Many people believe that in order to enjoy certain things in life, a lot of money must be spent. To be cool in school you must have the nicest clothes, to ensure quality you must take a hit to your bank account, to go backpacking you must spend hundreds just to successfully strap your shampoo, underwear, and birkenstocks to your back. In many cases, this is true. But not all.
When I was 16, I went to Target. About to start my final year of high school, I searched for a new bag to use for classes. That’s when I found you, backpack. Bright yellow, not too big, not too small, and nine dollars. I love great quality, but I also love saving my money. In my mind, all I needed was a backpack to last the year, but you have done so much more than that.
Not only did you help me finish high school with a bang, you supported me (and my books) through four years of college and two summer classes. You were my go-to carry-on for flights and train rides around the US and hikes around Connecticut. You followed me to London for my British semester abroad where we wandered through Regents Park together reading Shakespeare. That Spring you helped me make sure I only packed just what I needed for Amsterdam, Dublin, and Malta. You learned Gaelic with me for one month in Galway and kept me company backpacking for two weeks in Eastern Europe.
Five years and several summers of school, countless plane rides, and a solo adventure through Europe cost me nine dollars to carry my belongings on my back. Without you I would know nothing of minimal packing and how to fit two weeks worth of clothing, toiletries, and electronics into one bag. Though the time came for me to upgrade to something a little larger and sturdier, I will never forget the years we spent together.