This isn't entirely accurate — his backpack was stolen from him, and it wasn’t just any backpack but a bag that contained all the most important things in his life at that moment.
It was moving day. Perrins was helping his friend move to a secure, upscale apartment building in Los Angeles. And because Perrins was living with his friend before the move he had all his important documents and belongings in one bag. Since Perrins is an Australian citizen living in Los Angeles and working for an American company those important documents included a green card and a passport. They were in a fancy new apartment building in Hollywood on the third floor. It felt safe. He set his backpack down just outside the door while he and his friend went in and out, moving stuff. Suddenly it was gone. Unfortunately, security cameras are installed in the lobby and elevator but not in the hallways of the building, so whoever stole his backpack escaped undetected. “In the hallway, in the space of maybe five minutes it disappeared.”
Perrins' backpack contained all his identification and the key to his car. “Because I was moving that day, that's where it all was. I wanted to keep it safe.” There were also two MacBook laptops: one for work and one for personal use. He said it was like a treasure chest for the thieves, who possibly stole the backpack because it was Louis Vuitton and assumed they'd make money simply off selling the designer bag alone. Perrins added “the things I really wanted back were of no value to them.” His passport and green card — even the backpack itself because he’d had it for five years and was attached to it. It had been everywhere with him. “I moved here from Australia so it contained all of my international and local identification– pretty much all the information I have was inside that bag.”
Perrins said the emotional impact of the robbery was a rollercoaster for him. For a moment he looked around, having thought he'd just misplaced it. But he quickly realized it was actually gone. “At first I was shocked and upset and angry, but then I felt like I wanted it back. I just wanted my stuff back.”
He thought about the thieves going through his backpack and felt exposed. “They're just looking through all my stuff, it's a gross feeling.”
He had to get a new key ordered as he only had one key for his car, as well as a lot of other replacements. “It was a really big, messed up situation.” It's still an ongoing process, with a high financial cost. Just replacing a green card alone can cost $350. He has yet to replace it or his passport. He had to call the US and Australian banks he has accounts with and order new cards and he had to cancel his passport and file a claim with police.
But the most upsetting aspect to Perrins is that he feels that some stranger out there knows him and has his personal belongings. “There's an emotional side of having your whole identity in someone else's hands.” The only thing Perrins had on his person was his phone.
This Is Ground has launched a new backpack: the Venture. The bag is equipped with bluetooth tracking powered by Tile. Tile is a small Bluetooth tracker which connects to an app on your phone to help you find and keep track your stuff’s location. Every Venture backpack has Tile built in, so if Perrins' new backpack goes missing, he can hit a button and simply locate it. The interesting effect of the modern urge to slim down, have less stuff and tidy up is that the things we choose to carry become increasingly important to us. How could I live without my backpack? My bicycle? My notebook? When that one thing you cary goes missing, your world is lost.
Perrins has slowly gotten over the loss of his beloved backpack. Although the Venture doesn't yet have the sentimental connection of his old backpack, “it's so much nicer in terms of functionality” and he has the security of knowing he won’t lose or have it stolen from him again.
The Venture is a three-pocketed backpack with space for a laptop, tablet, stylus and a mesh pocket for headphones. The big pocket folds out completely flat so it can be used as a TSA-friendly laptop tray to expedite your moves through airport security, which is a great plus for Perrins. The second pocket can hold his gym clothes which didn't fit in his old bag. And just like all This Is Ground products the Venture is crafted from beautiful hand-picked materials — in this case vegetable-tanned leather from Tuscany, so it’s as attractive as it is practical.
Perrins was pretty attached to his old backpack, and now he's pretty attached to his new one.