Buying my Backpack
I'll start at the very beginning, A very good place to start, When you read you begin with ABC when you go backpacking…you begin by buying a backpack. Now a 'backpack' isn't my usual style of bag. I spend a worrying amount of time drooling over expensive, designer bags that cost thousands, come in subtle or stylish colours and are made from that soft buttery leather that you just want to hug. But I found myself in an outdoors shop at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. I looked more out of place than an anorexic at fat camp. I lingered around the large, garishly coloured bags in the hope that a shop assistant may notice that I was clueless in the art of backpack shopping and provide me with some kind of secret inside knowledge. I knew that getting the right backpack was important. I could be traipsing around for hours with the thing on my back so I knew it had to fit properly, be big enough but not too big and also co-ordinate with the majority of my outfits. Nah, just kidding about the last criteria, well…kind of. Buying my backpack seemed like a momentous occasion. This was the moment that it all seemed real, I really was going travelling. And what is a backpacker without a backpack? a tramp, that's what. A backpack says a lot about a person. It says 'I'm not a tourist, I'm a traveller', whilst also saying, 'I may not have a home, but I'm definately not a tramp.' My backpack will travel everywhere with me and every single one of my belongings will be stuffed inside it, like a home I'll carry around on my back. Without it I would be like a vulnerable snail without a shell, exposed to the elements and just waiting for a sadistic child to poor salt on me and prod me with a stick until I shriveled up like a prune and died. So I continued to linger in the backpack section, trying to pick out the perfect shell until a hairy man with a shaggy beard and shaggy hair to match came to my rescue. He didn't say alot but he looked like the type to know about backpacks so I put all my trust in him as he helped me 'try on' the bags. Hairy Man steered me away from the pretty coloured bags which were apparently 'unsuitable' and pushed me towards the 'professional backpacker' section. This suddenly seemed very serious until I saw a bright orange bag. It had a huge yellow daffodil pinned to it and I immediately knew it was the one. I've never associated comfort with bags before, or even trying bags on like a dress, but this was honestly the most comfortable thing I've ever placed on my back. It felt like a giant hug on my back and reminded me of the hug arms on the Cupa-Soup advert. Unfortunately, Hairy Man then placed some heavy sand bags into my backpack and quickly broke the illusion. This was to give a realistic feel but made me realise that a pully-suitcase suddenly seemed very attractive. But I bought the bag and proudly placed it next to my bed where it sat waiting for it's great adventure for 9 long months…. Very long months….