I was reading an article about travel on a website (I apologize, I forgot which one) and I remember reading a quote that went more or less like this: "A turtle has its shell; you've got your suitcase".
Instantly, I stared at my own suitcase, always parked at the same place in my bedroom, waiting for the occasional content changes and to be taken away to travel the globe.
It made me think in matters of identity and how most people identify their own suitcases. Yes, in order to find them easily on the conveyor belt, but the truth is it talks about its owner more than we actually notice.
My old suitcase was a gift from my grandmother. She said, back then when I was just entering my teenage years, that I should travel… that it was one of the best things a person could do. And then she made me use that bag while traveling, at first, to Uruguay.
By the time I went to Chile, it had red wine stains. And by the time I went to Mexico it looked quite torn. I brought it to Dubai on my first trip to the UAE, and it would do the DXB-GRU sectors so many times that I decided to make it look different, unique. Red suitcases became common and no longer were that easy to spot.
Armed with a black ballpoint pen, I drew on it. All over.
I thought it looked cute, but the ladies at the frequent traveller counter would refuse me thinking I was some smart young girl trying to take advantage of the short queue instead of actually being a silver member of their miles program.
It was the easiest way for me to spot my bag on the carousel, though. I've had enough depending on colorful ribbons… And absolutely didn't care whether I looked like one of those Brazilian rich kids coming back from vacation in Disneyland.
Every time I'm at an airport nowadays I pay attention at people's bags and how much of their personalities they show.
They tell a lot about why people travel… (Family matters, adventures, business, etc.)
About people's priorities… (Things they have to carry, how comfortable they have to be, how they must look, etc.)
About their preferences… (Colors, shapes, accessories, details, etc.)
And also the easy-to-spot stereotypes carrying those suitcases. The backpackers, the businessmen, the photographers, the ones in spiritual/religious quests, the honeymooners, landmark tourists and so on.
Maybe one day ill document all this in pictures. I like to imagine a story for each one of those strangers.