I started to travel at a pretty early age. My parents grew up city kids with no nature or camping experience but found a love for the outdoors as a young couple. As a family, we took our first road trip in a green Ford van, traveling across and around parts of the United States in 30 days when I was six years old.
I remember looking out the window for hours and hours each day. Constantly in motion, I was alone with thought after thought, idea after idea, question after question that emerged with every new view of another new landscape.
Just months ago, my daughter asked me what I liked to do the most. I said without hesitation, ‘staring out the window.’ I realized for the first time in that immediate response that those long trips as a kid completely formed how I think and how I need to think today. My early travels by car set permanently a need for mental meandering without restraint or obstruction.
Since then, my dream has always been unencumbered travel, which meant for me, one bag on my shoulder that could go anywhere without restriction. I thought that I found the perfect size with great contrasting color details in Paris. It was made in ballistic nylon as luggage only. I know now this type of nylon can withstand 250,000 double rubs of abrasion testing, but even this bag’s synthetic material began to fray and tear, and the hand handles snapped in the Charlotte airport a year later.
I kept imagining this one bag made in the strongest and most beautiful natural material that could hold everything that I loved. If we really think about it, we probably only cherish 10 things or less in our closet. I mean the clothing, shoes, and accessories that really make us feel great– the way the sweater feels, the way that shirt is cut-- those shoes with the inside details.
As an aside, I believe that the real secret to “packing light” is only putting in our bag what we LOVE. If you don’t love it, then you have an opportunity to experience the finding of it in a special place that you've discovered.
Today, I am still working toward that dream of creating bags that seamlessly meander with us instead of rolling behind us. I want the experience to be about those moments without obstacles. I want it to be about connection, so we can discover what we don’t see or whom we don’t meet because we are constantly interrupted in our wanderings.
Let me know when you pack the perfect bag for you. I have not managed it yet but I am getting closer.
To your great travels unencumbered and free!