Instructions: How To Feel Super Un-Hip

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Step 1. Roll into Tokyo strapped into double-sided backpacks holding a map
Step 2. Attempt to make your backpack full of practical, worn-out clothes look stylish
Step 3. Wearing said clothes, go out to dinner and drinks in Tokyo (night after night)

Japan, but Tokyo especially, is without a doubt the most fashion-forward place we’ve ever been. From outrages to uber hip, everyone is stylish – including children and pets.

After both of us “trekked” through the streets of Japan looking like the nerd above, we joked that we’re going to start seeing Japanese fashionistas and bloggers incorporating Osprey backpacks into their look. A new rugged trend, perhaps? The joke at least made us feel better for a bit.

Not that I’m on the cutting-edge of fashion, but having zero urban options was Tokyo torture and made us feel so lame sometimes. Sure, we’re “back flashpackers,” but that doesn’t mean you want to look like it all the time – especially in cosmopolitan cities where fashion defines the culture.

Albeit superficial, not being able to “dress the part” has been frustrating at times. Yes, I know this isn’t a legit problem, but let’s be real. Women, I know you hear what I’m saying about destination-specific packing. For India I wished for a backpack full of loose printed pants and oversized kaftans. Beach towns I dreamed of bikini options, a second sun hat and actual cover-ups. In Cambodia and Laos I wanted boho and Mexi-inspired dresses and off-the-shoulder tops. In Mountain towns I would have given anything for worn-in jeans and oversized knit sweaters. In Hong Kong and Tokyo I longed for that part of my closet back home that’s black or resembles an actual jacket.

I digress.
Next up: JAPAN

(spoiler alert – we loved it)

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