The adventure of a lifetime comes in a backpack. These Mochileros, or backpackers, look for the thrill of traveling, soaking in new cultures and lifelong friendships along the way. The captivation of backpacking through this giant adventure is life-changing with many seeing it as a rite of passage before hitting the everyday routine of a career after college. But what exactly do these Mochileros gain from traveling with a backpack in a foreign land?

How Little You Need to Survive

Carrying a backpack for seven days may get tedious. You start to question every object weighing on your back. Carrying only what’s essential and remembering that most things aren’t essential, millennials have figured out that lifelong experience trumps material goods. By learning what bare essentials you need to survive, you are able to soak in what many of us take for granted on a normal day, including water, food and warmth.

Learning to be Independent

When backpacking alone, you’re forced to be with yourself. Being alone is a great fear for many. By getting in touch with yourself and avoiding constant technology, you are able to gain self-revelations. Mentally but also physically, getting in touch with how your body feels and what limits you have will help you take on the world more consciously. Understanding more of yourself will give you independence from self-mirages that hold you back.

Cultures, Languages and Food

Experiencing other cultures firsthand is something you can’t take from a schoolbook. Rich with new languages and different food from around the world, backpacking will enhance your worldly perspectives. It will allow you to see and taste what the rest of the world eats. It will engrave lifelong experiences that you will remember for the rest of your life.

Friends for Life

On these expeditions, there are certain conjunction points like bus stations and train depots where you can meet and make new friends. Some mochileros have even stated that they’ve traveled with other backpackers until their next destination. Sharing the same wanderlust and experiences with friends you encounter creates a bond that some say is life-changing. And more interestingly, mochileros also say they’ve encountered these friends again on other backpacking adventures.

The School of Life

Backpacking will allow you to be more independent, have a wider perspective of the world and allows you to embrace new languages and cultures, and you can share these stories for the rest of your life.  These opportunities to learn, reflect and experience the world are ones that many generations before us could never do and something that we all can learn from.