Well, the backpacks have been tested, and they passed with flying colors. Most ‘how to pack lightly’ or ‘how to backpack across Europe’ books and websites advise something along these lines: “pack your backpack to capacity and walk around town; see how that feels, then go home and take out half of what you thought you needed”. I tried something slightly different. I went to Book Expo America and packed the bag full of books (19 of them to be exact), and then packed another bag full of books, and then walked around the Javits center all day long. And as an added bonus, my much-smaller-than-me (but probably stronger than me) friend did the same thing. The verdict–yes, the bags can hold a lot. But no, I don’t want to be schlepping a lot around with me. In fact, after yesterday I’m thinking of taking a toothbrush and a change of underwear.
Scratch that–I’m sure I can buy a disposable toothbrush at each stop. I’ll just take the underwear.
Seriously though, the bags worked out better than I could have hoped. For how much it weighed full, I was impressed with how well it carried on my hips and shoulders, and I only had a bit of chafing from the one strap (which I cannot figure out–why only one strap?) I did utilize the uber-dorky waist belt, as did my much-cooler-than-me friend. When I first put it on–empty–I thought ‘wow–I have to fit everything I need for a month in here?’ But after I’d filled it up, I was amazed at how much it could hold. Not that I’ll be putting it to that kind of test, but still, it is good to know that it is possible. Maybe I can buy some souvenirs.
In other news, as this was originally an all-things-travel blog, I suppose I should be writing about my Book Expo trip. The only problem is that I have a book blog, too, and cannot figure out on which blog this trip belongs. As we basically got off of the bus, made a beeline for the convention center, grabbed dozens of books and then cabbed it back to the bus station, I’m thinking it is more of a book blog post than a travel post. But I did decide one thing–I sure hope I like London more than I like New York (I’m confident that I’ll like Paris and Barcelona, though I suppose they could be just as bad. But I doubt it). Granted, I only saw a few blocks, but I’ve been there before and continue to not be impressed. Yet everywhere I look, there are people taking pictures. I’m about to be one of those people, and I can only hope it is somewhere a bit more interesting–and less dingy–than the Manhattan that lies between Port Authority and the Javits Center. Because there was nothing scenic or quaint about that.