A backpack once symbolized escape, travel, freedom, and adventure to me. I bought my first backpack at 19 when I set off to travel the world. That backpack, full of all my possessions, accompanied me throughout Europe and Africa. It was never too heavy because I didn’t own much. As I got older, my backpacks got larger and I carried more stuff. Once, while struggling to cram my overloaded pack onto a bus in Costa Rica, a man said to me, “Why you carry all that shit for?” The bus was so crowded that I had to balance my 60 pound pack on my lap for three hours. I’ve thought about his words ever since. Backpacks now symbolize all the useless stuff that I’ve acquired throughout my life and continue to cart from place to place, a burden on my back. I long for the days when I had nothing loading me down and struggle with how to responsibly get rid of all this stuff.