I love to see what other people have in their bags -- it's like a sneak peek into their world. I thought I would do one of these since this is one of the biggest changes I have had to make. This is peek at what I carry with me.
When I was in Houston I tried to keep an emergency bag of some sort in my car. I lived "outside the loop" so I always felt I needed to be prepared for anything -- swimming, impromptu sleepovers at my cousins, a night out etc. Not having a car in London means I need to think about my day well in advance.I have to plan very carefully for what I might need for the day. These are some things that I carry with me when leaving the flat:
1. My cell phone with a card slot on the back where I keep my travel card. Since my phone is always in my pocket or my hand it makes sense to keep my Oyster card with it, especially since you have to tap in and out at the tube.
2. Headphones. I hate excess noise and I like to have a soundtrack for my commute. I just have to be careful not to sing on the train
3. Portable charger. I am still learning my way around the city and rely heavily on Citymapper and the Tube Map apps to help get me around the city. Those and my music tend to drain my battery fairly quickly when I am out and about. With this I have a charging cable for my phone and wireless headphones.
4. Wallet. With my ID card, debit/credit cards and at least £20 cash.
5. Cosmetics/useful things. I don't like the feeling of needing something and not having it, so I tried to be prepared at all times. So I carry Burt's Bees lip balm, nail file in a case, hand lotion, a lipstick in case I need a little color, mascara and this concealer/highlighter combo (they have changed the packaging). As well as other first aid type items such as bandaids, pain pills, cramp balm, bobby pins, hair tie, stain remover and my Lena Cup. All of this is kept neatly scattered in a water resistant, easy to clean cosmetic bag.
6. Gloves. Winter is in full swing and my poorly adapted Texas body is not doing so well. It is rare that I am comfortably warm, even inside the flat so I am constantly wearing layers, clutching a hot water bottle and tea. While I am able to layer when I go out it seems a bit uncouth to carry a hot water bottle to keep my hands warm, so I settle for gloves I found at TK Maxx (yes, I spelled that correctly). They are a beautiful dark teal with a soft knitted lining. I put those on and tuck my hands into my pockets for extra warmth.
7. Shopping bag. In Houston I kept shopping bags in my car so I had them for the grocery store (when I remembered to bring them in), here I keep a foldable one in my bag just in case. Shops will sell you a plastic bag for 5 pence, which isn't much and they are usually well made so you can keep and reuse them. However, I am on a "reduce waste" endeavor and we don't have much space for plastic bags so I make sure to keep one in my bag at all times.
8. Extra scarf or thermal layer and an umbrella. The weather seems to fluctuate pretty often ( and I thought Houston was temperamental) and I am still learning what temperatures I can endure with and without extra layers, so I pack one just in case. I have quickly learned that layering is not just fashionable but highly functional and necessary. I'm still learning how to do it gracefully, so that I am warm but don't look like the kid in A Christmas Story. The umbrella for obvious reasons and since I don't have a car to store it in, I have a small one that fits in the side pocket of my backpack.
9. Notebook, pen, iPad. I have always carried a notebook with me to jot down lists and ideas for whatever I was brainstorming at the time and I don't see why that should stop now, especially since I can write while I commute. On the iPad I use the Overdrive app to read, using your library card, you sign up for an account and you can digitally borrow books. It’s like having a library in your bag!
10. Snacks and tea. I am always eating and if I am sitting doing nothing or really focused on a book or work, I like to have a snack to keep me going. So I pack this Sistema snack box with a savory snack, a sweet snack and an Ahmad Tea teabag.
I carry it all in this wonderful backpack. It is big enough to hold my computer and all the items above and the two outside side pockets hold my umbrella and reusable bag for quick access. What are some things you always have with you?
* This NOT a sponsored post. These are just things I actually use.
** Ahmad Tea photo credit
*** Photos taken from linked websites.