I think I’ve sworn off all things that remind me of high school. Including old friends. Kidding! Seriously though, it was a phase I gladly bid sayonara to with it’s big binders, uniforms, rule against having nails long (blame CAT), a block system, etc. Backpacks were one of them. I mean, they were extremely functional, and, in retrospect, kind of cool with that one strap dangling from your dominant/toned shoulder look, but backpacks felt so…young to me. And I guess the horrors of having to bring every single textbook on a daily basis left lasting scars.

Interestingly, I have grown past that fear of looking young. I just turned 26 a few days ago and now that I’m finally in my late twenties (HA), I welcome all age-misleading components of my look that could potentially shed years off me. So shiny lip gloss a la high school, check. High ponytails, check. Jumpers, check. Backpacks are just my latest addition to that roster of items alluding to the fountain of youth – my holy grail. Just kidding, my holy grail is actually a list of restaurants/dishes but you get the picture!

I’ve discovered that it’s not just any backpack that I like though. I came across Outdoor backpacks with a couple friends and I fell in love with both the designs and the functionality. Full disclosure: I recently trekked up a mountain with a little rafia sling purse with barely any closure. Never doing that again, thank you. After that, I realized that while backpacks initially gave me certain unwarranted throwbacks, they are suited to my current lifestyle as a travel magazine editor. It makes absolute sense for me to lug a backpack around instead of annoying (but pretty) bags to our cover shoots and out-of-town trips especially when they involve any ascent or descent (up a mountain, down a cave, etc.). Trust me on this one. I learned the hard way.


So let me introduce my new Outdoor bag which I love because it seems to demand being outdoorsy with its sandy hue (like a desert) but at the same time is extremely functional. It has a laptop sleeve inside which is Godsend, and a few more sleeves for little things like cords, phones or even gameboys (which is exactly what I fit in it in my trip to Michigan).

Yes, I’m currently home in MI and I can’t wait to spend time with my family. Don’t hate me yet for leaving Manila and having my stress levels reduced by half. I do have a surprise for you with probably the easiest giveaway I’ve thrown so far. I know you guys also love to travel and explore so here’s your chance to win your own Outdoor backpack by joining my contest. Outdoor is giving away one backpack EVERY week for the next 8 weeks so get posting!

  1. Take a photo with your group of friends. Any travel/lifestyle shot will do – at the beach, in a coffee shop, in a mall, or wherever you guys hang out! (note: no need to have a backpack, any group shot of your friends doing whatever is fine!)
  2. Post your photo on Instagram (make sure your account is public!) and don’t forget to follow and tag both @outdoorproductsPH and @alyssalapid.
  3. Use the hashtags #PackForLife and #alyssalapidXoutdoorproducts
  4. The photo contest will run for 8 weeks with one winner per week chosen by Outdoor.
  5. You can post as many photos as you like for more chances of winning! And each week is a clean slate so keep joining (it’s just like posting a groufie anyway!) to win!

Good luck, explorers! I hope you’re one of the 8 winners! There’s something about this brand that makes you pack up and go. And that’s definitely a good thing.