My Friend, the suitcase


[Sitting at the airport, minutes before takeoff to France, Ukraine, Russia and Spain]

I love travel, I always have…

As far back as I can remember, I have always loved to travel and all that goes with it. Selecting the right bag or suitcase for the trip has always been a part of the adventure.

I have a classic leather suitcase made by Mulholland brothers that I love but is rather impractical for the trips I now take. It has no rollers so carrying it by hand can quickly become burdensome. It does make a wonderful coffee table of sorts beside my favorite chair. It reminds me of trips taken as well as trips yet to come.

My first rolling suitcase was purchased a number of years ago and was made by Orvis. It served it’s purpose over the years and contains many wonderful travel memories. Many of those memories were made while traveling with Christina who’s adventuresome spirit and encouraging words inspired me to start this travel blog several years ago. (Link to first blog) Recently, i found myself at a crossroads when it came to replacing this bag, however, the demands of my current travels made replacement inevitable.

The sleek aluminum suitcase made by Rimowa that I now roll through airports around the world won me over with it’s lining  emblazoned with vintage airplanes. I still remember the conversations in my head between Christina and I as I considered this new choice. I felt very strongly that the lining would’ve won her approval, putting me that much closer to making the big decision.

Thirty two months, a quarter of a million miles and twenty three countries later the Rimowa and I have survived a great deal together, and our relationship has blossomed. Our first trip was to the Philippines and after a choppy ride by ferry from the island of Cebu I still have some latte droplets on the side that I refuse to wipe off. It was on this trip that I met my good friend Dan Johanson who warned me that “your shiny new suitcase is going to get scratched sooner or later”.  Each adventure into parts unknown has left its mark and each mark is a reminder of Gods grace, love and mercy in my life. My journeys have been bookworthy but what I never anticipated was how Christina has still been a part of every trip and the memories we loved making together have continued, not ended.

I now see this little silver suitcase as more of a book than a container of possessions. The stickers from twenty three countries that now adorn it’s lid are each like chapters. Each chapter contains stories of Gods presence, revealed in moments that simply required my faith, trust and stillness.

When I look at this relatively new, yet well-traveled suitcase, I also see a friend. As an aqaintence in Thailand once told me… “some friends do not need to speak, or even breath.”

“When it’s truly alive, memory doesn’t contemplate history, it invites us to make it… A memory that’s awake is contradictory, like us. It’s never still, and it changes along with us. It was born to be not an anchor but a catapult. A port of departure, not of arrival. It doesn’t turn away from nostalgia, but it prefers the dangers of hope.”
-Eduardo Galvani upside down

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