The Day I Became a Turtle and Hurt My Back


With great power comes great responsibility. So is true with gadgets. The more gadgets you accumulate, the more space you need for them.

Wait. What???


Don’t get me wrong on this one. It’s not like I’ve accumulated all the gadgets in the world, okay?

Way back, I’ve managed to fit all my stuff in a 32 liter backpack when I went on a 5-month backpacking trip in Thailand and Cambodia. The ‘stuff’ included my clothes and as far as gadgets are concerned¬†there’s my¬†13″ Lenovo laptop, a mobile phone and a tiny digital camera.

However, having awesome friends around give you the chance to own pre-loved gadgets. So over the course of time, my gadgets evolved. I inherited my old travel buddy’s DSLR after he switched to a Fuji system when he relocated to¬†Dubai. Another friend passed over her MacBook Air when she upgraded to a smaller Mac. I also have an underwater¬†camera which I couldn’t live without and after learning I could use the Flytpack international roaming pocket wifi service, I decided to get one too for a trip I was planning back in November.

You see, no matter how hard you want to travel light, when your travel destination involves going to cold places and factoring in those gadgets mentioned, there’d be a tendency that you’d overpack. And with the stubborn me refusing to get a proper luggage for my three week trip to Thailand, Malaysia and almost-winter Taiwan, I decided to buy a new backpack to fit all the things I needed to bring with me.

I immediately fell in love with the backpack I ended up buying from the R.O.X. branch in BGC. But the buying process had a life of its own, I guess, for I actually bought a different bag after getting convinced by their staff that the other backpack was ideal for me. My fickle mind took over after reaching home though. So I had to go back to the store and replaced the bag with my first choice.

Why? Security and design won over. With the¬†first backpack I brought home, it looked like I was going hiking to the¬†boondocks. That and the fact that the only way to secure the contents of the backpack was to tie its strings. I don’t want to risk not being able to secure it with a padlock. So I went back to the store and replaced it with my first choice.

But it was a costly choice I’d soon start regretting. For the most part anyway. To be fair, I really love my new backpack’s design and functionality. It was perfect in every way.

Transforming into a Ninja Turtle

The only issue I found with¬†it was that it wasn’t built for midgets like me. As much as I love it, I realized that it is ideal for people with specific upper body height sizes. But I’ve no way of knowing that yet until I used the backpack.

Packing all my stuff was tricky too. I actually bought pack cubes thinking that it will help organize my packing, which actually did. But it made squeezing all my stuff in there quite¬†daunting. There’s too much space giving you more reason to add more stuff. Also, you need to arrange everything properly to make sure it stays compact all the time.

How you pack and arrange your things inside that huge space will determine how your backpack’s final form looks. If you pack your stuff properly, you’d get a box-shaped backpack. If you throw everything in there at once, you’d look like a turtle with a huge hump on your back.

And because I was too tired to care how I packed my stuff on some legs of my trip, I ended up looking like one.

A teenage mutant ninja turtle.

How I Hurt My Back

Laziness and frustration usually happens when you go on a backpacking trip. It’s normal. Don’t fret too much. There’d be times where you’d be too tired to pack and unpack each time you’re on the move. My laziness carelessness came to a¬†point where I just slammed my backpack against my back everytime I put it on. I guess¬†the constant slamming of the bag on my lower back took a toll on my body. That and the way I carry the bag single-handedly on my right hand made me hurt my wrist too. This probably angered my carpal tunnels and have never recovered since.

As for my back, the moment I came home from that trip, I silently suffered feeling pins and needles on both hands and feet for some time every single day. Luckily the feeling subsided slowly three months after that trip. But on some occassions, I still get that tingling sensation. This means gone are my carefree days of mindlessly carrying heavy loads to prevent further damaging my back.

Bipolar Feelings

Despite hating my¬†backpack on some days, I also realized that it’s actually a great bag. Nothing beats its storage capacity and the nifty designs added are way too cool to not get noticed. You can either wear the bag as a backpack or you can bring it as a carry on. It has a feature where you can hide the backpack straps and just carry it like a duffel bag. The two compression straps at the front allows you to minimize the bag’s size. And if you don’t overpack and just bring the right amount of things when you travel, this is one awesome backpack to consider. My Cressi Palau snorkeling fins could even fit in there! I just wish¬†my back would grow two inches taller at least and I’d love this bag even more.

But then again, one fact remains.

I look like a ninja turtle when bringing this backpack! ūüėÜ




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