I rarely use forums to be honest but I kind of need some help. I'm new to traveling and I'm planning on backpacking South America sometime next year but I don't even know where to start because there is so much information out there. Is there a book or website that you could recommend to me or would that consider to be advertising if you do? thanks
My suggestion would be to put "best backpacking destinations in South America" into Google and start from there.
There's 12 countries, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela plus French Guiana, and the Falkland Islands.
Generally they're all considered good destinations for a first time traveller with perhaps the exception of Guyana, Suriname and maybe Venezuela.
If you're on a tight budget and want to be around lots of other backpackers then the northern section with Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia has loads of options. At the other end and a bit more expensive is Chile, Argentina, Uruguay then Brazil off on its own.
It's intimidating at first, but just start reading. You'll have fun with the research.
When I first started travelling, I devoured every single line in the "Facts for the Visitor" (nowadays the call it "Survival Guide") section of the Lonely Planet for the country I'd picked. It's densely packed, and immensely useful with giving you a rough idea of what all you'll encounter.
The poorer regions of South America can be harsh for a first time visitor. Lots of noise and stress, and a high chance of culture shock. Pace yourself! Take it slow at first, with lots of time to consider and recover from the daily activities. Try to find a comfort activity which you can do practically anywhere (my personal one: curling up with a book and a cup of tea on a couch or in a comfy chair somewhere), so you can feel "at home" regardless of where you are or what you've been doing. Also give yourself lots of leeway in your schedule for the first few weeks, so that if something goes haywire, it won't be a disaster. You'll grow more confident and relaxed as the weeks go by, and will learn to set your own limits. I have no doubt that you'll have an amazing time. Everywhere I've been in South America has provided an amazing experience. The scope of that continent is superlative!
Thanks. I'll look into it.
So, I've just read two books in preparation for my travel. Both of them pretty much prep me on how to travel such as buying tickets and getting visas and whatnot.
How to Be the World's Smartest Traveler by Christopher Elliot
International Travel Guide for Americans by Jackie Poon