Whether it’s your first big trip or a short escape from reality, a backpacking adventure is guaranteed to be memorable. It won’t always be easy – and of course things will rarely go to plan – but few things can beat the freedom of packing your bag and fully immersing yourself somewhere new.

From learning to go with the flow, to trying everything that lands on your plate – yes, often literally – here are six lessons everyone learns on a backpacking trip.