Unpopular opinion – a year when we haven’t been able to travel has made us appreciate just how lucky we were to be able to do it. Just pack a bag and find yourself in another country the next day.

It seems German luggage manufacturer RIMOWA has been having similar thoughts. A new campaign that features, among others, the High Priestess of rock and intersectional artist, Patti Smith, touches on the meaning of travel – what it offers, how it changes us. How it will look and feel when it comes back.

“Inspired by the seismic global changes of the past two years, the campaign’s narrative probes important questions about the new role that travel will play in all of our lives,” says Hugues Bonnet-Masimbert, CEO at RIMOWA. “As we look to the future, we follow the example set by our four icons, who have each used this period of pause to reset their expectations and experiences of travel into something even more meaningful. RIMOWA has always believed in purposeful travel, a value that carries even more importance today as we move into this exciting next chapter.”

The 74-year-old Smith, whose work “Never Still” is the poem you can hear in the video campaign and written specifically for RIMOWA, returns to New York after having retreated to her bungalow in The Rockaways. Her footage, friend and creative collaborator Steven Sebring, is a hopeful yet soulful return after the pandemic. 

“When we could not travel physically, I was grateful for the imagination, allowing me to travel where I wished. I was able to write, study and rethink my priorities” says Smith. “But I continually longed for action, to be on the move and now I am grateful to step back into the world.”

We often associate travel as leaving our familiar surroundings for something new – but that feeling of sweet nostalgia and familiar sensory stimuli upon returning home is just as much a part of the experience because it frames the memories of where we’ve been. 

Travel – jet-setting from one country to the next – is a bitter sweet luxury. We know that there is a carbon footprint associated with the experience. The new campaign from RIMOWA poses a new philosophy of travelling thoughtfully, Travel with purpose. Travel for meaning.

If the RIMOWA case that Smith is carrying with her looks familiar, you’re not wrong. That particular case has been with Smith since her early days of touring with her band. A testament to RIMOWA enduring craftsmanship and timeless style – as iconic in the ‘70s as it is today in 2021.