Have Bag, Will Travel.

Source: The Verge

A friend sent me an article about, well, the headline says it all: “Honda’s Motocompacto scooter will satisfy your secret desire to ride an electric suitcase to work” and it made me strangely angry even before I read the article. I should know better. I’m pretty sure I’ve known the slang acronym RTFA–the polite version is “Read The Freakin’ Article”–for as long as there have been comments sections where people offer hot takes without really knowing what they’re talking about. I got angry before I realized it’s not really a suitcase. That is, it has no storage space. It’s just the least cool-looking version of a scooter ever. It’s not road-safe and would be a menace on sidewalks so I’m not sure where you’d ride it. And it doesn’t have any storage space because any added weight would just reduce its already ridiculous maximum range of twelve miles.

The ”electric suitcase” description set me off because I used to carry a lot of stuff to and from work. I still have a messenger bag, although I haven’t used it in years, that I would use for carrying writing materials, books, tablet, and assorted items back and forth. I tried to take everything that I thought I might want on the bus ride home, which is an important point. I could carry all that stuff because someone else was doing the driving. I could read, write, listen to podcasts, even watch videos occasionally if the bus’s wifi were actually working—all things I would not want to do while driving.

And let me go even further about the “electric suitcase” description because there really is such a thing which, in spite of my knee-jerk reaction to the Motocompacto, is a great idea. People with mobility issues need to be able to carry their stuff too. It might not be great for getting to and from work but it does seem like the ideal thing for getting around airports.

What I, personally, really want is a better carry-on. I don’t travel much but when I do I stuff as much as I can into a bag that will fit in an overhead bin. Checking luggage always makes me nervous because I don’t want to worry about my stuff ending up on another plane or maybe being dropped on the tarmac somewhere. Most of the time, if I can’t fit it in my three-foot-by-eighteen inch rolling case it stays at home.

In spite of traveling light anytime I show up somewhere with my carry-on I can’t resist saying, “I know I’ve got a lot of baggage but it’s okay. I’m seeing a therapist.”

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  1. Allison

    When I was traveling all the time for work, I had a great bag that was easy to check, and easy enough to schlep aboard. But if I was traveling alone, I would almost always check – because it’s just easier for me. I had a colleague I traveled with so often, we could recognize each other’s bags on the carousel. When that bag finally died, and it died hardcore, I had to find a new bag. I still have it, and I don’t like it. I’ve purchased a large duffel bag for $10 on Amazon that is now my default. No, it doesn’t have wheels, but typically, where I’m going, wheels now are a liability, not an asset.

    We all have our baggage. I have baggage about my baggage. I should have done what my husband did. He bought the expensive bag that Flight Attendants all love, and 20 years in, it still works perfectly.

    And no – we don’t need another form of motorized wheels here. In or out of the airport.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      A good bag is hard to find. I don’t travel very much, and I haven’t traveled for work in, wow, almost fifteen years. Traveling for work was really stressful because I had to carry a fairly large bag for all the things I’d be wearing–I overpacked for a three-day trip–and I kept worrying about missing a connecting flight. I think I’d handle it a lot better if I did it more often.


    I’ve got a suitcase I love that’s iffy — some airlines let me carry it on and some don’t — which adds some interesting uncertainty every time I travel. I’ve reached a level of acceptance about it, because no matter how my baggage travels, I get to sit in the cabin and meet up with it again soon enough. Maybe I’ll modify your line and say, “I’m okay with baggage, wherever it is, because I’m a therapist.”

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I really like your version of the line about baggage. And I understand having an iffy suitcase. Once, as I was walking down the tube to the airplane, an attendant stopped me and told me my bag (which had been allowed through everywhere else) was too big to be a carry-on. I was allowed to pull some things out and have it checked. But I’m always afraid of my bag going to one place while I go somewhere else.

  3. adam

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