Things I Carry

LinkedIn recently posted a special feature: “Things I Carry”. There are all sorts of answers from swimming suits to half-eaten burritos. Neither of which I carry on business trips.

These folks are clearly more seasoned travellers than I am, but I still wanted to play. I’m not a ‘regular’ traveller for work, but I have traveled often and far. When I worked at Atos, I was a regular in Paris and Dallas. (France/Texas). At BMC, I’ve been to TelAviv, Madrid, Paris, and Frankfurt. The more I traveled the more I realized what I should bring next time, and what I could do without.

Things I Carry

Food: The further I get from Texas, the more I realize I need back-up food. Protein bars are perfect. If I’m acting like a 10 year old and spreading my dinner around my plate, no worries: I’ve got a snack in my suitcase. Mints count. (Yes you can eat them for dinner in a pinch.)

Hearing aid: I can’t hear out of my right ear, so I have a hearing aid. When travelling international, it’s important to hear as best I can. Otherwise, I don’t use it near as often as I should. Fun fact: I lost my hearing after one day of shooting guns at a barn door at my brother’s pond. I blame him.

Scarf: You never know when it’s going to be cold or hot. Carrying a scarf helps. It can be smashed in your purse when you don’t need it, and it’s perfectly acceptable to be worn wrinkled.

Notebook: I’ve actually tried using my iPad for notes, but I just can’t do it. I love my Moleskin notebook. I got my first Moleskin as a gift from the US Olympic Committee in 2009, and I’ve never looked back. I like the fact there is no spine to get hooked on anything and they are all the same size. I’m a doodler.

Two Phones: I’m a weird-o that hasn’t combined my work phone and personal phone. This is the first job I’ve done this and I love it. I promise to put down work on weekends, and with separate phones, it’s much easier to do. I secretly check and respond to emails at night but don’t tell anyone.

Macbook Air: When I travel, I take this little gem with me everywhere. I realize an iPad is smaller, but the Air is just as lightweight and it has everything and only takes seconds to boot up if I need it. I need life-size keyboards. It’s a must.

Lip gloss. I pretend that I need chapstick and just can’t find any, but I’m addicted to lipgloss. It makes me feel fancy.

Big Camera (optional). I am a fake photographer. Meaning, I don’t know what I’m doing, but I love taking pictures. If I am going to a new place, like Jerusalem for instance, I’ll bring big bertha along. Sure – she’s a little overweight in the days of iPhone, but you just can’t bet her photos. And after the trip, photos are all you have!

More importantly… it’s go to things I don’t carry anymore.

My ginormous Coach Bag: I’ll tell ya… I was so excited to buy this for myself. It’s so big and so leathery. Alas, it is also ridiculously heavy. The bag has been retired for weekend trips only. No more toting this guy to and from the office.

Jewelry: I used to have options and cute necklaces and earrings that matched each outfit. Now it’s a wedding ring, my favorite Tiffany Beads, and maybe a watch. Done.

Options: I used to bring lots of clothing options “in case” I wanted to wear something different. Today, I’d rather not carry a giant suitcase. I also realize people don’t actually pay much attention to what you wear. I’m neat, clean, and pretty much everything comes in black, white or gray.

Shoes: Yes I wear shoes, but I’ve had to narrow down business trips to 2 pair. Flats and heels all black, and change with seasons. (Yes there are seasonal black shoes… it’s a thing).

Business cards: They don’t take up much room, but I just thought it was funny to think about. I don’t remember the last time someone gave me a card?