What’s in My Bag

This week, I’m out in the field doing research. I love this aspect of my work. I get to burrow into a city and sample all forms of culture hi and low. I eat street food, meet local artists and entrepreneurs. I interview civic and business leaders and prowl underground night spots. Many days I start at dawn and end at midnight. The swinging door that is my life forces me to travel light.

Last night, I gathered my “useful” things to inventory–what needed replenishing and what I could live without. Using the old hikers axiom– gather what you think you need, cut it in half, pack half of that–I chose carefully. The photo shows what made the cut. If anyone out there has a favorite travel tip or product, I’m all ears. Tell me how you’d improve the schlep!

From left to right:
1. mesh see-through pencil case with tea bags and post-it notes (reduces chaos in hand bag)
2. labeled charge cord for Blackberry (I labeled all my cords this year, which has proven immensely helpful.)
3. Blackberry (in my pattern of crappy timing, I bought it 2 weeks before new iPhone launched)
4. Nokia N75, with reading glasses to read my IMs (the Nokia is a 4 year old veteran gadget that I keep nursing back to health because I so love the feel of it in my hands)
5. Flip video with extra batteries
6. 3×5 cards to take notes and sort them in flight, with Tul (pronounced “tool”) markers which are fun and practical
7. various health and beauty aids: comb, Chapstick, Body Shop Vit. C Skin Boost for counteracting dehydration from air travel.
8. Airborne (swear by it)
9. Burt’s Bees Hand Sanitizer (new to my repertoire but no less appreciated)
10. Nuetragena Hand Creme (heavy, gloppy stuff that restores skin from reptilian to mammalian)
11. Chewy Rolaids (helpful when research includes sampling food culture that spans taco trucks to music festival food)
12. Del One-Drop breath freshener (carpet bombs your tongue to extinguish coffee breath)
13. Business card holder
14. Sony portable speakers
15. Soft, spongy brief case with Asus mini-laptop (btw I loath the Asus product. It’s a fussy piece of sh__–total PITA and customer support at ASUS is among the worst I’ve ever encountered. Bought it, am stuck with it.)

16. Not pictured is my iPod classic. I forgot I was wearing it when I took the pix and Nikon Digital 3500 which I used to take the shot!

What’s in your bag?