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.

🙂

All the places I’ve been

In a recent conversation with my dad, I realised that in his 70+ years, he has travelled to a huge number of countries, (34 and counting!) so I thought it was worth listing all of mine out too to see how we compare!

My dad also pointed out that the majority of his travelling happened in his 20’s and 30’s, as like most people, once you settle down and have kids you tend to travel less often, so here is our combined list:  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