A Letter from Kim’s Old Backpack


Dearest Kim,

It’s been nearly a week since I last saw you. I should have known something was wrong between us. We used to carry everything together. You used to never take your eyes off me, but these past few weeks have been different. You left me completely empty in a cold, dark corner with nothing but my hydration port.

I was so excited when you put me on last Tuesday. “Yay! We are finally together again!”, I thought. As it turns out, it was all a lie.

I had such high hopes when we got to REI. I thought you might buy me some accessories or wanted to brag to the clerk how pretty I look after all these months. But nooooo, you abandoned me! You tossed me aside to be thrown in the storage room with the Christmas rejects.

You didn’t even say goodbye.

When the cashier asked you what was wrong, you said, “It just isn’t right for me.” I still can barely write the words.  Just isn’t right for you?! You hurt me to the zippers, sweet Kim.

How could you after all we’ve been through? Why did you leave me, when we fit so well together? Sure, I might get a little pudgy when fully stuffed. I’m a little heavy sometimes, I admit, but no pack is perfect!

On your way out, I saw you from the returns bin. I nearly broke my internal bladder when I saw the bitter truth. You exchanged me for a newer model! And, what’s worse, you exchanged me for a Ridgeline 65?! A Gregory Baltoro 75, I could understand at least, but a puny, little Ridgeline?

Does that blue floozy have the capacity that I have? Does it have the convenient and spacious outer pocket? Is it fully front-loading? Can it snap around you as tight as I can?  I don’t think so.  What does it have that I don’t, huh?!

To think of all those times I unzipped for you. All those times you reached deep in my compartment.  The thought makes me sick now.

Just so you know, I am done crying for you. My Coating Finish™ shell with individual fibers resulting in reduced water absorption and stronger durability was nearly soaked to the internal frame. The REI Garage Sale is on the 23rd, and I am looking forward to meeting someone who will truly appreciate this sexy, green machine.

I wish you and your J-zipper, strap-deprived sack all the best.  You deserve each other.

REI Venus 70

P.S. — You left a pair of socks in my main compartment. I’m keeping them.

Kim and Clark Kays
Kim & Clark Kays quit their jobs for an uncertain trip around the world. Originally from St. Louis, they relocated to Chicago after getting married in 2005. After working for five years in middle school and the Fortune 500, they realized there was more to life than the 9-to-5, so made the crazy decision to exchange money for time rather than the other way around.

Their hobbies include fighting over writing styles and searching for gelato. They think food, beer, architecture, and photography are some of the best things about travel—especially when combined. Their travel blog, To Uncertainty and Beyond, includes long-term travel tips as well as humorous anecdotes from their journey through Europe and Asia. They invite you to experience their journey and learn from their adventures and mistakes.
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