Guest author Ford Cochran, our very own Director of Programming at National Geographic Expeditions,  took our Kontiki Rolling Luggage for a Spin! We asked Ford to report back on his latest adventure.

Happiness: Having your boss invite you to travel halfway around the world on assignment for National Geographic.

The Icing on the Cake: Having colleagues hand you a handsome, rugged, and immensely practical National Geographic rolling luggage to be your traveling companion on the journey.

I won this particular lottery several weeks ago, when I got the call to travel from our Washington, D.C., headquarters to Machu Picchu, Easter Island, Samoa, the Great Barrier Reef, and Angkor Wat (you know, just those places) and help document the Society’s storied Around the World by Private Jet expedition.

My friends who oversee the creation of National Geographic travel and adventure gear asked if I would like to bring along a friend on wheels to stow my clothes, tripod, and other essential gear for the trip—our new Kontiki Expandable Rollaboard bag. Oh yes I would. And I did!

Ford takes the National Geographic Kontiki rolling luggage on the trip of a lifetime to Easter Island

The Kontiki returns to Easter Island on an “Around the World by Private Jet” expedition in the guise of this handsome (yet practical) rolling luggage suitcase from National Geographic.

Not only did the bag complement the role of seasoned National Geographic world traveler on assignment, with its way-cool, retro-traditional vintage khaki look. It also more than did its part, with multiple compartments for shoes and wet gear, and the essential wrap-around zipper to let it expand like an accordion and take in vital treasures from the field: a handwoven shawl from Peru, silk scarves from Cambodia, and carved wooden moai— replicas of the famous stone heads– from Easter Island. It handled everything I threw its way, and still navigated airport ramps and hotel halls across the globe with stability and style.

When the Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl sailed the original Kon-Tiki across the Pacific to Easter Island and onward across much of Polynesia in 1947, he had to lash everything to the raft to make sure it didn’t wash away in high seas. Marveling at my own Kontiki on wheels at Easter Island, I reflected on how fortunate I was not to have to worry about this—nor to have to paddle my way to the island, as the Polynesians did. My colleagues, and National Geographic rolling luggage, had me covered.


Want to travel like Ford? Visit the National Geographic Store to shop our Kontiki Expandable Rollaboard bag collection, and National Geographic Luggage and Travel Bags.  Then head to National Geographic Expeditions, to learn more about trips like the 24 day Around the World by Private Jet expedition.