A few years ago, I got the bright idea that I needed to be more professional. That my filthy, massive backpack that had been around the entire world with me for a year—then zigzagged across the oceans as well as along from California to NYC in the back of my old car—was somehow inadequate for my work-related expat jaunts to Kuwait and Cairo.
This notion lasted exactly 10 hours, during which time I learned that one must consider the shape of subway turnstiles when purchasing luggage, and one should treat wheelie bags gently if one doesn't wish to break their handles.
I'm hell on wheels. It's true.
I ended up with a tall-and-skinny $35 wheeled duffel that I bought in the Outdoors section of a Barcelona department store.
This bag serves me well when I need to take my entire worldly goods along for months, and my backpack is perfect for shorter, rougher trips.
But now I wanted more.
'Cuz now the airlines are charging for bag-checking. Which is just silly. I want FEWER people to be dragging the kitchen sink onto the plane, bashing people in the head and clogging up the aisles. But the airlines are looking to save money, not thinking about passenger comfort and safety. And if I'm going away for the weekend, I don't want to pay an additional fee to throw a small duffel into the baggage hold.
So I bought a new bag. It's thin enough for the subway turnstiles and cute enough that I don't mind that it's a wimpy wheelie bag. I love it. I hope I don't break this one.