After years of unfailing service, my trusty backpack has decided that its days of journeying are over.
It was all so sudden…
Edges fraying, zippers jammed, stitching coming loose, rubberized grommets dry and brittle, mesh water bottle compartments sagging–their elasticity nothing but a memory–I suppose I simply refused to acknowledge the signs of a life well-traveled coming to an end.
Over the past five years, my backpack has carried bottles of wine and bags of fava across Santorini…ocean-carved granite stones from Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine…conch shells from the beaches of Anguilla….an unlikely combination of amber and smoked fish off the Baltic coast of Lithuania…jars of pate from gourmet stores in Quebec City…questionable electronics purchased on a street corner in Times Square…crocks of magnificent Maille mustard from Paris…gurgling 5-liter cans of olive oil from Puglia…cryo-vacced sausages from San Sebastian…sacks of Fleur de Sel purchased roadside in Guerande, France…dried fruit and nuts from the Souk in Marrakech…and full-sized, stinky wheels of young Pecorino from an outdoor market in Faro.
My backpack cradled all the things that ensured my safety and comfort on my journeys: passports, wallet, pocket knife, flashlight, a few feet of rope, note pad, business cards for livethelive.com, water, energy bars, Valium and Ambien for those long plane trips, Pepto for those bad food choices, and Immodium for those really bad food choices.
It accompanied me while snorkeling in St John…loading up on pasties and smoked whitefish at the foot of the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula…swimming with dolphins in Moorea…riding camels along the Morrocan coast in Essouria…slurping oysters by the dozen in Pensacola Beach…flying in a hot air balloon over the vineyards outside of Barcelona…diving off the rocks in Capri…circling the dog track at the New Orleans Jazz Festival…boogie-boarding at Nauset Beach on Cape Cod…touring via helicopter over mountains and glaciers to Milford Sound in New Zealand…and relaxing poolside at the Four Seasons Resort in West Palm Beach.
Always behind me and never a complaint. A fond farewell. Thanks for watching my back, pack.