Tuesday, November 10, 2009

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. 3x5 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?


T said...

Looking forward to seeing you here in LA.
Safe travels!

Patricia Martin said...

Thanks and see you soon, Terence.

Mother Earth said...

i am constantly intrigued by smart travel, and getting an inside peek at what someone else packs fascinates me even more - what a great share

of course my bag is completely different

how exciting to hear who's sponsoring your tour

sure am looking forward to hearing more

George said...

No iPod or MP3 player? I couldn't leave home without it!

Jerome said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jerome said...

Dear Patricia,

Thank you for connecting with Shannon Buggs in at the Houston Chronicle. A RENGEN article was published in the Business Section of the Chron Saturday 05/10/08!


On behalf of the Houston Arts Alliance & the steering committee, we are all excited to recieve you in the Bayou City next Wednesday 05/21/08.

Travel safe, light, and well!


Jerome Vielman
Assistant Director of Grants & Services
Houston Arts Alliance

P.S. - Grace says hello!

Tony Tallent said...

Hi Pat. Your post reminds me that in all the mental and desk preparation we go through for conferences and consulting, there are still those very human tasks that bring us back out of our tweaking of the PowerPoint or double-checking our facts and figures. Packing is one of those tasks that reminds. I read your post with an extra large grin as I am even now completing a presentation I'll be doing on Thursday. My mind frequently flits up the stairs to the suitcase I need to pack and all the small things that keep a presenter, well, presentable.
Congratulations on the series!
My best,

Patricia Martin said...

While I was out in L.A. several new folks signed on as Culture Scouts. If there weren't cool scouts like you to set the bar, it wouldn't be soo appealing.
Thanks, Tony.
Where are you headed?

Tony Tallent said...

Hi Pat!
I took your tip and got the breath spray for my travel pack! Even though I haven't really had to use it, I feel more confident simply knowing it's in my briefcase.
I presented today in Colorado about "Tech Steps into the Future." Didn't run into as many celebs as you did in LA for sure, but here they all send their kids to Colorado U!