we all have excesses of the stuff if we’re adults and haven’t been living in caves on our own since infancy (although that would probably add up to some carry-on, even if it’s just the wheelie type). girl’s baggage is always more noticeable anyway (you’ve seen those hot pink delseys on the luggage carousel). guys have baggage too, however it’s generally referred to as “an ex who had her own entire set of matching lois vuitton”. perhaps this is why god invented the vanity case, it is merely a form of female diversion towards potential mates; from the 5 cats and small paris hilton pooch. baggage is obviously something “other people” travel with.

i have come to the realization that my baggage is literally that, baggage. i have always had a suitcase nearby, under my bed or rammed into the back of my cupboard creasing all my clothes. i travel with trunks as if i am setting out on an epic voyage by steamer ship, and when i get to my destination, my trunks function as furniture. i actually picked my undergaduate university based on it’s proximity to heathrow airport. yes, my parents moved us around a lot growing up, no, i’m not claiming to be a victim of my upbringing. however, i would like to channel it into something positive, possibly even lucrative, like my brother ‘the pilot’. travel writing sounds appealing (i like reading travel writing), but i hate flying, so that’s out.

i recently discovered a new ‘tribe’. these are children who are born and/or grew up outside their parent’s/passport culture; they are perpetual foreigners. never quite so apparent as when they return to their “home country”. some would think this lifestyle is all negative; cries of trust issues, oodles of unresolved grief, whining about attachment and commitment issues, rootlessness and restlessness. this “baggage” of mine has been tripped over and had numerous toes stubbed into, in all of my relationships, whether with other nomads or not. recurrent themes are related to an apparent need to travel for travel’s sake. why uproot potential picket fences and little johnnies and move away? relationships are supposed to be about compromise. do you roll along until things get to a point of “settling down” and then leave road runner flames in a wake behind you once the velvet box has been proffered? or suck it up and join a book club and start taking yoga with the starbucks set? or are you destined to go on match.com and only check the boxes for diplomats and missionaries?

perhaps i am blocking the soggy pillows from many nights of crying after i was told i would have to say goodbye to my friends and beloved teachers (again!). how am i to explain this, or expect someone who hasn’t done this, or even someone who has and made the decision to not do it anymore? but i don’t know how can i be at peace with picket fences and bookclubs in the same town until i qualify for my senior bus pass either. you can’t help who you befriend, hate, or fall in love with, but it does present a different set of baggage related challenges.

my brother married a hometown girl, my parents were hometown people; my mother fell in love and didn’t particularly want to leave england, but then she didn’t particularly want my father to leave her behind. maybe love does outweigh most baggage. do they make rucksacks with wheels?

Disa, 32, Louisville

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