Why I can’t part with my Backpack

This week my backpack is making it’s first trip to the Philippines but unfortunately I am not going with it! The thought of my backpack as travelling companion for my little sister fills me with both comfort and jealousy as I come to reminisce how I first got the travel bug.

My love for travel really started when I went on a World Challenge Expedition when I was at Secondary School. It was to be my first time properly travelling away from my parents and the first time I had left Europe, I was bound for South Africa and my family were scared stiff whilst I on the other hand couldn’t wait to get there. I remember the build up to the trip like it was last year not 13 years ago (how long?!) and the fact that we all had to raise the funds ourselves to be able to go on the trip and buy equipment, and what is the essential item of kit for every young adventurer? The backpack.

I fondly remember a family trip out to the White Rose in Leeds to the myriad of camping and outdoors shops that they once had to look for this most important equipment item. I remember the lack of feminine options, and the sales assistant selling the fact that the new range of bags had an adjustable ladder systems meaning I could adjust the bag to my height (these are all standard issue now and ranges are available that have been specifically made to fit the female frame). I fell in love with one particular bag, it wasn’t flashy or over ally expensive but by no way the cheapest either and after being fitted by the sales assistant parted with a wad of cash at the till for my beloved backpack. I can’t remember exactly how much the bag was but it was definitely over £130 so really quite expensive for the time.

Beloved backpack and I travelled to South Africa later that Summer and after our inaugural adventure we have forged a very strong bond over the years, and after all this time my trusty backpack has never let me or the friends and family I have lent it to down. This backpack has been everywhere, music festivals, Indonesian islands, Ethiopian mountains, the Annapurna Circuit, expeditions around Britain with my school DofE group, city breaks and diving trips. It still looks in great condition and bar the odd stain, scratch and clip breakage has aged well and served me perfectly. It really has had a remarkable life and whilst in some ways I know in my heart of hearts I really do need to consider getting a new backpack considering the amount of use it gets I am really loathed to part ways with my beloved because of all the memories it holds.


In a tuk-tuk…my backpack isn’t the one in the shot!


Our World Challenge Team on top of Table Mountain