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The other day, I was looking at my black spring jacket hanging up while I was at the salon. It sharply dawned upon me that the jacket is twelve years old. I shook my head in disbelief-I believe that is the only article of clothing that has withstood twelve years of me. Fashions, as well as my weight changed, but this rather plain but versatile jacket had held on. I should give it some kind of cerificate or something.

The jacket and I were united in March 2003 in San Francisco. It was a Sunday and the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade was being held on Market Street. I had been wearing the shell of my Columbia winter jacket, which did not breathe at all. That must have been the reason for my being ready to ditch it. We were in front of a Ross store-still unknown to the midwest at that time. I picked it out rather quickly and went on my way. I did some mild bragging when I returned home that I got this cool jacket at “some store called Ross in San Francisco”. Little did I know Ross would eventually follow me to Chicago.

A year later it accompanied me to London. It even shows up in a picture at the Tower bridge and a red phonebooth in Oxford. Last year it went to Germany and still carries the remnants of Currywurst sauce on a sleeve.

What I want to impart upon you is to try to pick up a useful, long lasting item or two on your travels. With wearable items, they will surely get noticed and you can proudly inform everyone of the (possibly) far-flung location it was found in. It will also mean more and prove more handy than a t-shirt or knick-knack ever will.

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