Tian started telling me in June, right as she was packing to come back to China, that I needed to get some better and bigger suitcases. Naw, I thought. I would just use my old hiking backpack and a duffel bag. Nice luggage was sort of a sign of snobbery; the real hard core travelers went with only the basics.
Well when I actually started packing on Sunday and saw how little my old bags would actually hold, I knew she was right. Luckily, Anne P. had told me about her daughter Molly’s luggage issues on her trip to Panama at lunch on Tuesday. She had actually gone out to look for different suitcases and had seen one that would have worked really well at Kohls and on sale.
Remembering this conversation, I grabbed my Kohls charge card and a 30% off coupon that I just got in the mail this week (Can you say “serendipity”?!) and headed out to the Roseville. I found exactly what she had described – a large, quality duffel bag that could either be pulled on two wheels OR converted into a backpack using straps from secret pocket. I tried every feature in the aisle at Kohls, even trying a double pack scenario, which solicited a friendly joke from a passerby and started a fun conversation. The bags were exactly what I was looking for.
The price was great too. Originally $250 each, they were on clearance for about $100. Plus I had the 30% discount – making them about $70 each. I couldn’t believe it. I had to buy three, two for me and one for my family to use when they come and visit sometime this year. Needless to say, carrying three pieces of luggage is the perfect conversation starter. On the way out of the store, I got into at least three conversations about my travels.
The bags worked out for everyone. In the end, I got more of my stuff to China, and Tian got a well-deserved “I told you so” moment.