Tim Roxborogh’s travel bugs: Being hassled about bringing my big bag on small trips

A weekly ode to the joys of moaning about your holiday.

It never goes unnoticed. More than that, it never goes without a sarcastic passing comment. “Travelling light, I see?” And I get it, it looks a little funny being away for a weekend and travelling with the same big bag I take if I’m off overseas for a month. But here’s the thing, is your staycation really easier with a smaller bag?

I love travelling with a big bag and given it’s got wheels and doesn’t exceed weight limits, I don’t see what the issue is. But evidently there is a problem because society demands that your bag size directly correlates with the length of trip. This causes people to openly laugh at Big Bag Bandits like me, as if we’re lugging kayaks around.

“Hahahaha. How come you’re travelling with such a big bag?” I’ll get this question from friends and colleagues and I’ll just laugh it off as me being hopeless at packing light, though that’s only partially true. The truth is, I do own a couple of smaller bags, but by the time you put more than one pair of shoes in, your toiletries and a couple of jacket options (always have options!), things are already starting to get a little cramped.

The notion there should be a Russian doll-like scale of travel bags that we all keep in our homes is absurd. It’s bad and wrong on many fronts, not the least being it’s expensive to own multiple bags.

Ultimately it comes down to what’s easy. Is a small bag that’s jam-packed for your two-night stay really less stress than the big one that you don’t have to sit on in order to shut?

And don’t assume we Big Bag Bandits have filled our bags to overflowing for short trips, indeed, often times it’s a wondrously anxiety-free experience travelling with my large, non-crammed bag. Good on me!

The height of annoying

I love skyscrapers, but Dubai’s Burj Khalifa — the world’s tallest building — has always bugged me. It’s kind of like the spoilt child that doesn’t know how to play with others and declares the game is over and that they want their friends to go home.

Before the completion of the 828m Burj Khalifa, skyscrapers the world over had slowly been creeping up in height. It was always exciting to see which would next take the title of the tallest and there was always the hope it would be done with a great piece of architecture too.

Looking back at the history of skyscrapers, research reveals the percentage growth in height for each new building assuming the mantle. From the Chrysler Building in New York (318.8m) from 1930 onwards, the growth rates are fairly small. The Chrysler was beaten by the Empire State (381m, also New York) in 1931, with a height increase of 19.5 per cent.

The Empire State would wear the crown for 40 years until the World Trade Centre (417m, New York again) took it in 1971 with an increase of 9.45 per cent. Two years later Chicago wrestled it away from New York with the Sears Tower (442m) and a 6 per cent increase, a title it would hold until Kuala Lumpur’s glorious Petronas Towers (451.9m) became the world’s tallest in 1998 with an increase of just 2.24 per cent.

In 2004 Taipei 101 (509m) added 12.68 per cent and then in 2010 Dubai decided to be a jerk. Yes indeed, when the Burj Khalifa was completed in 2010, its percentage increase over the previous title holder was a whopping, obscene, how-come-my-friends-don’t-like-me-anymore 62.61 per cent taller.

For more than 100 years , going way back to the start of the 20th century, there’d never been a bigger jump than the 19.5 per cent between the Empire State and the Chrysler Building — but, oh no, Dubai didn’t care about that.

Well, things could be about to change because Jeddah in Saudi Arabia is just two years out from completing the bonkers, 1km-high Jeddah Tower. At last Dubai’s got someone to play with.

• Tim Roxborogh hosts Newstalk ZB’s Weekend Collective and blogs at RoxboroghReport.com

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