Your jour­ney starts here and now

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - SU­SAN KUROSAWA

I HAD a very agree­able sum­mer break, ac­tu­ally, and it’s good of you to ask. I un­der­took sev­eral j our­neys, in­clud­ing one around the kitchen ap­pli­ances depart­ment of Har­vey Nor­man.

‘‘En­joy your jour­ney to­day,’’ I was told by a sales as­sis­tant from Planet Perky, and I didn’t so much as blink a jaded eye. All we mod­ern folk are on jour­neys, whether be­ing in­tro­duced to our un­ruly chakras at day spas or at­tend­ing sports car­ni­vals where five year olds un­der­take life-en­hanc­ing jour­neys with eggs and spoons or cruis­ing aisles stacked with espresso ma­chines that re­quire a de­gree in rocket sci­ence to op­er­ate and card­car­ry­ing mem­ber­ship of a cult.

Not that I am averse to join­ing a sect in which the charis­matic Ge­orge Clooney is in charge of wiz­ardry but, par­don me, for now I amdi­gress­ing from myjour­ney and what we are here to­day to cel­e­brate.

Thanks to re­al­ity tele­vi­sion, with its end­less reach­ing out and be­lief in our own fab­u­lous­ness, we can em­bark on a jour­ney with­out even get­ting to the front door, let alone pack­ing a port. I love that word port, short­ened from port­man­teau, which is even bet­ter but per­haps a touch too much at the Jet­star check-in desk.

Port sounds pur­pose­ful and even a lit­tle sea-far­ing and I pre­fer it to suit­case or case, which is too much like a crim­i­nal mat­ter and, quite frankly, some lug­gage de­sign­ers should be charged with de­praved in­dif­fer­ence.

My fa­ther al­ways re­ferred to a bag as a port, and made it sound like an im­por­tant ac­ces­sory that would take him to mean­ing­ful places, not in­clud­ing Ba­li­nese spas and hard­ware barns. I don’t re­call him reach­ing out to me — or to any­one, re­ally — un­less it was to prof­fer an air­line board­ing pass or a train ticket or, once, when I kicked a hated cousin, his left bowl­ing hand to land a smack on my three-year-old bot­tom.

When­ever I trans­gressed, he would tell me to go up­stairs and pack my port and find another fam­ily who would have me. It was a tra­di­tion that con­tin­ued well af­ter we left the dou­ble-storeyed manors of Sur­rey for the bun­ga­lows of Can­berra, but I never dared point out the ab­sence of stairs.

Dur­ing th­ese just-past hol­i­days, I also jour­neyed through the lug­gage depart­ment at Myer in the heated frenzy of the early Jan­uary sales. The bar­gains were tremen­dous, with ports big and small at about 50 per cent off. I left my run a bit late and some of the colours and pat­terns re­main­ing were as­ton­ish­ing, from gre­gar­i­ous pinks to spotty-dotty af­fairs that would surely cause weary pas­sen­gers to hal­lu­ci­nate at air­port carousels af­ter a jour­ney of umpteen hours from one hemi­sphere to the other. Some of the ports at the sales were the size of fur­ni­ture — a cof­fee-ta­ble, say, but one with se­cret com­part­ments and dou­ble zip­pers and many wheels.

Soon lug­gage will grow win­dow wipers and fold-away bunks and will be the size of re­cre­ational ve­hi­cles. The port I pur­chased was a black tid­dler but with a merry pop-top, like a car­a­van. Even be­fore I reached the cash reg­is­ter, I felt it had been a very suc­cess­ful jour­ney.

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