How a backpack got my life back on track

Posted by Joey C on



It sounds ridiculous. I know. How could a backpack possibly help you get your life back together. But I’m going to explain how.

Firstly, for those who don’t know me. My name is Jo and I’m a hobby photographer from Victoria, Australia. This particular blog is a bit of a cross between life, adventure and mental mindset. For those who have chosen to read what’s coming, thanks for your time.

The story begins in May 2022. After over 2 years of dodging, ducking and weaving through the pandemic, c*vid finally caught up to me in the middle of the month. I had mild symptoms in the scheme of things and carried on life as relative to ‘normal’ as possible while doing my isolation period. This isn’t a long c*vid story. My body bounced back without any known short term issues.

It was during this time though, that we received the shock news of an interstate move with my husband’s work. 3 weeks’ notice for him to be packed up and in Western Australia (WA) by the start of June. So now I was dealing with c*vid, an interstate relocation and my husband leaving me in Victoria so I could plan our move. No pressure.

It seems relatively straight forward in the scheme of things. Recover from c*vid, support hubby and get him through the next few weeks, farewell him, pack up your house and belongings, quit your job and start the 3,500 km journey over the other side of the country. Simple enough. Unfortunately, not though. I’m a relatively private person, so we will refer to the extras in our story as our “loved ones”. Well hubby and I had some loved ones here in Victoria. They needed to see out another month in Victoria before they could move over to Western Australia with us, so we planned our relocation around them.

After hubby left, I set about preparing an itinerary for the drive across, booking accommodation (making sure it was dog friendly for our pride and joy in the form of a greyhound), planning out petrol locations along the route, all the little quirky pit stops and things to see and do for the trek from Victoria to WA. I’ve previously worked in events and I managed to map out an entire itinerary and bookings within a 48-hour period. I was pretty proud of myself for that one. Although, looking back, I was probably just using the planning as a way of processing the sudden move. Coping mechanisms. Got to love them.

During this relocation planning and pack up time, I managed to fade away from all the regular exercise and activities I was doing. I was running 3-4 times a week doing a proper program, gym sessions 2-3 times a week and swimming in the pool after some of the running and gym sessions. I was committed, determined and really making the most of exercising regularly again. This was on the back of a foot fracture 12 months earlier, but that’s a whole other story.


 Photo of 6 month training progress

The above image shows my training productivity from February 2022 - August 2022


Back to the loved ones though. In mid-June they were suddenly no longer going to relocate with hubby and me to WA. Our world had been flipped completely upside down. Suddenly, I was going to remain in Victoria until ‘things’ were sorted. We had to cancel our relocation at the last minute (sorry moving company), we lost our house over in WA because of cancelled move (we got another eventually), had to cancel planned family events and other celebrations that were all scheduled in that time, plus a lot of other things. Life became an absolute mess and I was at the centre of it.

While processing all of that, I clicked over to a new decade of life and found myself questioning everything. What had life become? What was I doing?  How do I look to the future when a large part of what the future had involved had suddenly been ripped out. I was feeling overwhelmed, lonely, scared, heartbroken and a mixture of many other emotions. Our dog was by my side every day of it though. The best $100 we have ever spent. I wasn’t doing any of my regular exercise, however I’d still take her for a walk most days. I felt somewhat productive when I did. The walking wasn’t enough though and I’d found myself in a bit of a slump. I needed to find a way out.

So, July came thick and fast and suddenly it was the end of the month. I was still pondering the new decade of life and how it was an opportunity for new beginnings. I’d drawn a line in the sand with exercise and signed myself up to the Melbourne Half Marathon in October 2022. I have never run that far and the only way to achieve it, was to get my body up and moving again. I had signed up, paid and was now bound to completing this goal / challenge. The only person I was up against, was myself.

Jo, the backpack… Don’t worry, I’m getting to it.


Being an Instagram user for sharing my photography, there are usually many random message requests that come through. A lot of bots that offer you promotions on their page, sugar daddy’s, jewellery, watches and all kinds of offers. On this particular day in late July, I had an offer about doing some promotional work for a company who sell backpacks. This was a genuine message, from an actual human and for an actual company. Normally I politely decline these offers. As I mentioned, I’m quite private. I’ve knocked back or have been knocked back for content creation because I don’t show my face on my social media. For me though, I just enjoy sharing photos and traveling around Australia and the world. It’s not about what I look like, it’s my photos and their stories that I feel matter to people.

This message came the day after signing up for the half marathon and when I received an email offer on the back of the Instagram message, I decided that I had nothing to lose. This backpack promotion is my chance to start taking photos again after a 2-year c*vid affected hiatus and it’s also going to force me to explore WA when I do my visits to hubby. I reaffirmed to myself that even if the content isn’t good enough, it’s a reason for me to get back out there, try something new, continue my personal goals in building growth mindset. I genuinely have nothing to lose, but there is so much I can gain if I do.

While the backpack won’t arrive until around September, this was the boost I needed to get myself back on track. To the trails, to running regularly again, and just with my life moving forward in general. So, thank you… backpack.


If you’re having a hard time with life, please know you are not alone. We all have struggles. We all have those times where we feel we are at the bottom and there is no way out. Everyone is battling something every day. You are more resilient and stronger than what you think you are.


If you or anyone you know needs help:



  • Thanks for sharing! <3
    Emily Pirrotta on

  • Awww well written Jo.
    I can’t imagine how you would’ve felt through all of that.

    Thank you for sharing this 🤍
    Love and miss you xx

    Shenae on

  • Stay strong Jo. None of us know what is ‘around the corner’. It may be a serious health issue, family dramas, unemployment, death of a family member, divorce, chemo, money issues, the list goes on. It’s how we tackle these challenges that matters. No one’s journey is the same. Our individual journey’s shape us. The good and the bad.
    Always here for you Jo.

    Reema Davis on

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