Bright, durable and colorful luggage and bags

Lugging around in Melbourne

My mother arrived last night from Sydney with her own adventure travel experience – she picked up someone else’s luggage and we only found out when she was trying to open it last night, surprised that her keys wouldn’t fit! She assumed it was hers because she said it looked like hers.

Funny thing about traveling is how it mimics the uncertainties that we encounter in our lives as snippets of hilarious, uncomfortable and trying moments. We pack our suitcases with all the clothes and things we expect to use for the trip along with goodies to give as presents to relatives and friends. We create plans and itineraries to make sure we get to do all the things we want to do for the trip – visit interesting sites, renew old ties with friends and relatives, experience the local cuisine and culture, meet new people, do a bit of sports, create new business – planning the trip alone is an ordeal!

As we pack our suitcases we carry with it our baggage, anticipating and expecting resolutions. Presents for a loved one you missed to communicate your affection … clothes to wear to project your confidence … comfortable footwear for the long walks you expect while holding hands with your partner … sexy swimmers for those opportunities to show off those endless hours at the gym … sunglasses to hide the tears from the recent falling out … provocative lingerie or underwear together with condoms and lubes, you never know, you might get lucky … toiletries to wash off the dirt and mask the smell of guilt … chocolates for those kinky nights … chocolates for those lonely nights … toys for the kids that you think are yours … toys for the adults to augment yours…

We check them in at the airport and for a few hours we are relieved but at the same time anxious of how they are handled and mixed with other baggage. At the port of destination there is always the feeling of anxiety – which carousel, has it come out yet, what if someone else picked it up (if you were with my mother on this flight and you suddenly lost your luggage, then you know what happened), what if your baggage get exposed – your dirty laundry, your secrets, your desires.

Carry-on and roll around luggage and bags collection

We long for the satisfaction of our expectations and resolutions of issues and we bring to our trips the tools that would facilitate these. But we can only bring so much and we have to make do with what is available. Challenges are presented each step of the way, we all laugh, we all cry, we all love, we all lose, we all get hurt, we triumph. And at the end of each trip we look back through photos, stories, memories hoping to learn from the experience, but more than anything else, longing to do it all over again – the pain, the pleasure, the love, the hurt, the victory.

My mom got her luggage back but you can imagine how upset the other party was, wouldn’t you? Worse, except for the color, both luggage don’t look anything alike! So here are some useful advice on how not to lose your  luggage and buying tips so you can protect your luggage from my mom picking it up:

  1. Get a set that speaks about you and the experiences you will have with it on your adventure travels. Remember, you are what you carry and it helps you locate them amidst all the others from the carousel. I always think, if I were a luggage what would I be like?
  2. Once you got the right set, get to know it. Feel it, caress it, get to know the texture, size, color and possible adventures you will have with it. It will be your best friend or your worst enemy during your trip so choose wisely. You do not want to be stuck with a roll around luggage on a hiking trip unless it has its own engine!
  3. Mark your luggage conspicuously, again with something that is closer to your personality or the adventure you are seeking. Markers are subtle announcements of the energies you are inviting from the adventure universe.
  4. Label your luggage with your name, address and phone numbers. Your relationship status and what you are seeking are optional information, but who knows, you might hit the jackpot and find the right one to share your luggage with. Don’t overdo the labeling though, you might seem desperate.
  5. I always make it a point to look for similar luggage while standing in the queue during check-ins. This way you are already performing a risk assessment, but then again if my mother is on the same flight I doubt you’d ever be safe.

Happy lugging!

7 replies
  1. Jennifer Choban
    Jennifer Choban says:

    Your poor mother!

    Another tip – I always put a copy of my itinerary in every piece of luggage.

    I once saw an advertisement on a bus with a picture of some sexy lingerie and a box of immodium. It said “Chance of using on vacation: one in fifty,” under the lingerie and, “Chance of using on vacation: one in ten. Pack wisely,” under the immodium.

  2. Elmer Cruz
    Elmer Cruz says:

    That’s a funny ad Jennifer! My mother is okay. She always has her own adventure even just going to the market. One time she went to the grocery to buy some supplies and she came home with extra bag of goodies that weren’t hers! I mean what would a 60-something woman do with a bag of sanitary pads, right?

  3. EJ Juen Jr
    EJ Juen Jr says:

    Hi Elmer, I remember one time when my luggage exceeded the limit and I had to pay extra for loading my bag with some things I don’t really need. I had to fall in line again to pay for the excess then go back to the counter which is a hassle.

    Not checking baggage limit = Extra pay + Hassle :)

  4. loredana valles
    loredana valles says:

    haha.. I had a good time reading your post! Can give me an update about your mother’s travel sched? (just kiddin’) . . I always do #2, about number 4 i don’t put my real name, i always put a phrase “DILI IMO!”, meaning NOT YOURS! but i do put the contact number :)

  5. Tiffany
    Tiffany says:

    Those are some great tips Elmer. I have a friend that every time we go on a trip together something happens with his luggage. When we landed in Mexico one of his bags got stuck in the conveyor belt (after an hour of waiting)and then a trip to Virginia while the bellboy was bringing our bags to the room his (and only his) bag was stolen and later on that month he had to file a report on his items. I’ll have to direct my friend to this post! Haha. Great read, and send your Mother my wish that nothing else occurs with her luggage ;)

  6. Judy
    Judy says:

    My worst nightmare! I had a friend who was relocating to Mexico to teach English and violin. She had all her materials for both in her luggage and never saw them again. My advice: keep the most valuables with you that you can. And of course, clothes for a day or two. And any meds you need. Hard to lug onto the plane at times, but eliminating the worry can be worth it. Most international trips require some running between terminals but I always feel better if I have my most valuable stuff with me even if it’s bulky and hard to carry. Put some bright colored tape on your suitcase and be the first at the carousel to grab it. I once had to pull my suitcase out of someone else’s hand!

  7. Elmer Cruz
    Elmer Cruz says:

    Thanks for the comments guys! I will certainly let you know when my mother is near your areas :). She’s okay now and having a great time in the malls, shopping for more bags and shoes. I am always apprehensive when I travel and have to check in my luggage. As much as possible I don’t check-in anything but it can’t be helped especially for those lengthy overseas trips….my problem is I have a tendency to over pack, always accounting for emergencies and regret doing it when I have to pay extra.

    One of the useful tips I got from my grandmother is to put a calling card or some form of identification inside all your bags just in case a dispute happens and you need to prove it’s yours.

    But these apprehensions should not hold us back from traveling. Each journey is a learning opportunity!

    Cheers to all and happy lugging!


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