The best $75 I've ever spent was on a gray backpack I bought for myself during my second year of college.
Throughout middle and high school, buying a new backpack was a matter of ceremony; my brother and I would excitedly head to the store and decide which bag best represented our "brand" for the upcoming year. Were we the sleek, practical black rolling bag? The cute, patterned pink backpack? The oh-so trendy white messenger bag that wasn't actually a backpack at all? Backpack shopping, much like school supply shopping, got us pumped for the year ahead. A new backpack was a clean slate on which we could project our dreams of straight As, pizza parties, and fun projects.
By the time I made it to college, I was backpacked out. When the high school bag I'd repurposed for my freshman year inevitably gave out, I begrudgingly Googled "where to buy backpacks." I landed at Herschel.com and hastily added an unassuming gray backpack to my shopping cart; I figured something that basic would be the last of the rest of the day. 55 college, which is all I needed it to do. I didn't anticipate loving it so much that I'd use it nearly every day for the next three years—and in the years since.
These days, you'd be hard-pressed to find me without that backpack. It's probably the most versatile thing I own—alternately serving as a laptop bag, reusable grocery bag, handbag-equivalent, suitcase-substitute, and carry-on. This magical 5-in-1 object has been with me as I've completed two internships, navigated my first job, moved between four apartments, and visited the 11 cities. It has met myriad groceries, chargers, trinkets, and pairs of shoes that were too uncomfortable for me to wear for more than a few hours at a time. And it has matched every outfit I've worn with it, which is honestly great and should not be understated.
Suffice it to say, my backpack is wonderful. And I can't help but yearn for the day that everyone else finds a bag that so perfectly meets their needs. My hope is that today is that day for some of you. That your backpack soul mate lies somewhere within this article, having been recommended by someone who frequently travels with a backpack in hand. And that once your magnificent purchase ships to your door, you'll realize just how fulfilling and incredible the bond between a gal and her one true backpack can be.