Awhile back I read an article in SilverKris magazine by Daisann McLane, “Emotional Baggage,” which highlighted her love of travel bags and what they meant to her over the years as her travel lifestyle changed. It was one of those perfect articles that had you thinking immediately about your own travel accessory choices over the years. It was such a great trip down memory lane, I had a draft blog post about it outlined, but alas, never got around to writing it. Then today’s 30 Days of Indie Travel Project prompt arrives in my inbox. It felt like kismet.
That’s kind of how I feel about this entire BootsNAll project/challenge. I’m finding inspiration in prompts that I wouldn’t naturally gravitate towards, but I’m finding just the exercise of carving out time and committing to writing is making me a more disciplined and I think, ultimately, a better writer.
And really, that’s what it’s all about…
Day 16: Baggage
Mental baggage can weigh us down as much as physical baggage when we travel. How do you travel lightly – either emotionally or physically?
My first travel bag was a beaut.
A Jansport backpack – expanded pack with a daypack zipped to the top. It came from a Rick Steves catalog and I felt like I had finally made it – a true, backpacker’s backpack. My first piece of freedom – my entire existence for three months could be found in that bag. As the trip wore on, I realized that my pack while roomy and fit the contents of my travelers life worked, it wasn’t really me.
Three years later and I found it – my Minuteman backpack, a red North Face pack. It fit everything – sleeping bag, clothing and had that oh-so sporty look that fit my Boulder life. Needless to say I was in heaven. Walking through the airport or striding up to the baggage claim to sling the pack over my shoulders, I felt as though I had arrived.
Fast forward another three years and I’m standing in Bloomingdales staring at the Victorinox display. I was getting ready to say good-bye to my backpack and hello to the world of corporate travel. Rolling your suit and stuffing it into a top-loading backpack wasn’t an option, so it was time to upgrade. Enter my first suitcase.
Looking at the bags stuffed in the closet, I’m reminded of my travels and how each of backpack, suitcase or duffel has its own story to tell — from being shoved into a hostel locker or trailing behind me at the Hong Kong airport to being placed in the overhead bin, straps and plastic clasps clanging about and poking out every which way. So while I may not necessarily travel light, the richness and experience my bags have absorbed makes it all worthwhile.