An Ode to my MacPac…

As I was recently rooting around in my loft for something, I found my big macpac, and realised I’ve had it for 10 years this year. It’s the best rucksack I’ve ever bought, it has a lifetime guarantee, and it’s EXTREMELY well-made, so I thought it was worthy of a little shout-out.

I bought my matching big and little macpacs in 2007, before going to Nepal for a year.

My big macpac has gone with me to Nepal, India, Malaysia, Singapore, France, Liverpool, South Sudan, India again, Nepal again, Kashmir, Oxford, the USA, The Philippines, Thailand, Australia, Iraq, Jordan, Canada, USA again, Australia again, Senegal, Kenya, Iraq again, and Senegal again.

Other than an unfortunate incident once where my Big Mac got ripped in an airport and needed to be patched (I sent it off to macpac and they fixed it up and shipped it back to me), it has held up remarkably well! In Nepal I used to keep it empty under my bed, but padlocked as my passport was in there, and when I lost the key, I had to beg the locksmith to cut through the padlock carefully not to damage the zip!

It’s incredibly comfortable, exactly the right size, and I love that it unzips like a proper suitcase instead of rooting around in a normal rucksack. I also love that you can fold in and zip up the straps when checking it in at airports so they don’t get damaged en-route.

My little macpac has gone with me EVERYWHERE in the last 10 years. It’s literally my everyday bag, it carries my laptop into work everyday, it goes with me on mini-breaks and weekends, and in addition to all of the countries my big mac has been to it has ALSO been with me to Qatar, Madrid, Italy and Switzerland!

Obviously daily use for 10 years has left my little mac a bit grubby, but considering what it’s been through, it’s holding up INCREDIBLY well! It’s even still mostly waterproof, as I learned after a can of tonic water exploded inside it once in the Philippines…

This little bag goes with me pretty much everywhere, is still sturdy and comfy after 10 years, and it zips onto the front of Big Mac (although I hardly ever do that).

So, all in all, as a fairly frequent traveller, I give these bags 10 out of 10 and highly recommend them for your travelling adventures.


Travelling Maya

Thursday 15th July 2010

Hello everyone,
Sorry it’s been so long since my last email, but so much has happened once again that I don’t really know where to start!

Let’s see, in shorthand: during my 1 month’s notice period I was allowed to take my 2 week’s compensatory leave, so I went to Nepal for a break and well-earned holiday.

Unfortunately my holiday was utterly exhausting and ended up being really quite stressful. It was GREAT to see all the kids again and being back was lovely. However I’d forgotten that staying at the orphanage meant getting up at 5am, which is not my idea of relaxing! Also there were 3 other volunteers there, so we were all sharing a cramped room. I won’t go into the details right now, but basically there was a lot of drama involving the other volunteers, me, Priya, and Aama, a lot of misunderstanding and a fair amount of upset all round. I also came down with a hideously nasty cold and have been ill pretty much ever since, so my holiday was mostly an exhausting and stressful disaster. Continue reading

Home Home Home!!!

Wednesday 2nd July 2008

Ok, where did I leave off last time?

Well, I whizzed across from Haampi to Goa for a night, and then took a very long train journey north. It was around 36 hours to Agra, and like the good Brit that I am I was well prepared for the boredom with several books, a pack of cards, my ipod and various snacks etc.
After reading for several hours, I busted out the cards for a few games of patience, which drew fascinated looks from basically everyone in a 5-metre radius of me.
They stared and talked excitedly for about 30 mins before one young man was clearly voted the one to speak to me. He stood up reverentially and asked in a shaking voice if I was doing magic.

I wasn’t sure if he was referring to Harry Potter style magic, or the more basic card tricks, but when I explained that I was merely playing a game a murmur went up around the bunks and the young man looked more puzzled than ever. He then looked at me in awe and asked how I could possibly play a card game with just one person!!
All highly amusing! Continue reading

India, full of surprises…

Thursday 29th May 2008

Wow, ok, it’s been a crazy few days/nights, and I’m struggling to keep track of the dates already!

In brief (who am I kidding?) – I travelled by night bus from Pokhara to Sunauli on Sunday, arriving at the Indian border on Monday morning. Crossing over was a bit bizarre, it was just a dusty road, rammed with traffic, and as I walked I kept passing signs that said “Welcome to India”. I tentatively asked several guards along the way if I shouldn’t get my passport stamped somewhere, but they just kept on waving me through!
I eventually found the immigration office off to one side of the road, but no one was paying them any attention, and hundreds of people were just walking past, so they clearly aren’t too fussed (and after all that drama getting a bloody visa too!).

However I decided I really should try to enter the country legally, to avoid any further hassles encroaching on my beach-time. I asked them to stamp me in, but the guard informed me I had to first go back and get stamped out of Nepal!
It turns out the Nepali immigration office is even harder to find, tucked in a tiny building off the main road, it was quite a search to find it!
But eventually, I did find it, and a rather put-out looking guard grudgingly stamped my passport, and back I went again, All highly amusing! Continue reading