Old-school travel writer David Farley ditched his beloved backpack in favor of a high-tech rollie. But it didn’t quite kick-start the ascent to the elite travel lifestyle he’d hoped. 

Luggage with wheels is one of those simple ideas that makes you think: What took us so long?

The original Rollaboard suitcase with its wheels and pull-up handle was invented by airline pilot Robert Plath in 1987 and was initially the domain of flight crews, but by the mid-1990s, airport terminals had started filling up with suitcase-pulling travelers. And by the last decade—when most airlines began charging for checked baggage—the carry-on-sized Rollaboard and its predecessors had practically put wheel-less baggage on the endangered luggage list.

Rolling a carry-on certainly adds a level of convenience when you’re literally on the move. And as a travel writer, you’d think I would have adopted it several revolutions around the world ago.