The backpack; Our identitiy, our resúmé, our personality. All spelled out in an object. With it, we are a community, one people. We’re travelers who leave our homes, our country, our comfort to go, to do. To get lost, to make mistakes, to seek adventure, the unknown.
We are backpackers.
We are not afraid. We are open to experience, to the new to the different. We are learners, we are leaders, or seek to become them. We thrive from conversation about our differences our similarities our hopes our dreams; dreams for ourselves, for our countries, for the world. We are do-ers and dreamers.
We are backpackers.
We are restless in the quest to see more to learn more to be more than we are. Seldom do we know where we’re going, what to expect when we get there. But we do expect one thing; the unexpected. We expect to be uncomfortable and unfamiliar with where we are. But somehow that sense of unfamiliarity, that feeling of out of place…it’s right. It’s where we’re supposed to be.
We seek each other out. Seek out each other’s advice, comfort, encouragement, friendship. We want to help each other, to share stories and experiences, to grow from one another. There are moments when you are lower than you ever thought you could be; you’re physically and mentally finished and feel your exhaustion and frustration taking you over, swallowing you up. In these moments, you see a backpack, anywhere, and you clamor to connect. He or she becomes your source for revitilization, for emotional nourishment, for direction. Your lifeline.
Hostels become a refuge, your battery charger, the closest thing to family and familiarity. They’re filled with pockets of people doing the same thing you are. Many solo, many in small groups eager to meet each other, share remarkable travel tales and contacts in whatever places they’ve been, offer ideas of how to take your journey farther, deeper.
We may not look anything alike, speak a different language, come from opposite ends of world. But because of the backpack, you know each other already. You know you’re made of the same stuff.
It’s like picking up on a former conversation, little introduction required.
Home no longer becomes a place but people. On a train, at the bus station, at a hostel, or roaming the streets of a foreign city. The backpack is home. We’re home in each other, wherever we are.