Anyway, thinking about my birthday the other day I realised that being ten years since my 18th birthday it is also 10 years since I got my bright red backpack. I remember clearly the few weeks before my birthday – every time I would go to the mall I would go into the outdoor shop and look at the backpacks since I was planning a gap year travelling to Europe and the States when I finished school. There were backpacks of all shapes, sizes and colours, but for me there was something special about the bright red one. It definitely stood out. I also remember the day my dad and I went to buy it as my birthday present! My travelling adventures were about to start and I was so excited. At that point I had no idea how much that backpack was going to become part of my life and eventually be the name for my blog…
Ten years later, my backpack has travelled through 22 countries in North and South America, Africa, Europe and Asia! It is now totally covered in badges from countries and cities I have explored and in fact I have had to take off a few badges from the same countries to make space for South America. Every badge has a story and many memories attached to it…a few that pop into my head are:
– being a camp counsellor in New Jersey, USA for a summer
– spending a year studying and living in Oxford
– exploring the Joshua Tree National Park in California with my best friend and experiencing a huge desert thunderstorm
– watching Andy Roddick play on Court 1 at Wimbledon
– experiencing some of the most beautiful parts of Africa, from the golden beaches of Zanzibar and the Great Lakes of Kenya to the power of ´Mosi oa Tunya´in Zimbabwe/Zambia
– marvelling at the wonders of the Rose City of Petra in Jordan with my aunt
– taking in the history and cultural wonders of cities and countries all over Europe – some of my favourite being Venice, Berlin, Paris, Seville…
– And now, focusing my attention on South America and having experiences so diverse, unique and special in countries that although they speak the same language are often worlds apart…
The badges that have taken me hours and hours to sew onto my backpack are my souvenirs of places explored, people met and experiences that will be treasured always.
Looking back on ten years of travels, including living in other countries, I realise just how fortunate I am to be able to live the life I am living. So here´s to the next ten years of hopefully using the same trusty bright red backpack to travel and explore the world and it´s wonderful people…¨
And thanks mom and dad for a wonderful present so many years ago and for always supporting me in everything I want to do!!!
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page…”