Hans Christian Andersen is credited with penning that oft-repeated quip: To travel is to live.
But, as I noted a few days ago here on StuckatTheAirport.com, at the Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Odense, Denmark, I learned that the author of “Thumbelina,” “The Little Match Girl,” “The Ugly Duckling,” and many other well-known fairy tales, was a skittish traveler who always packed a heavy coil of rope in his trunk in case he needed an emergency fire escape.
That got me wondering about the objects — life-saving or otherwise — that today’s travelers keep in their suitcases. Here’s a sampling of what I found:
Catherine Stifter, a freelance editor and media trainer living in the northern Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, always carries a pocket edition of Lao-tzu’s “Tao Te Ching” to help her keep “a balanced perspective.”
Chandra Smith, office manager of Aviation Training Center in Burien, Wash., totes a well-worn 1976 edition of “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, “just in case I get stuck at the airport and need something to read.”
When she hits the road, Christine Cunanan, publisher and editor-in-chief of TraveLife Magazine, takes along a piece of green felt that is “supposed to bring me more luck for amazing travels.” It was given to her years ago by a friend.
Debbie Twombly, a teacher in Jewell, Ore., never travels anywhere without her bandana bearing a print of the Virgin of Guadalupe. “She’s been down the Colorado River and on several other raft trips,” said Twombly. “Also to Mexico several times. That’s her favorite.”
Neil Glassman, of WhizBangPowWow, a marketing company in New York City, packs a laundry bag he got from the Parisian hotel Prince de Galles — a “most memorable use of points,” he recalled.
And Greg Principato, president of the Airports Council International – North America, the organization that represents most of the nation’s airports, keeps a tiny bottle of liquor in his TSA-approved baggie. “My wife and I had Baileys Irish Cream at dinner on the last night of our honeymoon,” said Principato. “I got the