However it didn’t dawn on me until after the initial exclamations of “I get to take my body weight in luggage!” had subsided that I don’t have three pieces of luggage. I have a much treasured and travelled backpack in cherry and navy and a red duffel on wheels that was an emergency purchase in the Philippines in order to get 17 pairs of shoes from Imelda’s own collection back home. But that was it. No cabin bag other than a daypack, and no suitcase.
Since I’ve started putting together my packing list now, I thought I’d better get myself a suitcase to pack it into.
I had looked around online, albeit rather halfheartedly, for a suitcase that would stand out from the crowd on the baggage carousel. I wanted a funky print that no one could mistake for their staid black suitcase. My grandfather has a great story of how he’d checked in his hand luggage for a connecting international flight on his initial flight to Melbourne. It contained his passport and all their travellers cheques and some other guy had the same bag and took it without checking. Luckily for Papa, the other guy’s name and mobile number was on his bag, so he whipped out his mobile and called the guy who was walking through the arrivals hall. Close call.
I didn’t really find anything online, although I did toy with a Catherine Manuell Aboriginal Artwork print but the one I liked didn’t come in a big enough size.
So I paid a visit to Peter at Luggage International in Mildura. I explained that I was after a red suitcase (to match my other red ones) in which I wanted to move my possessions to LA. Peter showed me three different ones, talked about their relative quality, weight, durability and cost. I drag tested a few and decided on the big and ultra light Airport model which has the very snazzy statistic of weighing a mere 2.9kg. It wasn’t as luxurious as the Jag one, but it will do the job just fine. I mean after hitting the big time in Hollywood I’ll probably upgrade to tailor made luggage, or settle for the Louis Vuitton set anyway.
I also decided that I’d get a cabin bag in which to take my laptop and my Roberto Marquez painting. Whilst there wasn’t a matching cabin bag, and I initially wanted one on wheels, I settled for a black carry bag that attaches to the suitcase handle. It is plenty big enough for all my carry on and will double as a handy overnight bag in the event that I can condense an overnight stay into just two outfits and one pair of shoes.
So Peter, being a champ and all, offered me a nice little discount in addition to the personalised and pleasant service. It’s people like him that keep you going back to the little boutiques rather than online or chain stores.
I walked out of the store after a yarn towing my big red suitcase behind me dreaming of when I’m looking swish and wheeling it through airports around the world.