It’s been a month. I thought I’d check in. I know you stink and smell and are covered in dirt from the peeling floors of dorms and guest houses and street corners that I carelessly dumped you on. I know that you still have sand in your corners from the beach we left behind weeks ago.
I’m sorry for that.
I’m sorry that nothing inside you ever dries in this cruel climate. I’m sorry that I forget the incredible role you’re playing in this adventure as you carry around all my stinky mildly mildewy stuff. I wish the further we traveled together the more you’d expand. To fit better all the little things I keep picking up on the way and to store the items that will someday be incredible memories in the form of objects that I turn over in callused ancient hands smiling remembering the weird smell of street meat sticks wafting as I haggled over a dollar difference.
You are literally carrying my hard evidence. You are solid real proof that I did this and saw that and I wish you could expand.
The same way that I’ve felt my heart constrict and convulse and I’m sure grow inside my beating chest so big I wonder how it could possibly be the same size.
The same when I look at you.
I’ve been to 10 cities, 2 countries, beach-to-jungle, underwater, up the mountains, seen spectacular sights that drew me speechless and I know I’m not the same that I was.
But you, my dear backpack, my hard evidence, you are still the same.
A little more dirty, a little bit roughed up. You look like me I’m sure. But your insides, like mine, are different. Sandy and strange and yes, smelly (someday we won’t smell I’m sure of it) stuffed with my memories. The stains on those tattered shirts the weird odors the sand covered shorts, the bikini tops that will never be the same (ever) the gifts I’m trying to keep separate they are the realness of what I’m carrying inside me.
So im sorry I keep forgetting you, sometimes cursing you as we wander the streets in the sun sweating. I’m sorry that I stuff more and stuff more and more and stuff stuff stuff into you till you’re bursting. I feel the same and I love it.
I know you do too.
We will both be sad when the stuffing is over and we have to unpack, both literally and figuratively.
That’s why it’s okay to be smelly and sweaty and stuffed. I’ll try to remember to dump the sand out of your bottom corners and you keep doing exactly what you’re doing. Don’t change a thing. We’ve still got a lot to go. More countries and more cities and more smells to pick up. I’m thrilled that you’re watching my back as we travel.