I didn’t prepare that well for a lot of things going abroad: English accent (which isn’t actually a thing—#RegionalAccents) was decidedly not up-to-par, wardrobe was too American, you get the idea. But, as it became readily clear to me earlier this week, my luggage game was WEAK.
My mother had convinced me to bring an old, large duffle bag with me abroad (along with a carry-on sized suitcase)—even though I did not have enough clothing to fill it up—because she figured I would get enough trinkets and souvenirs while in Europe that I would need the space for my return. Luckily, I’ve been too scared to really spend a lot of money while I’ve been here (except for those Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tickets, but, so worth it), so that bag ended up being way bigger what I needed. And while it’s better to have too much space than too little, this bag is a bit different.
It’s old and falling apart, doesn’t keep its shape, and I am too tall to actually roll it without having to physically make myself shorter. I found this out the hard way when I first came to London and ended up needing to take an Uber because bringing it on public transportation did not seem worth it.
Anyway, cut to getting ready to leave, and I am faced with the question of what to do with this extra bag. I’m going to Paris for several days before I fly home, so I’ll either need to pay to store it somewhere, or—the preferred option—ship it back. However, the services that will send it across the pond need me to give them its weight and measurements. As I don’t really have access to these tools, I give them kind of a guestimate and then… it completely blew up in my face.
Today—my last day in Oxford—I was finally getting rid of it. I had paid extra to have them pick up the bag at my college, because it was a 45-minute walk and I knew it would be torture to roll it there. But when the man from the company arrived, I could immediately tell something was off. It turns out that, due to the shape of the duffel, the dimensions I had given them were too small, and they did not have a box that fit it. The man drove me back to the company’s office (Note: it’s typically not a good idea to get into strangers’ cars…), where I ended up having to take all of my clothing out of the bag and dumping it in a cardboard box that will be shipped home. So, now I am left to walk home with an empty old bag that I have no idea what to do with.
For those of you who have been paying attention, the entire point of shipping the bag home was to not have to deal with traveling with the almost immobile bag. And here I am, two miles away from my college, walking it home.
It’s been a good day.
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<p>Scott Abrams is an English Literature major at the University of Rochester and is attending Oxford through IES Abroad Direct Enrollment in the fall semester of 2016. His favorite things include warm woolen mittens and celebrity Twitter feuds. He hopes you won't judge him too harshly.</p>