I stared in horror up the steep stairs of the unmoving escalator in Paris’ Châtelet des Halles metro. Pausing to exchange a sympathetic look with an equally horrified pram-totting mother, I grabbed by 37 kilo suitcase and started to haul it up the stairs.
At the top, I shoved my sweaty hair out of my face and started across the cobblestones cursing. How much easier would this be if I had a backpack? I fumed to myself. For one, I’ll bet I would be much less inclined to carry 37 kilos if I had to carry it on my back. (I have to interject here to reassure you all that I do not usually travel like this. On that particular day, I was moving a years worth of stuff from my studio to the apartment where my family were staying, and believe me, there was a lot more than 37 kilos when I started packing.)
Once I returned home, I started to think about better ways to transport my things. From stairs (Europe does love their staircases!), to high overhead storage in trains, I was ready to break off my relationship with the suitcase. Given my love of travel, a backpack seemed like an excellent investment. However, after a quick browse of my local outdoor store found the travel packs to start at around $350. You know that moment when the sales assistant tells you how much something costs and you can hardly stop yourself from passing out cold? That was what I experienced. A pack was astronomically out of budget.
However, last week I lucked out. I happened to be passing by Kathmandu, where I noticed they were having a huge sale. The pack I had been eyeing had gone down from $600, to right inside my price range. So, it is with great pride that I join the army of backpack totting travellers world wide.
Now, I will save final judgement for after my next trip, during which my pack is making it’s debut. I’ve heard mixed reviews about how accessible a pack is, whether it is as versatile as a suitcase. I also have concerns about how I am going to lock up the pockets and keep everything safe.
But this pack is more to me than my luggage container, my way of getting things from A to Z and everywhere in between. This pack is an investment in my love of travel, and my commitment to my dreams. This pack makes me feel like a traveller, not a tourist. So for now it sits in my closet, waiting for its time. I can hardly stop myself from continuing to steal glances, as it calls to me with the promise of new adventure, calling me back to the road once again.