Heavy backpacks and the symbol of happiness

6 Jun

HEAVY BACKPACKS AND THE SYMBOL OF HAPPINESS  Most people associate backpacks with pain and difficulties but, to me, backpacks symbolise the things that make me happiest: travel, adventures and clothes! For that reason, I almost always wear a large smile as I carry my backpack and I always receive smiles in return.

Yesterday morning I was browsing a shop in Sydney Central train station when I turned around and accidentally whacked a girl with my massive backpack as she was walking behind me. I really belted her, so I felt terrible, but she smiled, apologised to me (I don’t even know why) and then initiated a friendly conversation by asking where I was traveling to. I’m sure if the same incident had occurred while wearing my usual gym bag she would have hissed, cursed and considered whacking me back.

I like hoisting a large bag over my shoulder that weighs more than a young child. Yes, it’s painfully heavy but I enjoy the great encounters and meetings that occur when people sympathise or become curious about my battle-with-the-bag.

I’m less than 160cm tall, average weight, fit but not particularly strong, and my backpack looks like it was designed for a tall man with broad shoulders. It towers a foot above my head and consumes my entire body. The straps nestle neatly around my hips and the pockets cling to the contours of my waist so it hugs the whole back half of my body, as if we are intimately spooning.

It might look silly but I love my bag. It’s not only a necessary part of my travel hobby, it’s a symbol of the happy moments it creates, both for me and others. I will keep that in mind during the hard times ahead in South East Asia.

By Marissa Toohey


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