Posted August 5, 2020 in Adventure Journals by Jim Markel
James H. confesses this really isn’t a summer adventure story, and that’s fine by us. Traveling for work is most of his life, and that is always an -adventure. We can certainly agree. So with no more ado, here’s James with our "favorite runner-up" Summer Adventure Journal Submission :
My career with Electrical Utilities takes me all over. I’m from Ardrossan, Alberta. I’ve worked as far north as Tuktoyaktuk, North West Territories, as far south as Valparaíso, Chile, and countless places between. I used to have this hard-sided prison I lived out of. Gate checking, then replacing the suitcase after it was damaged was considered an incidental expense. Cost of doing business. Four years ago that changed with the purchase of an Air Boss with the usual accessories.
No more gate check, no more damage. Grab-and-go to wherever I choose.
I didn’t realize it at the time of purchase, but I was hooked. Hooked on quality gear that could keep up. I hadn’t realized I had originally accepted poor quality tools and equipment. The cost of doing business was normalized. Grab a random bag, stuff it full, use it until it breaks down (normally not that long).
Laptop bags were the worst offenders. Backpack, satchel, fancy leather, or "ballistic" fiber; didn’t seem to matter. They all broke down, until everything was replaced with Red Oxx. No more break down. Color-coordinated (except for the shopping totes), packed and ready to go at any time.
When I fly, the look on new flight attendants faces when I get the Air Boss into the bin after they give me a gate check tag "just in case" still makes me grin. Never missing a connection waiting for my gate check keeps the customers timelines happy. Not having to be startled when my roller bag falls over with a slam, keeps me from looking like it’s my first time traveling. With everything going on this year, I’m not getting a summer holiday. My "going home" packing cube hasn’t even been used in almost six months.
My travel adventure stories are all about work so far in 2020. Towing my Road Warrior RV from Shreveport LA, to Kennebunk ME has been my summer road trip.
This essential worker is needed to help keep the lights on for everyone adjusting to our new way of living. The "going home" cube is still ready though, but now serves as a reminder of the happiness I feel when I get to pack it.
I’ll get back home some day this year to get reacquainted with my family and friends, maybe even have a winter vacation, but until then I’ll keep lugging everything I need, to everywhere I’ll go on my next adventure, with no fear of my gear letting me down.
First of all, a standing ovation and salute to our essential workers and the time and effort they have put in to keep the lights on, as James says. We pray they will all find a light at the end of this grim tunnel and rejoin their families and take that much needed vacation. ~ Cheers, Jim CEO Red Oxx Mfg.