Monday, December 26, 2005
requirements: a good bag for your essentials
If you're going to be schlepping all over the planet, you're going to need a good bag.
Why? Because you're going to need to keep some aspects of your personality close at hand during your travels. While your suitcase will be ritually abused by baggage handlers and your computer case will never see the light of day outside your hotel room, your bag will go everywhere you go. It is an extension of you the same way your del.icio.us tags are an extension of you.
Here are the essentials I need nearby whether I'm trapped in an airport or abusing espresso in a Paris cafe:
1. Filofax Slimline organizer - I've run through so many different ways of capturing data over the years that I've lost count. I like the size and quality of Filofax papers, so there you are. When I start a page, I tag it and date it at the upper right; later on, I'll archive pages into a larger organizer that is part scrapbook, part research library.
(Note - for those of you hooked on Moleskine notebooks, ask yourself how you'll gather all the notes you've taken on a particular topic together from all the various notebooks you've got. QED.)
2. Digital camera - Sony Cyber-shot is the shiznit.
3. A bottle of water - because you never know.
4. Your phone - I'm lucky to use a Treo 650 that my employer has conveniently hooked up to my Outlook mail and calendar. My thumbs are mighty and fast indeed.
5. Nintendo DS (formerly a PSP) - A man has to get his Mario on. The DS (especially the DS lite) is rugged, has good battery life, and lends itself to occasional usage. I recommend Mario Kart DS, Electroplankton, New Super Mario Brothers and Mario Pinball (GBA).
6. Book of the hour - Paperbacks are easier to transport than hardcovers. I just finished Snowcrash for the n-th time. Next up, Flamesong by MAR Barker.
7. 2"x2" origami papers - whenever I'm particularly stressed, I make tiny origami cranes and leave them in incongruous places as little mitzvahs for the unsuspecting.
8. "Scotch and Soda" coin trick - because you never know when you'll need to win a drink in a bar.
9. Rotring automatic pencil / replacement leads / Staedtler Mars plastic eraser in a beat-up plastic MSFT gimme pencil case - my writing implement of choice.
10. Deck of cards
11. Small squeeze bottle of hand sanitizer
12. Small package of tissues - can do emergency double-duty as toilet paper.
13. 2GB iPod Nano
14. Rosary beads / worry beads / chaplet - keeps your hands busy and your mind still
15. Rhodia Pad 11200 - this is usually in my pocket too; it's essential for quick notes, sharing info, whatever. If you've never used Rhodia pads before, try this size out. It fits in most of those "flip pad" covers you get at tradeshows.
16. Local subway map - because the best way to see a city is to wander it like a local.
17. A few bags of peanuts - they help when you hitchhike with the Vogons.
19. Tin Whistle - a man has to practice. Depending on my mood, I'll bring my Parkhurst, Burke, Sindt, or my low A Copeland.
20. An Opinel knife - not airport safe, but damned useful to have around.
21. One (1) Connemara marble worry stone - because I worry.
22. Mints/gum/whatever kills the evil taste of disappointment and regret.
Santa brought me a Belstaff Colonial Canvas Collection shoulder bag ("as seen in the movies 'The Interpreter' and 'Batman Begins'") - which beats the tar out of the SoftSummit gimme bag I've been using.
What do you carry with you?