My name is Kieran Black and I love backpacking.

As I sit in the airport lounge of Melbourne International airport awaiting my departure to Europe. I know that this journey will no doubt be one of the most interesting and insightful backpacking experiences of my life. And I can’t help but reminisce on the first time I went on my first backpacking trip and how unaware I was of the mental and spiritual journey I was about to undertake.

Back then at the naive young age of 19. I had little idea what life had in store for me and I had become accustomed to being somewhat lost in myself at the best of times. I didn’t have a solid perspective of myself. I didn’t have a consistent set of values and my expectations of myself would usually fall towards the pessimistic.

My biggest problem at the time was that I was stuck in the mentality of ‘tomorrow’. As in, tomorrow I will take the first step, tomorrow I would chase my dream, tomorrow I will do what needs to be done. I was living in a perpetual tomorrow and the problem with living in a perpetual tomorrow, is that tomorrow never comes.

No matter how much time passes, now, today, this moment, can never be tomorrow, it will always be the moment at hand and if you can not take action in the moment at hand, then you never will. You will be like a dog chasing it’s own tail, you have sight of what you want but you can never catch it.

This was the place where I was stuck and I had been for years, ever since I had first let fear get the better of me and gave myself excuse after excuse for not following my instincts and my heart.

When I left for overseas, I took with me some books to read. They were pick-up books, books which I believed would teach me how to pick up beautiful women because so far I was pretty terrible so I needed some serious guidance if I wanted to get better.

For the first few weeks I read page after page diligently, taking notes, practicing lines, memorizing routines. In my head I was a talented Player and after a few weeks of boring the shit out of my friends talking about pick up nonstop, I realized something profound. No matter how much I read about this, no matter how much I learnt from books, there was only one way to go from here, I had to take it to the next step; I had to get off my ass and go out and practice all the stuff I had learnt in books.

This was actually harder than I thought it would be; I was terrified; I knew in theory that I should’nt have been but that didn’t change the fact that every time I thought of boldly approaching beautiful women, my heart started racing at a million miles an hour and I felt panic fueled adrenaline pumping through my veins, at the time I didn’t like how this made me feel.

I was terrified of awkward situations, I always had been. There was a quote in the book ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ where the serial killer says to the protagonist after having lured him into his murder dungeon, how it was easy for him to capture his victims because even when they suspected that he might of had bad intentions, most people were more afraid of creating an uncomfortable situation, than they are concerned with their own health of welfare.

I find this intriguing. How is it that as a species we can be so terrified of something that wont kill or harm us, yet we are constantly reckless with our own health on a day to day basis, smoking, drinking, driving, junk food. These are all dangerous things that many of us enjoy on a day to day basis yet statistically they are responsible for killing hundreds of millions of people every year.

Yet socialising with a stranger is what terrifies us most…? As a species, we are insane.

How Backpacking helped me become a Player

For me finding success as a Player was not so much about learning the skills required to seduce beautiful women, because in a way I always knew how to do this from movies and life, I just didn’t know how to make ‘me’ do this. For me, the journey to become a player, was more about facing my fears and being willing to occassionally look like a fool in the process, something I had never been willing to do previously.

So I finally decided to do something about it and I added extra purpose to my overseas backpacking trip. My aim was no longer just to travel and see foreign places and things, it was to use the experience to grow as a person and come back to Melbourne as the man I had always wanted to be.

Everytime I arrived at a new hostel, I had an opportunity to be who ever I wanted to be. No-one knew me there, I was tied down by my own, or anyone elses perception of who I was and what my limitations were; these hostels were all about socializing and meeting new people.

For the first time in my life, I became a man who would pursue women rather than waiting for them to pursue me. I started approaching and conversing with girl after girl and by doing this time and time again, I started to get used to it and I became a lot more socially aware and I became a funny guy. Which was strange because I had never been a funny guy before, I had always been a very serious guy but this was just one of many talents I developed by becoming socially aware.

Thousands of approaches and conversations later, I now feel that I am exactly who I want to be and that crippling fear that I had let hold me back in the past, I have learned to use it to propel me forward. I started to enjoy the andrenalin rush rather than fear it and I developed a great interest in others.

As I am embarking on another overseas trip I look forward to all the things I will see and all the friends that I will make but I don’t only feel this way when I am travelling overseas. I feel this way everytime I wake up in the morning and I step out the door because every day could be the greatest adventure if you let it, you just need to stop being afraid of being afraid and start being the man that you know you can be.

By Kieran Black


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