The unthinkable has happened. Like a down-trodden wife, my beloved suitcase, has reluctantly been disgarded for a newer, shinier model.
Clad in navy blue, she was the ideal size for a quick getaway or an extended trip, and very popular among family and friends. I didn’t mind, as I saw this as an opportunity for my suitcase to getaway, even when I didn’t have the chance to myself. Although well-travelled, she didn’t look too shabby considering her lifestyle.
My old suitcase represented the exciting prelude to an adventure. I loved her most of all, when she was sitting on my bed empty and open, and waiting for me to pack her. I wondered if she tried to guess where we were going by her contents. Perhaps she got excited when I packed the bikini, or groaned unceremoniously when I packed the thermals. I’m sure she chatted with the other baggage at the airport, or on the plane, as they discussed their destination.
Now, I have a large, state of the art suitcase. My former friend was unable to accommodate the demands of family travel. She couldn’t handle my chic street-wear in amongst the nappies and teeny-weenie coordinated outfits. And I suspect, the updated version is also struggling with its owner’s lifestyle. I can tell it’s perplexed and worried for me. It’s questioning whether it’s worth disrupting my family to visit locations under threat of terriorism, natural disasters, health risks, and imminent discomfort. It’s concerned for my state of mind as I pack numerous books. In fact, I can imagine it challenging me to get through one book. As I fold an evening dress with matching lingerie and jewellery it’s amused…do you really think that’s necessary, it mocks me. I’m not sure whether I like this new suitcase.
After a recent adventure, my new comrade lays on the bed, exposed and travel-weary after our journey. So ok, it was right, I didn’t wear the dress or get through all of the books. But many new goodies take the place of where the nappies once sat. Much as family travel replaces our carefree pre-parenthood adventures. And as I embrace the enormous challenges that a child poses, changing one’s luggage is insignificant in comparison. Interestingly, I arrived at our destination minus the suitcase. Much like a naughty child refusing to eat their conflakes, it missed its flight. It eventually caught up with us some hours later, sheepish and apologetic.
I sometimes wonder what became of my former suitcase. Is she watching over us in heaven with Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travellers? Or is she in retirement, in some secondhand shop collecting dust, and reminiscing like an aging movie star. I like to think that some free-spirit has invited her to accompany them on expeditions. And this very minute, she is exploring the world.