So Long “Apartment Suitcase” and Thanks for the Memories

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” – Jack Kerouac

It was my battered suitcase that inspired me to write about the fact that I love to travel. My battered suitcase was not on a sidewalk but rolling around on a conveyor belt when I realized that it had truly grown tired of the road.  Yikes!  I had not really noticed that I was totally wearing that bag out.  How did I over look the broken zippers, the wobbly wheel, the broken handle and the difficulty in raising the bar so I could roll it along behind me?

I had this moment of feeling like I had committed luggage abuse.  The big suitcase that I had called my “apartment suitcase” because I could practically throw everything I own into it and just go….was just not looking so good.  Why had I not seen this coming?  Had I committed luggage abuse? It had been very loyal. In reality we had racked up crazy amounts of frequent flyer miles, seen the inside of some super good and super bad hotels and it had followed me along through the evolution of getting NSCS off the ground.  It was truly my travel companion throughout the process of launching my dream. Me and this suitcase had a history…and it was hard to believe it was wearing out on me.

I felt confident that Tumi, the company which I love for luggage, would get it back in working order in a flash.  I dropped it off at the Tumi (hospital) store and they told me that this was serious and they would need to send it away.  They felt the prognosis was pretty good and it would be back to me in three weeks.

In less than three weeks, I got the news. My bag was not going to make it.  The “apartment suitcase” had more problems than could be repaired and I would need to buy a new one at 20% off.  What?!?!  Tumi is supposed to be fixable, right?  I was told that I must be a tough traveler because along with broken zippers, cracked wheels, a broken arm, two broken handles…the main problem was that I had cracked the frame.  It was not repairable.  Did I not see all of these faults the customer service rep asked?  No, honestly I did not….my best quality is not noticing faults in people or things was my response.  She didn’t think that was funny but offered me the 20% off or they would ship it back to me.

Ship it back I said.  It came back and, as you can see in the photo, I made the tough decision to let it go.  It was time.

As I lifted it up and  into the big garbage can, I really did have a flood of thoughts about how many places and all of the faces, smiles and miles this suitcase had traveled along with me on my journey.  The thoughts were a reminder of so many memories that had been created along the way.

I know I am a better person because of the places I have been.   Isn’t it true that sometimes we don’t stop for a moment and reflect on how great life is and how experiences that occur through travel really make life full and meaningful?

It is only a piece of luggage you may say but to me it was an important part of my travels.

Putting the suitcase in the garbage was a good opportunity, even an excuse, to take a moment and reflect on all of the great experiences that I have had so far.  It also reminded me that even though I tossed away the luggage….the memories are mine to keep forever.

Have you reflected on what your travels have meant to you lately?

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

Happy travels!


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