We are all packed, and heading out the door – yes, a true backpacking trip – we’re taking only hand luggage. Any more than that, and it’s expensive and a pain to drag around. I’ve got my good, old yellow backpack I took with me back when I was 17 and wandering around France with a Eurail pass and a hostelling guide. It’s served me well, and while I was packing I realized what a great back pack it is. I bought it more than a decade ago at the local camping-gear store. I told the guy at the store I was travelling in France for 3 months, and he urged me to get something larger. He said, “There’s just no way you’re going to make it in France for 3 months with that back pack.” But I did, and it was great.
The most amazing traveler I’ve ever met was a Canadian girl at a German hostel. She had hitchhiked all over the place in North America, and was now making her way around Europe. She had great stories. When she went to leave, she picked up her teeny, tiny back pack and all the rest of the girls in the dorm room just gaped at her. “Is that ALL you have?” said one girl incredulously. She was just in the process of cramming her clothes back into her huge metal-framed pack. The Canadian girl shrugged and said, “Yeah. You just wear the same thing when you’re traveling, anyway.” She was a genius.
I hope that we will be able to post little snapshots of our trip here and there, so there won’t be complete silence. Wish us luck! We’re going to need it!