account, you’ll get lost at the Thai/Cambodian border, your tuktuk will get stuck in mud on the side of the road when your driver gets too drunk and drives on an unpaved road with no electricity at night, but you’ll survive.
Don’t panic, keep calm, believe in yourself, make friends everywhere you go. Not once have I ever been afraid for my safety.
6. Chaos or organization freak?
I only have about four kilos of stuff in my bag so the chaos isn’t too out of control, but you’ll almost never see me wearing matching socks. I typically don’t make plans because I’m too lazy and have too much anxiety. Whatever happens, happens!
7. If you were the worst travelmate ever, you would have these defaults…
Too much planning. Some people have fun trips where they meticulously detailed every little thing they want to see, including how much time they want to spend in each place and how much money they want to spend each day. Good for them, but I think they could have had this journey on Google images.
8. The fetishist you are… or not! What do you keep always with you while backpacking?
On my first trip around the world I carried a tiny African statue. Now I carry a picture of a Polish girl with me.We spent a few nights together in Vienna and she gave me a photo to remember her. A few days later my wallet was stolen, but the theives discovered I never carry cash and threw it away. Somebody found it and mailed it to the address enclosed within.
It’s my little reminder that things typically end up working out.
9. If you were one travel tip for our backpacking readers, you would be…
Don’t be afraid! Talk to that random person, enter that weird building, hike through that long and winding path, and don’t stop moving!
From me to Josh:
Because the “I” is getting so important in our society, it’s not easy nowadays to find someone who really listens and is curious about the others. That’s what I like about you! Safe travels and thanks for your time, Josh!
To read other travels interviews, check this blog post on Goseewrite about travelbloggers and backpackers.
With my first travel mate in New Zealand – photo project
Travel thoughts – New Zealand’s North Island, photos and travel memories