Whether I chose to or not, I have become one.
You know when you vacation and you always see backpackers in the airports, on the streets, or on tours with you… and without even realizing it or trying to, you are totally judging them. Judging their outfits, their style, their overall lack of fashion sense. Well even if you didn’t, I certainly did…I would internally tell myself “Melissa, if you take off and travel the world as a backpacker, you will NEVER do those things”…. . but you know what…I was wrong. And I am proud to say that I, Melissa Leigh Richardson, have become one of those innocent, practical, and quite resourceful #basicbackpackers.
Below is a list of the things that I now do that I never thought I would.
- Wearing TEVAS as a legitimate shoe of choice: Who just buys TEVAS to wear casually around trendy cities like Cartagena, Barcelona, Rome, Tokyo. I do. It started as a purchase for a Grand Canyon trip that I took this summer and kinda fell in love with the practicality and comfort of them. I brought them on our trip and not only do I wear them with most outfits, I didn’t bring any other sandals because who would trade a reliable, comfortable sandal like TEVA for anything else? For those who don’t know TEVAS check them out below.
- The good ole’ double backpack: You always look at backpackers walking around with their huge backpack on the back, and them carrying their small pack (or daypack) in front of them like a baby and maybe even a purse or dry bag with them as well. And you just look at them like… is that really necessary? Answer… ya it is. There’s no other possible way to carry all that stuff unless you want to live life on the edge and put your daypack (with everything you own that is important) on the back of your huge backpack, where you couldn’t feel if someone cut it off your back. So you end up wearing it in front, because that’s just the easiest, smartest thing to do.
- Reppin’ the Fanny Pack: Only at 80s theme parties or for a joke… right? wrong… I bought a super cute JanSport fanny pack from Sports Basement and it’s my best friend. I love it so much that I’ve already talked about this in a previous post so I won’t go too far in to my love affair with my fanny pack… but it’s amazing.
- Sunglass Cord: Never did I ever think I would own one of these. But when you’re traveling by all sorts of transportation, including boat, and you have two backpacks and a fanny pack on, where else can you put your sunglasses that won’t get lost, broken or fall off… you guessed it … around your neck. And the best part is that the sunglass cord you have is not a cool stylish thin black cord that your parents or athletic friends wear while boating…no you don’t have the budget for those.. so you end up getting the cheapest cord you can get at some local souvenir store and trust me…. it’s not fashionable.. but it is extremely reliable.
- Non-matching and Unflattering Outfits: Ever look at backpackers and think… Why? Why are they wearing possibly the only two things they own that could mismatch so much. Are they just SO hipster? Being Ironic? Just have given up? The answer is probably different for each person but for me it’s most likely the only clean, comfortable clothing that you still have and threw on your body.
*During the trek to Macchu Picchu I hit my travel outfit breaking point and actually had to zip off my pants into capris revealing my leggings and calf high hiking socks. On the top was paired with a long sleeve thermal layered upon another athletic tank top to make everything look super bulky and unflattering. Hair a mess that hadn’t been washed in 5 days pulled back with a buff … and frankly Scarlet… I didn’t give a damn.