The ritzy set of dark green Ventura luggage my parents had bought for me to take to college included one super-sized and one medium-sized suitcase as well as a green daisy flower power travel bag with shoulder strap and a vivid Purple, turquoise and green flowered tapestry panel in the front.
Five years later, having obtained my masters degree and teaching credential, I was finally free to pack up that luggage and set out to discover the big wide world I’d longed to see since I was a little girl feeling stuck in my tiny South Dakota prairie town, wondering where everyone else was going as I watched tourists drive by on the highway just two blocks from my home.
Now it was finally I who was off to somewhere exotic. Namely, Australia—one of two foreign countries willing to hire a first year teacher with no prior experience. It had won out over Isfahan, Iran, mainly because I knew my father had a fascination for Australia and I thought perhaps if I moved there, he would come to visit. A year and a half into my residence there, he did, bringing along my mother and older sister. Their visit occurred just in time, for a few months later, I was off again, this time to travel northward with my friend Dierdre, enroute, eventually (or so I thought at the time) to London.
When I departed on this next big adventure, I left my fancy baggage behind in a second-hand store in Sydney, traded in for a heavy duty bright blue nylon backpack on an aluminum frame into which I bundled as much of my former life’s accumulation of necessaries as I had the strength to carry on my back. We were off by bus to Darwin to catch a plane to Timor–our first stop in a course that would take us on to Bali, Java, Tanjung Pinang, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia–where my journey would come to rest for another year and a half, for like its suitcase predecessors, that blue backpack was not fated to ever make it to London.
If you’d like to know the next installment of this journey, go HERE.
Prompt words today were baggage, ritzy, strength and bundle.