The Unpretentious Traveller

G and I are lovers of luggage. Our house is bursting with cases that have been tucked away, waiting for their next installment of baggage tags and carousel drop offs. We now have a range of sizes and colours, each with its different identifier – a ribbon here, a fluorescent piece of tape there. You would possibly expect when you travel as much as G we’d be lugging around some nice hardware, maybe something a bit high end? A bit posh.

Not so much.

G may cherish his luggage, but it’s more about the romance than the price tag. He loves a suitcase that has been scuffed and marked, he cherish’s the chalk marks left by the customs officers, and takes forever to remove the bag tags and stickers left behind. I’ve always known this about G, within our first week together he told me “I love a suitcase that looks like it has a story to tell”. His suitcase at the time had more than a story, it was more a 12 part documentary, and it wasn’t pretty.

I, on the other hand, cannot contain my superficiality. I covert those with the shiny suitcases. If you’re one those people, you may have noticed me in an airport looking longingly at your Louis Vuitton, or running my fingers along your Samsonite seams.

I dream of walking into a store and slowly investigating my luggage options, but it’s not about to happen anytime soon.

G and I like to perform a holiday ritual of baggage multiplication. What begins as a two suitcase journey will turn into three, who am I kidding, four, and a desperate stop at the $2 shop for a red white and blue bag on the way to the airport. Consequently, we have a plethora of suitcases and carry ons of the cheap and nasty variety. They line the tops our cupboards; our last minute, panicked, I can’t fit it all in, we need to buy a suitcase now, purchases.

Which is why my husband now travels first class with a suit bag from Walmart. He really could not care less. This is the man who takes his lunch to work in a plastic bag, the man who uses his son’s Power Rangers Kindergarten backpack to take sailing on the weekend. My husband will never be accused of being pretentious.

One day, when I’m a grown up, I will have matching luggage. I may not be afford to travel anywhere, but I will have matching luggage.

How about you?

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  1. We are divided in this house. Andrew favours a backpack, still. Hardy and smelly.

    I have matching Antler luggage that my parents bought me when I left home – it’s still going strong…

    And the kids? Have Milo cricket bags as their carry-ons!


  2. I covet the shiny hard cases, and travel with a mixture of two great carry-on bags (I “had to have” a Japanese cabin bag that swivels in all directions and my husband backpack with wheels as well) but our cases were cheap and are now good and battered. We travel with two big cases for the four of us, and two carry ons, and have a garage full of hopeless cheap duffel bags etc that have been purchased for the extra we accumulate when on the move!

  3. Ours are the suitcase nobody would think about stealing- they certainly don’t look like anything remotely precious would be inside!

  4. I would think a Vuitton bag would be most likely to be stolen? We are a family with cheap suitcases too 🙂

  5. Am a Samsonite girl myself. Love the four wheels and sturdiness of the cases, but have also had to buy one of those cheap and cheerful red and white or blue and white plastic bags on quite a few occasions… The Samsonite’s are no longer shiny and new, but covered in scratches, marks and leftover sticker residue. I shall truly miss them once they will break as they’ve held so much of our life!

  6. I covet the perfect matching set and one day I hope to get it. That will be the day I start travelling first class(Yes this is a very wild dream). Till then I have roller bag from a local outdoor shop that has seen many trips and an old beaten backpack with many stories to tell that I still treasure…no I haven’t taken the luggage tags off it.
    My husband travels with exactly the same brand of case as me and so does my GBF Phil who often travels with us. My son has a mini version of the bag so yes you can always see us coming.

  7. I’m like your husband – couldn’t care less as long as it’s lightweight and doesn’t split. At the moment I have a bright blue case, a red one and a one with skeletons and roses on (don’t ask). Very easy to spot on the carousel!

  8. I am ridiculously attached to my rucksack – it has been witness to so many adventures! I do have a sensible suitcase, with wheels, but that doesn’t seem the same, somehow. (I have crumbly knees and even asked the consultant if he could make sure they are strong enough to keep on carrying my rucksack!)

  9. Similar story here 🙂 My dear fiance has started using all my extra duffel bags to store our camping gear 🙂 I have paid to have suitcases fixed rather than part with them 🙂 love your writing btw x

    p.s. I wonder what Superbusy Mummy blogger would have 🙂

  10. mmmmm, red & white bags from the $2 shops, they are known around here as bank robbing bags, I did a Jury duty many years ago & that was what was used in the robbery….So I cannot bring myself to purchase one or use one…..

  11. The other day, as I was putting my trusty samonsite circa 1998 back in it’s resting place – I thought I’d do a blog post about it. You beat me to it!! I love my Samonsite, it’s been to over 25 countries, made multiple trips to the Persian Gulf, South and North Asia, the India Subcontinent. Inside is a multitude of stickers from my favourite hotels, all a reminder of my life 5 years ago. Yes the lock needs to get fixed but I can’t seem to part with it.

    The other habit I have is putting the dirty towels into the empty bath for the cleaner to pick up, until I remember that I’m not at the Sheraton in Bahrain or Bangkok but in my own house on the Central Coast and the cleaner is me!!

  12. I once paid to have a zipper replaced on a cheap bag I could not part with. Now I have a Rick Steves bag that converts to a backpack plus I have a bag cart that folds down into nearly nothing. I can go anywhere with that setup. And my purse, of course, which also converts to a backpack for day trip use. In it is a self-storing string bag that expands to hold nearly anything I might be tempted to buy at the last minute. I should never HAVE to buy another bag as long as those three items hold up. And I made the string bag so if it ever breaks I can just make another one.

  13. Our luggage care of Kmart. When collecting suitcases for our move overseas it was all about getting lots not spending lots. I am also married to an unpretentious one – but power rangers lunchbox sailing wins 😉

  14. Our luggage is hideous but my personal carry on is gorgeous.
    My main problem is finding ‘the perfect sized suitcase’… one that will fit everything I need, plus shopping, yet be compact enough for me to drag it off the carousel without injuring myself and taking out fellow travellers.

    It doesn’t exist. I know this because I have about 20 suitcases and they are ALL WRONG!

  15. I love the idea of lovely matching bags but my hubby is much like yours. The last suitcase he bought for our daughter to use for her school trip. It was $2 at the Oppy because it didn’t have wheels. The problem was fixed with some skateboard wheels that he had laying around and they were attached with cable ties. The kid loved it and he was mightily impressed with himself.
    Needless to say I have no hope of owning fancy luggage!

  16. Whatever holds 32 kg is fine by me! But I do admit I love our Kipling bags: they are like reversed Mary Poppins’ bags: my husband is always able to prop in one more thing. Love, Love, LOVE!

  17. My hubby also beams with pride when he can find the best deal on wheels at Walmart. But I finally forced him to buy a large 360-degree-wheelie-thingy when we were last in the US. He has to travel so much, and he was complaining about his back, yaddy yaddy yaddy yaddy. Secretly, I think he loves his new bag, but it means that we have yet another piece of luggage for the elephant bone yard. Interestingly enough, our little English home doesn’t have one of those huge purpose-built luggage rooms often seen in National Trust estate homes. I must admit I did splurge a little a few years back when I spotted some sexy silvery shiny bags at the Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi. It was my first encounter with 360-degree luggage; I kept spinning the bags on the store floor, and embraced their smooth gliding ability. I was practically slobbering on these bags. I envisioned myself pulling these beauties through the airport, as they almost pushed themselves. I bought them. They are amazing. I’m happy I splurged.

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