I’m Simon the Backpacker

My name is Simon Zhelyazkov. I’m a 30-something-year-old Bulgarian traveling around the world.

I love backpacking, hitchhiking, couchsurfing, authentic experiences, cool destinations, and of course, helping you have memorable moments and save money.

Simon Zhelyazkov

About Me

The way

I haven’t always been a traveler. As a teen, I even hated traveling. In my defense traveling with your parents as a teen is not the best fun. But then I discovered the joy of solo backpacking. This has been my way ever since.

The goal

By the time I was 30, I had already visited 50 countries. Now I’ve set myself a goal to reach 100 before 35 and all 197 before I’m 50.

The experience

I’m currently solo backpacking around the world, visiting new places, exploring countries big and small. My mission is to meet the people of the world and humble myself in the face of this great diversity.

The story

I have one & it’s awesome!

Young, stupid, inexperienced.

It all started with

a short 

In 2016 I invited at least 5 different friends to come with me to the Netherlands on a 10 day trip. All of them had excuses – had to work, the dates didn’t work, low on money, etc, etc. I said “the f with it, I’m going alone!

That was my first solo trip. It’s like a bug. Once you do one you want more and more.

Still young, still stupid, still inexperienced. This time also sweaty and unshaven.

I continued


Since 2016 I’ve backpacked many times in Europe and Asia.
In 2018 I went to Japan and backpacked my way back to Bulgaria through South Korea, The Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

In 2019 I did an even longer Asian trip visiting more countries, more places and meeting more fascinating people.

A bit older, and I hope at least a tiny bit less stupid now.

All I ask is to

around the world

The Pandemic halted my globethrotting. That’s why come 2022 I decided it’s now or never to travel the world. I put everything else on hold, packed my backpack and went East.

My goal is to go around the world and return to Bulgaria from the West. Join me for the journey!

we have that one too

The vision

I created this blog to share my backpacking moments. The blog’s name tells you that much.

But over the months of travelling through dozens of countries, I realized how important it is for backpackers to have first-hand information about certain places.

My vision for this blog is to help other backpackers be prepared for their journeys!