Smartphones fit in your pocket, as do pens and small notebooks.

But lately I’ve still been carrying around my backpack. It’s my purse, a place where I can carry extra stuff like bottled water, snacks, a rain jacket, and a laptop. I just pack enough to avoid straining my back like a college student carrying textbooks.

Wearing a backpack makes me feel adventurous, prepared, and free. Sometimes I dump everything in my backpack, wallet and phone included, so I can walk with empty pockets.

The backpack makes me feel like a nomad, with the freedom to work and walk everywhere. You can’t possibly feel liberated carrying around a briefcase.

The backpack is ultimately my survival kit, and I almost always wear it with two straps instead of one so I can keep moving ahead without feeling like it’s there.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.