Exploring Scandinavia, without the rollerbag (!)

It’s been a while since the rollerbag took a substantial trip. BackpackMr and I had brief sojourns in Belize and Iceland this year, but it’s been a year since I’ve been able to do any longer term travel.

Rockin’ the Osprey backpack in Berlin, Germany last year. 

But in a week, I’ll be heading to Scandinavia. And I am truly excited. But the rollerbag? she’s sitting this one out.

Last year on my trip to Europe I decided to try a backpack. Now, I’ve been resistant to using a backpack for several reasons. But what I found was I was substantially more agile as a backpacker. A backpack saved me from missing the only train to Romania.

And I’m gonna tell you a secret.

Just between you and me.

The weird thing is, I kinda liked it.

The Osprey backpack, on the train. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

Now, this is a smaller backpack. I still think those enormous things that allow people to carry everything they own are flat-out ridiculous, made even more ridiculous when the backpacker puts a second backpack the size of mine on their front. WHAT IS THAT? Seriously, if you have that much stuff, sit down, unpack and take out half or more of what you think you need. Then downsize the rest. When traveling, do laundry and get what you need as you need it, and ditch what you don’t need when it no longer serves its purpose. Don’t schlep it all over like you’re carrying the burden of the family Joad.

Pack smart. Travel light. Be nimble. You will never be sorry.

I use BackpackMr’s sweet little Osprey backpack. We’ve had this thing for years, and it’s got a lot of miles on it. Yet, the zippers never stick and never break. There are pockets where you need them, and the size is just right to carry about 4 days’ worth of clothes. I consider that ideal for longer-term travel. In a pinch (on that same train to Romania) it carried a day’s food and two liters of water (there were no services on the train) as well as the rest of the stuff i needed for a 5-week trip.

When I was passing time, awaiting a bus to Hungary, I was able to navigate a crowded market in Slovenia while wearing the Osprey. With the rollerbag, it would have been much more difficult. 

Running up and down stairs with a rollerbag to catch a train that is departing from the station in seconds is tough, and frankly it negates the whole “I look rather glamorous” aspect of toting nice luggage around the world. Don’t get me wrong: you rent a villa in Positano, Italy for the two of us, and we’re bringing the rollerbag. She loves Positano.

Will I ever fully convert, and become a backpack goddess? Nah. But for the coming five weeks in Scandinavia, yah, sure, you betcha.

Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway, we are nimble, and we are on our way!

Are you a Rollerbag Goddess? Or are you a BackpackMr? What kind of luggage do you prefer for longer-term travel?

Charish profile pic

Charish Badzinski is an explorer and award-winning travel and food writer. When she isn’t working to build her blog: Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World, she applies her worldview to her small business, providing strategic communications, media relations and writing support to her clients.

Find Charish on Twitter: @charishb

Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World by Charish Badzinski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.




6 thoughts on “Exploring Scandinavia, without the rollerbag (!)

  1. I have always taken a rollerbag. I also have a small day backpack for walking around with during the day. I like the idea of the backpack but it seems to be too much of a strain for my neck. Great tips though….


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