“Travel Bug” – It’s a phrase almost everyone has heard. It is a phrase that has a wide range of connotations. It conjures images of many different desires relating to travel: from the dreamer who longs for the warmth and sunshine of the beach but can never quite align the stars to make the vacation happen, to the adventurer who dons an enormous down coat and sets off on a trek to Antarctica.
For some, travel is an essential part of life. It inspires the soul and invigorates one’s passions for knowledge, experience, and adventure. For others, it is a nice escape from the every day routine but not essential to a fulfilling life.
I was raised by a family who lived and breathed for travel. My grandmother traveled so much that my dad likes to say she traveled around the world, not once but twice.
My parents were both avid travelers in their own right as well. My mom spent extensive time backpacking across Europe, soaking in the sites from Ireland to Turkey. My dad spent two years hitchhiking through Europe, spending much of his time in Sweden, Paris, and Greece.
My parents traveled extensively together too. They embarked on countless road trips around the continental United States and spent a month touring the Hawaiian Islands.
Clearly, there is a long history of “travel bugs” in my family.
My parents love to regale us with stories from their travel experiences. Sometimes the stories border on the unbelievable, like the one where my mother hitchhiked from Munich to London by herself. Or the fact that my dad lived in a roofless stone hut for months in Mykonos, Greece. One of my personal favorites has to be where they boast about sleeping in their rental car for the entire month they were in Hawaii!
Often their stories relate to how different traveling was “back then”. My parents reminisce on how hitchhiking was the norm and felt perfectly safe. They describe youth hostels that cost less than a dollar a day. Some provided stellar accommodations. Others forced you to leap across a giant water puddle to reach the bed.
One aspect of my dad’s stories that captured my attention was the one travel accessory that accompanied him on all his adventures: an orange backpack.
He loves to tell the story of how his old backpack broke during the course of his travels, forcing him to acquire a new one. He intended to purchase a forest green or an ocean blue pack to blend in with the environment. However, when he went to buy a new one, the only color option was bright orange.
At first, he was unsure of the bold color but quickly came to love it. Now, he says, he will never choose a color other than that fateful orange hue.
So, in honor of my dad and the insatiable “travel bug” passed down through the generations, we decided to name our travel blog “Orange Backpack Travel.”
We hope that we can channel our family’s travelling spirit to inspire others and pass the “bug” down to the next generation.
-Annie, Your Friend at Orange Backpack Travel