I'm starting to accumulate possessions at a somewhat alarming pace. On my next trip to Boston, I will have to inventory what I have and assess what I really need.

One thing I'm starting to consider is a Real Carryon Luggage. I currently have one giant cheap and shoddy luggage left over from the NYC School In A Box jam last summer (it was $20 from K-Mart and I'm surprised it hasn't fallen apart yet - cheap plastic and fabric already ripping and cracking). That's probably going to reach the end of its useful lifespan shortly.

My only other luggage is a super-rugged red luggage that my parents gave me at the beginning of high school - it's been tossed around for nearly 8 years and is still kickin'; anyone who's seen me on an extended trip of any sort has seen this baby. This is the kind of quality stuff I'd like to get in general, and I plan on using it until the day it falls apart despite my patching. The only downside is that it usually won't make it as a carry-on. Neither will my travel backpack, which is the final form of travel paraphernalia I own; I spent nearly 4 months in the Philippines and China with my red luggage and my travel backpack. They mostly contained presents from my parents to my grandmother on the way there and presents from my grandmother to my parents on the way back; I could have gotten away with my normal backpack.

Which brings me to what I usually use as a luggage. My normal ol' backpack - with a laptop sleeve in back, the kind a 12-year-old carries to school, the kind I haul around town - it works for me. There's enough room for a couple changes of clothes, a small towel, a laptop, toothbrush, book, cell phone, pocket camera, hearing aids, and (more recently) some of my don't-get-RSI muscle therapy tools. What more do I actually need? Answer: a back that doesn't ache and a way to carry books inside without completely trashing them (because I'm rough on my stuff, and a paperback shoved in with clothes and electronics and then thrown around usually comes out looking the worse for wear).

My aunt June pointed me towards the Brookstone Dash, which looks nifty, but is pretty steep at $70. I realize you get what you pay for, and that in the world of luggage that's actually quite good, but still. That's like... a month of food, almost. However, it offers a lot more protection (particularly for electronics and books) than my backpack, and is plenty more ergonomic. I could probably make the argument that it "looks more professional," but I honestly don't care and would get the MANIC NEON YELLOW!!! version anyway, so that's an irrelevant feature comparison.

I don't need it now. But if I ever do need it, I know the kind of thing I ought to look at. That's good enough for the time being. (Ah, thinking by writing out loud.) Meantime, my backpack hasn't fallen apart yet (it's only 9 months old) so this is what I shall carry on with (pun intended) for the time being.