by Nick Bridwell (Customer Service)
- 1. Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain
Whether you’re scrambling through the streets–dodging bovine beasts at every turn–or taking the safe bet and watching from the crowded sidelines, Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls and all of the assorted festivities are sure to give you plenty of opportunities to break in your Saddleback gear.
Tip: If you’re running, it would be a muy bueno idea to carry a Saddleback Pouch with all of your important docs tucked neatly within the sweet leather. When those bulls hit the bullseye on your backside, there’s no telling how far your wallet will fly! But, this pouch will keep things safe beneath your ceremonial garb! Plus, you don’t want your passport covered in tomato!
- Walking the Kumano Kodo in Japan
The Kumano Kodo is a UNESCO World Heritage recognized pilgrimage route dating back over a thousand years in Japan’s history. The road is peppered with ancient shrines to Shinto deities and temples dedicated to the harmonization of spirit and nature. Many travelers on the Kumano Kodo participate in a spiritual practice called shugendō, which requires them to walk barefoot through the jagged paths and complete other physical challenges that test the body and spirit and bring man and nature all the more closer. Kumano will work that leather!
Tip: Kumano Kodo is a journey of introspection as much as it is a physical challenge. You’ll need a hearty Saddleback Front Pocket Backpack for your journey. Here, you can keep your food and clothing for the trip, as well emergency supplies, notepads and pens to document your journey.
- Bush Pilot Training in Africa
Through a number of independent ventures, you can go make your way to Africa and train to become a bush pilot. Even if the eight day program is the full extent of your aviation career, you’ll still have the opportunity of a lifetime to take to the skies over Africa’s vast deserts and lush jungles.
Tip: Up in the air, you need to make sure you have your essentials: food, backup meds, water, and an Indiana Jones fedora. Here’s you’ll want to go for a Satchel/Messenger Bag style. The Dry Bag will be perfect for keeping the sand out!
- Bridging the Cultural Divide in Paris with Expats!
My favorite place for throwing back an imported brew and getting to know citizens of the world is a special place in Paris called Montmartre. Nestled on a hilltop high above the city, and home to the Sacre Coeur, it not only offers a sweeping vista of the City of Lights, but a chance to pal around with painters from Berlin, techies from Germany, and all the Liverpool rockers you can shake a baguette at. This perfect neighborhood was once the stomping ground of Hemingway and Picasso, and to this day allows for friendship to bloom between men of all nations.
Tip: Montmartre is a bit hilly, so you’ll want to make sure to evenly distribute your weight. I suggest a Saddleback Messenger Bag (in backpack mode) or Simple Backpack for wandering about the hill. Ladies, the Bucket Backpack or Hobo Purse would be magnifique! Montmartre is also home to the Moulin Rouge and the Dali Museum to name a few other attractions.
- Silver Hunting in Taxco, Mexico
Taxco might not be the most accessible of Mexican villages, but it is by far one of the most beautiful. Taxco is famous as a silver mining town and for all of the shiny jewelry made by its residents. Tourists might come for the silver, but they stay for the rich architecture and cobblestone streets that sidewind like serpents up the majestic Sierra Madre mountains. A trip to Taxco makes for a good hike and a chance to bump shoulders with true craftsmen. There are rooftop restaurants in Taxco that offer a cool cerveza and a divine view of the Baroque Santa Prisca Cathedral.
Tip: Some folks in Mexico might not have gotten the memo on personal space. You don’t want to have any sort of open bag or anything hanging about that can be knocked to the street when you are bumped. Get a bag that’s locked up tight like the Dry Bag or a Satchel.
What are your favorite adventures? Where have you gone to break in your Saddleback Leather? Post comments and pictures below!