Friday, December 21, 2012

Oh, the Places I Went

Recently, I retired my trusty old suitcase.  It was in pretty bad shape.  The wheels were rickety, holding on by just a thread.  One side had a large dent in the metal frame.   Pockets were torn, there are a few holes around the edges.  Seams are loose and the zipper works so, so.  The labels have been torn away and more than one bump is evident.  My poor suitcase was certainly worn out.  And no doubt, it had every reason to show its wear and tear. 

Its first trip was to Romania, with a stop in Prague on the way home.  Then it was off to Australia.  Emily took it Greece.  Shanna took it to Florida.  I took it back and forth from VA to PA, then from OK to PA 2 or 3 times a year for more than 8 years.  It held my wedding supplies on its way to Jamaica, and my honeymoon souvenirs on the way back to Oklahoma.  I packed it full of stuff during the move to my first home, and to the 6 apartments I lived in prior to that.  It brought home baby shower gifts and teeny tiny outfits.  Reagan's clothes and little socks were added to the mix on more recent trips, including St. Pete's Beach.  It's held bathing suits and Christmas gifts.  I have stuffed it with camera gear and shoes to wear.  It's held treasures and trash.  Its held passports and seen a slew of different time zones. It has been on dozens of flights, handled by a hundred airport staff.  Its been bumped along, tossed, thrown, dropped, and stuffed to the point of zippers bulging.   Its ridden on escalators, elevators, cars, trucks, planes, buses and stairs.  It's followed me to 4 countries, and at least 6 different states.  It's been overseas, and its seen most of the east coast.  Its suffered through layovers and flight delays, its been transferred from plane to plane in sun, rain and snow.  It has sand from a dozen different beaches inside, and it has memories from many happy places.   That suitcase has been borrowed, stored, and repacked more times than I can count. 

Now that suitcase has been donated to the local Salvation Army.  It might look like it has some miles on it, but perhaps it still has a few trips left in it.  I will let another person continue the adventure.  I wonder if an OSU student will pack it for a study abroad.  Or an international student will take it home full of American purchases.  Maybe a  mom will give it to a child for a trip to Disney world, or a teenager will bring it on their first flight.  I know it has places to go still.  

As for me, I also think my travels will continue.  I hope to take advantage of the opportunity to travel for many years to come.  Maybe to Mexico next.  Maybe to California.  I certainly know Reagan and I will keep flying to PA, we look forward to our trips up north.  I want to help show Reagan the world as she gets older.  We will likely keep flying, keep going to the next place.  Here is the new suitcase, all shiny and clean.  Brand new and ready for the next adventure.  I did learn a few things when it comes to suitcases.  Wheels are a must, at 50 lbs that thing can be heavy.  Don't buy black, its hard to pick a black bag out from most of the other similar bags on the luggage claim.  Expandable zippers save the day when you over shop and heavy duty fabric will take a beating and keep on going.   But the most important thing I learned about traveling, you have to be willing to go. 

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!

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