I have felt so much loss in the past two years its uncomfortable and I just wanted to hold on to something and it seems to be my backpack.
I quit my job so I could have a better life, but this also meant I had to sell my house, which is my choice so I now have no place to live. All my other possessions are now at mums house which is in another state.
These were all my choices in moving forward but still loses to some degree.
I lost my long time girlfriend of almost 12 years and two other relationships that didn’t last more than a month or two, they all left me feeling deep loss.
My dad passed away on the 11th of May this year and that was just unseen and even though I wasn’t as close as I could because of the distance living on the other side of the world. I was trying to reconnect this year, well thats what I thought.
My Old Osprey Atmos 25 Backpack
So let me explain my attachment to my backpack, before I lose that too. Its silly but its true, Ive had my Osprey backpack for 12years and its traveled 1000’s of kilometres around the world and recently I walked 900km of the Camino with this thing on my back. I love this backpack its been my life line, until you start backpacking you just won’t understand.
It carries my food and keeps me fed, water to keep me hydrated, extra clothes to keep me warm in the winter months. Its a place for my rain gear to keep me dry and out of storms. It holds my video camera so I can make amazing videos for you guys and my blog.
I place my maps and compass to keep me on track and stops me getting lost, well most times.
Its a place to rest against when you have nothing to lean on or a pillow if you end up sleeping out in a field on the Camino.
My bag holds my phone, keys and wallet so I don’t have them rubbing against my legs. Spare clothes incase the rain fails to stop and leaks through my rain gear.
My first aid kit and snake bandages have a place in its side pocket, for the protection my backpack can’t give me.
As I said its my life line that gets me into some amazing places and keeps me out of trouble if things turn bad, which they seem to do.
So I’ll take you back in time, I’m in England in my dads house packing my bags at the end of my Europe trip to come back to Australia. I’m realising that all my gear is not going to fit in my luggage bag. What do I sacrifice and what do I keep is a question on my mind.
I look at all the gear on my bed and my poor faithful backpack, that now has a tear in the top. I also look at an camouflage jacket that my dad wore and a rain jacket that I bought him, both of which I want to take home as a reminder of him.
Then I think back to what my little brother said to me the night before, he wanted to buy a backpack so he could be more like me and follow in my foot steps.
With tears in my eyes I thought if he really wants to be like me then he should have my back pack. Its looked after me for the past 12 years, what better person to have it.
Just then he comes into my room, I wipe the tears away and look up to him and say, I’ve been thinking you can have my backpack, you don’t need to buy one, but Julia will have to fix the tear for you.
So now I have lost something else that is so close to me, you can’t get much closer than a lifeline on your back and looked after you for the past 12 years. Little Phil looks so excited so its hard to be disappointed at giving it away.
I can now pack my dads jackets and have a piece of him with me always and my little brother can have a something of mine close to him.
So I’m back in Australia and I’m still feeling the lost, if I go on my walks I just don’t have my backpack. I have a small bag that I can add a rain jacket ,camera and some food and water but not the full safety net that will take me deep into the wilderness.
New Green Osprey Stratos 26 Backpack
So after arriving at The Blue Mountains I knew I was back in serious hiking shop territory and I could finally buy a new backpack.
I know there is only one brand for me and its Osprey, I walk into Paddy Palin and I know I’m going to walk out with a backpack today. After a surprising short time I choose a backpack, this is however made harder by trying to choose the colour.
Do choose the green and try and be earthy and find a new me or choose the blue. I think the blue reminds me of my ex so I choose green. Not 100% sold on the idea I ask if there is any other colours, black and red are now my other choices.
Do I get another red one or try something new, I walk out with the green one thinking its the new me.
After a restless sleep all night thinking about the green colour, thats just not me. My Chris Osborne Adventures logo is red for heavens sake. Why did I choose the red backpack in the first place, answer I want to be seen if things go wrong while out walking.
New Red Osprey Stratos 26 Backpack
I return to the shop and exchange my green backpack for a red one, so now I can be just like my little brother and have a red backpack.
The next day I take it for a test run along hat hill road after a few minutes it starts to rain, I take out a new feature an inbuilt rain jacket, Noooo its bright green.
While walking with my new backpack I feel its comfort on my back, I feel safe and protected, maybe I have angles looking down on me I’m not sure, ive been told I have. What I do know is I have a backpack that will protect me from the storms, the thirst and hunger.
Maybe the Angles will point me in the right direction I know something is guiding me and its not always my compass.
I finally feel after all the loss this year I now have been given something back. Its not my dad, its not failed relationships, these things i know I can’t get back no mater how much I want them.
Yes it is a possession and its not going to replace real people or emotions but its something close I can connect with in this time of now.
I know for a fact that this backpack has high standards to live up to, its also going to take me to new and exciting places.
Who knows it me even guide me on the right path to a wonderful relationship or guide me to a plus one that I need for my sisters wedding.
Which now I have less than 4 months to find someone suitable.
Update… my sister said I don’t need to take a plus one, so the pressure off, I can just stick to hiking.