**Pictured above is the Rijks Museum at sunrise. At ANY other time of the day, this place is SWAMPED with people, all trying to get the same photo!
Phone, keys, wallet…CHECK! Wait, I’m going to Amsterdam, no need for the keys! With my 2 backpacks STUFFED to the walls, I’m heading for the bus station in Boulder, CO. Roughly $13 and 45 minutes later, I’ll arrive at one of the most mysterious airports in our nation, DIA.
Ah, advantage number 1…boarding the airplane. Instantly my idea of bringing two backpacks seems LEGIT! Because they’re only backpacks, most of the time there will be space for them as SOON AS YOU WALK ON, stuff one in! When I had a normal “carry-on” size dimension bag, I noticed, because I would USUALLY board last, I couldn’t ever find a spot that was big enough. The other backpack, if your being a good little passenger, can easily fit under your legs in front of your seat. If the plane isn’t to capacity, grab what you need ( granola bar, water bottle, book and ipod) and stick your “personal item” in another over head bin…BAM!
Advantage number 2…Finally, I’m in the Netherlands! Grabbing the backpacks and walking to the bus to get to the train is quick and simple. I usually put the heavier bag or more awkward shaped bag ( from stuffing my tripod in it) over my shoulders and carry my Manfrotto camera bag in front of me. It has padding on the shoulder straps, so it’s not too bad. Maneuvering around through the airport is simple, not like dragging a piece of luggage up and down the escalators. This type of packing is often misunderstood. People often think it’s because I don’t trust the locals, but that is the farthest thing from the truth. I’ve learned through my travels that strangers are extremely helpful and will help if they can. I’m carrying two backpacks for the sake of light travel, not from a security standpoint. Although, while in Puerto Rico, wheelin’ my carry-on bag through the streets of Culebra at night had TOURIST written all over it. Not that having 2 backpacks doesn’t, but maybe they’ll think your a little bit more experienced ( and by experienced I mean badass) this way. Are you getting my badass vibe from my pic? Yeah, don’t depened on the “badassness” too much! Hopefully, you get the point though.
Disadvantage number 1…You are limited to what you can bring, EVERYTHING WISE! For example, I met some people at a hostel in Amsterdam and we went out to a local bar right in the Red Light district. I had on my down jacket for hiking and some Army green hiking pants. I looked absolutely ridiculous! Everyone was in nice jeans, dress shirts and stylish shoes. Having only packed ONE of everything, I don’t really have the option to have multiple shoes and shirts to choose from. Often times, I find myself interacting with travelers on a different page. They’re here for just the weekend or here to party real hard. Not me. I’m here to get the most out of each place I visit. GUILTY, I do get drinks and get down on the dance floor often, but I make sure to control the expenses by sacrificing other ways, mostly eats/guided tours/rental cars. I try local foods, but don’t indulge. I have my granola bars stocked in my bag and often have my EcoVessel water bottle filled up. My foodie friends can’t believe that I don’t gorge on these cuisines being so unique and so far away from home, but like I said…I try, but don’t indulge. I think it’s all about balance, at least my way of traveling is.
P.S. – My way is not the right way, it’s just a way…