Monday, October 17, 2011

From Backpack to Suitcase

I had a huge moral dilemma on my hands. I was about to embark on a new adventure but I sold my backpack at a garage sale at the beginning of the summer. The waist strap wouldn’t hold together anymore and the zipper was broke in numerous places. It was hard for me to part with this bag as it has been to many countries with me. This blue traveling backpack started me on my journeys alone. I left the English boyfriend I had knowing I needed to be on my own. I returned to Canada where after a series of what-the-fuck-am-I-doing-here fits I found a job in Mexico. I was actually looking for a job on an African Safari because I had met a guy in Hereford England who had owned one in Zimbabwe but nothing came of that and through my internet searches for other Safaris I came across Hostel Pochon in Oaxaca, Mexico.

I bought the blue backpack and took off to a place I never heard of in Mexico. I spent a year in Mexico then six months traveling through Central America. I had my camera stolen twice and several small backpacks but the big blue one stayed. Mould grew on it when I lived on the island of Roatan off of Honduras. It was tossed around and thrown on many chicken buses and stayed with me for a month on Little Corn Island. I returned to Canada after reaching Panama City but for a brief period of time. Soon the backpack was filled again with my books, journals, clothes, sleeping bag, tarot cards and Frisbee to head to South America. Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and to Colombia it travelled with me. This time it was a part of the Gringa Trail, I finally decided to start a blog. I have had many crazy adventures since leaving for Mexico and my dream is to be a writer so I started to recount the random adventures of a single female traveler. Little did I know I doomed myself to that title and have been single this whole time but I am sidetracking.

I thought I was going to have a base and stay in Colombia forever but I trucked the ol’ blue backpack back to Canada to work on a boat. When my season on the boat finished I didn’t know what else to do but pick up the backpack and take off again. It was a bit of a hard go in the beginning. Big Blue was worn out, the waste strap did not hold together anymore. The zipper kept breaking and I was losing the zest for travel. What was I doing? Things started to look up once I arrived to Brazil, I met some amazing people and after seeing a French Canadian friend struggle with his suitcase across the sand on Moros De Sao Paulo I felt happy to still have my backpack no matter how many times the zipper broke.

I did have to say goodbye and get rid of it and I was happy doing so I knew I would get a new one soon enough. Maybe even a better quality durable one than the $80 Canadian tire special I had.

Now back to me embarking on my new adventure. I am off to England, Scotland and Germany to visit friends and family. I needed a new backpack so I priced them out and eventually found myself back at Canadian tire; I am still thrifty I can’t help it. The dilemma though is, as I picked up the new backpack it just didn’t look big enough to me. I just bought a whole bag of gifts to give to the friends I will be staying with and by the look of this backpack that is the only thing that will fit! I could just use a suitcase I thought but then push that thought out of my head.

I am a traveller!! I go on adventures! I carry a backpack! I am not a princess that brings a suitcase! Nonsense! So I picked up the backpack again and wondered where I would put the two boots, heels and hiking shoes.

What has happened to me? The mere thought of bringing a suitcase was horrifying and embarrassing. What would my traveler friends think when I show up with, with...with a suitcase?! The guy that I will be visiting will be so turned off. He will think I have turned into a complete girlie girl.

I do need warmer clothes though, I am not going south this time, and they take up a lot of room. I am also going to cities and going out with friends. It dawned on me...I’m not backpacking. This is a different trip.

Maybe I am moving on to a different phase in my life as a world traveller. Maybe with the single girl backpack gone it will erase that stigma from me as well. I will eventually go on another adventure and buy another backpack but not just yet. I am growing as a traveler and taking a suit case this time. Full of presents for friends I have met along the way and who knows what it will come back with.

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