25 Years of Bags (Indie 30, Day 16 – Baggage)

25 Years of Bags (Indie 30, Day 16 – Baggage)

BootsnAll prompt: Mental baggage can weigh us down as much as physical baggage when we travel. How do you travel lightly – either emotionally or physically?

Today is my birthday. I’m 25. In my first quarter century, I’ve done plenty of traveling and taken with my a wide variety of bags. I’ve traveled with ones I deemed to big, others deemed too small, and others that I fell in love with and mourned their loss. I love bags: canvas totes, big rolling suitcases, backpacks, purses, and duffels that hold a lot but I still can stuff into an overhead compartment.


A good travel bag is essential for the avid traveler. If you’re on the move you need at least one perfect bag. Big enough for everything you need plus souvenirs, but small enough that it’s tough to overpack.This perfect bag is different for every trip (or at least that’s my defense for my collection of bags). At present, I have a three-piece set of bright purple luggage (plus some other duffels) that I’m obsessed with.


The color of my purple luggage stands out at the airport among the blacks, blues, and browns that are always sliding past on the baggage claim conveyor belt. It’s been to Europe and back with me (not all of it on the same trip) and all over the U.S. The small suitcase is perfect for train trips, the smallest bag for weekends, and the biggest is great for living abroad. One summer, I lived in Oregon and the biggest suitcase served as my dresser all summer. I rented a room in a house that was furnished with a bed and nightstand, which I was lucky to have as none of my other roommates had furniture unless they’d bought it themselves. The purple was the brightest color in the room and the one familiar piece at the beginning of the summer. The bag sits empty in the corner of my bedroom now, ready to go whenever I pick it up.

I also collect purses and canvas bags for toting around during the day. I like picking them up in my travels and I use all the bags until they wear through completely so I’ve got some from as far back as elementary school.


The purse in the upper left corner is my most recent acquisition. It’s a purse from my trip to Ireland this year when we visited the Guinness Storehouse and says: Every girl should have a little black drink. The oldest on sits next to it: a mini backpack from elementary school. Mini backpacks were in style in the early 1990s when I bought it. I rarely see them now, but I wear mine anyway because I love it.

The purple purse is a nicely worn leather number from my time in Florence. I debated buying that purse for about a month. I walked past it and several other styles of purple leather purse in the market and finally bought it. I’m so glad I went for it because it’s now my go to purse for all special occasions. The one next to it is for casual times and when I’m feeling like a hippie: a hemp bag from a festival in Amherst. The Halloween one was a gift from my friend Laura, and every year I wear it on Halloween with it full of candy to share.

The Rosauer’s bag in the center is a 99 cent grocery store bag from the supermarket in Hood River, Oregon. I have lots of these from grocery stores all over the country: Publix, Wegman’s, and Giant Eagle among them.


Of course, at a quarter century old, I have emotional baggage. But that’s mine and I’m keeping it to myself. Except for my favorite piece: my relaxed feeling on moving vehicles. Thanks to my parents penchant to move around I lot, I spent a lot of time in the car before the age of five (and beyond). I credit this with my ability to fall asleep in pretty much any type of moving vehicle: car, boat, train, airplane, bus…and you know what makes a great pillow? A backpack stuffed full of clothes.

I love that I’ve traveled so much and that I like collecting something so useful. I hope my parents knew I’d grow up to be a traveler. In my first quarter century, I visited fourteen countries. It makes sense for someone who traveled up and down the east coast of the U.S. as many times as I did before the age of five. I even have a stuffed cat that Dad and I named Suitcase because it went everywhere with me and often got packed inside a suitcase.

Suitcase is still with me and likes to chill out on my luggage.

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