I love my backpack.

I loved it to death, and now I have to retire it.

The seams are coming apart. The strap has popped and it’s spilling out polyurethane foam. The internal dividers fell apart somewhere around Nicaragua.

It’s time.

Together, over the past three years, we have been to:

  • Scotland
  • England
  • Northern Ireland
  • Ireland
  • France
  • Spain
  • Israel
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Turkey
  • Greece
  • Nicaragua
  • Guatemala
  • and Mexico

That’s 14 countries. 12 if you count Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England together as Britain.

There’s a simple joy in backpacking, in carrying all you need on your body. Adding in the bare essentials, then some pretty things for spice. A journal, a book, and a foreign language dictionary. A scarf or two, some earrings you found in Segovia, a hand-painted scrap of paper. Some band-aids, antibiotics, soap, a sling, ointment, ibuprofen. A pen (always a pen). And your camera.

You know where everything is, and how much you need. It’s not all that much.

I’m heading to Walla Walla tomorrow for a short visit, and once again I get to throw some stuff into a backpack, turn on my ipod, and sleep in a bus for a few hours.

It’s strange how it’s only been 2 weeks since I got “back” to the states, and yet how eager I am to get moving again. I’m clean, eating well (gained back a few pounds), working out, and now I need to become a dirty backpacker again. I also don’t know why everyone’s speaking English. I like to move, change it up, force myself to adjust and explore. Being out of my comfort zone is my comfort zone.

See you soon, Walla Walla.

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