Hackpacking in the US

Backpacking with my laptop and exploring the rapidly emerging tech scenes on the other side of the Atlantic.

Next summer, I will be going to the States for the first time ever. I will be backpacking across numerous cities including San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, Honolulu and some other cities I will decide later.

My plan is to meet as many awesome tech people as I can. In particular, students. Why? The technology culture amongst students is pretty insane.


My new favourite word — a portmanteau of hacking and backpacking. Not hacking in the traditional sense, as Dave Fontenot explains. I will merely be a backpacker with a laptop looking to have a ton of great stories to tell.

The Plan

My aim is to meet people along the way and get as much as I can out of 3 months on a tight budget. Build relationships and make things happen.

My plan for the United States. Last updated: 21 July 2014

I arrive on 5 May 2014 (for 86 days) and plan to be in the following:

  • Honolulu, HI (May 5-16)
  • Maui, HI (May 16-22)
  • San Francisco, CA (May 22-June 8)
  • Mountain View, CA (June 8-13)
  • San Jose, CA (June 13-17)
  • San Francisco, CA (June 17-24)
  • Las Vegas, CA (June 24-30)
  • Los Angeles, CA (June 30-July 15)
  • Boston, MA (July 15-17)
  • New York, NY (July 17-30)

All done! The trip was a success, I’m writing a post about it soon.

As you’ve probably gathered, I am looking for places to stay whilst I am in town. I cannot earn money in the States under the Visa Waiver Program so I need to save as much money as possible in order to make it through the trip.

I’m a 21 year old Computer Science student who is driven by passion and a strong desire to change the world. I want to be inspired by likeminded people and companies whom one day I may end up possibly working for.

Help Out

There is plenty of ways you can help out with my trip to the States:

  • Host me (and anyone who joins me) for a few days/weeks?
  • Suggest places for me to go and check out!
  • Grab a coffee with me when I’m in town
  • Join me anytime and we’ll travel together!

I have already booked my flights with a very unstable set of plans. Pretty crazy in nature but I think it will be interesting to see how it pans out and who will join me along the way. I will update this post with the latest.

Drop me a line if you want to get in touch: bilawal@studenthack.com