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My favorite checked suitcase has flown its final flight.

I had just landed in San Francisco and checked into my hotel when I noticed the rip along its seams.

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This bag has traveled with me throughout the U.S., France, Italy, and  China.

It was wonderful because its four wheels made it so easy to roll no matter how heavy it was and because it had an expansion zipper.

In the States it carried my clothes and belongings when I went to college and as I moved to the cities of Los Angeles, Bloomington-Normal, Billings, and Grand Island.

In France it held my worldly possessions as I ventured into French family life, and then wine and other things when I left France (10 pounds overweight).

In Italy it was group luggage. For one friend it held olive oil for his mom, another balsamic vinegar for hers, and for me, fine leather products from Florence for my family.

In China it born the weight of a professional tripod, greetings gifts, and much more.

In essence, it’s been my go-to whenever I’ve needed to check a bag these past five years. I suppose I saw it coming. The handles had been dying for a while, and one of its four wheels no longer rolled.

RIP, my old friend.

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