I went backpacking in Poland a couple of years ago. I only went for a few days with a friend but really enjoyed it. I've since been on quite a few long range road trips and I've seen a lot but I don't think I'm seeing as much as I could if I was backpacking again.
I'm not sure where to go or what to do though since I want to see everything but know I can't. My friend and I are interested in seeing Peru and Machu Picchu but he wants to spend 3 months there doing charity work whereas I don't think I'd like to spend that long in one place, I'd like a bit more excitement and maybe a few more countries. By excitement I don't mean bungie jumping, I mean something more genuine that last days or weeks, maybe a trip into the jungle by boat or on foot or something like that, I hope you understand what I mean (because I don't). I can't spend too long out on my own either, a few months at a time would be more than enough. If anyone could share any experiences I would be really interested to hear some stories. I'm dreaming at the moment but I'm very eager to get out of Derby.
Also, is there any bible or vital reading that covers travelling in any part of the world? Universal tips and advice that can help me out anywhere?
P.S. if you live near Derby, UK then message me, would be cool to hear from travellers round here.
I've been travelling for 7 months and am currently in Australia where i've been for almost 4 months. Before that i, like you, wanted to travel but didn't know where to go. As i knew my final destination would be Australia (i have family out here) but didn't want to spend the whole of my time in one place i decided to travel to Australia over time. So i went from the UK to Singapore overland. It was surprisingly easy, i loved it and i got to visit so many different countries and cultures.
Why not do the same? For example if you're friend is going to Peru you could fly out, travel S America and meet him at the end for a few weeks?
If thats not enough, Roughguides are in my opinion, the best guide books available.
I should mention that staying in one place will tend to offer you a much greater insight into a different culture/way of life than just speeding through a serious of countries as a tourist. Living and, especially working somewhere - even if only for a few months - is a great way to have meaningful contact with the locals.
Lastly, don't worry to much about planning the trip in advance. Just make sure you have insurance, vaccinations and necessary medication/visas sorted then just hop on the plane and let chance take you.
I haven't been to South America, but would love to.
I have enjoyed the places that I didn't research much about before i went there. I find that this makes the flights all the more fun, and when you are in a random country and reading about the history, or sitting on a bus or something experiencing things first hand, it's just so wonderful.
I personally have loved every single country i have been to in SE Asia, and have really enjoyed travelling countries that i didn't predict to like eg Slovenia, Poland, Italy
I always think that doing something that gets you closer to the people of a country enriches your experience. Even just sparking up a conversation with the local nutcase is something that will remain a fond memory in the years to come (as long as they don't kill you that is).
Just go wherever you are naturally interested in. Go there, feel on top of the world, and don't worry about anything - just enjoy whatever experience you end up having.