The Things I’ll Carry

I am a little ambivalent towards packing. While I pride myself in the ability to pack a week’s worth of outfits into a backpack, I am by no means a minimalist packer. It’s always the miscellaneous items, like the curling iron, book, or computer making my luggage-carrying experience teeter between tolerable and trip-ruining heaviness. I’ve learned there are some things you can do without, and that you can always post-process your photos at home. Little things like maintaining and sharing an items list with on Evernote maintain my sanity at the beginning and ending of a trip. Although I’m okay with trying to figure out how much mileage I can get from wearing the same shirt, There are a few things I can’t leave without, no matter how long or short the trip.

Organizer, in-flight reading, camera lens, denim jacket, scarf, lens cap, and a few pens.

A few things that will be in my carry-on luggage.We’re going to Chicago, and these are a few items I’ll be packing into my carry on:

  1. Golf cap my mom gave this to me a few years ago; while I don’t play golf, I like keeping some semblance of sun protection with me.
  2. Better Together shoulder pouch MochiThings
  3. Spare camera battery
  4. Camera battery charger
  5. Extra memory
  6. 50mm lens this and my 11-18mm (not pictured) are my go-to lenses.
  7. Current read Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow | Amazon
  8. Thrifted scarf sometimes I get cold on planes.
  9. Gap 1969 denim jacket …really cold.
  10. MyCharge a coworker gave one of these to me out of the blue, and it’s been useful for charging my devices.
  11. iPhone
  12. iPhone Charger
  13. Jstory hello luggage tag MochiThings
  14. 99¢ pencil case I think I’ve had this since undergrad.
  15. Ericka sunglasses
  16. Stone & Cloth Benson backpack when I bought this a few years ago, they were branded as Stone + Cloth. The purchase of their products helps send Tanzanian children to school. Good cause, roomy backpack.

Not pictured: camera & camera bag

Numbered contents inside pencil case and organizer.I’m not one to initiate small talk with seat mates while sharing very personal space thousands of miles above ground, so I stay occupied by drawing during flights. Along with my wallet and phone, I carry writing utensils everywhere out of habit. I don’t always bring my pencil case with me, but this Better Together pouch allows me to keep two pens and a few highlighters around. It’s much easier transferring items between bags since this pouch keeps everything organized. It even has a detachable strap (not pictured) to convert into a purse. It’s not very stylish, but I’m less likely to maniacally run around the house in search of my wallet.

  1. Staedtler lead holder
  2. Pilot G2 .38mm pen
  3. Copic Multiliner I know everyone loves Sakura Microns, but I got tired of throwing away the entire pen and opted for one that took refills. An entirely new Multiliner pen is a little pricy, at around $10 at a local art store, but refilling it costs about as much as purchasing a new Micron, and lasts a little longer with my use.
  4. Zebra Mildliner highlighter JetPens
  5. Pentel Graph 600, 0.5mm
  6. Prismacolor Watercolor, Non-Photo Blue
  7. Pentel refill eraser
  8. Pentel 0.5 lead
  9. Pencil sharpener this tiny little sharpener was only 25¢ at my university art store, and is still one of the best I’ve ever used.
  10. mt 5mm washi tape I usually carry a glue pen with me, but since we’re flying, tape might be a better option in case I need to stow things in my sketchbook pages.
  11. Staedtler plastic eraser
  12. Yes to Cucumbers facial wipes sometimes I use them to keep my face from drying out as well as for makeup removal.
  13. Leuchtturm1917 A5 gridded notebook
  14. Coin purse Badz Maru not only holds parking meter fare, but also bobby pins and hair ties.
  15. Mizon Collagenic Aqua Volume Lip Essence lips are moisturized with a little SPF 10 thrown in.
  16. Moleskine extra small portfolio I temporarily store coupons, receipts, subway cards, and other small ephemera.
  17. Wallet
  18. Gum


  1. Jaenee

    I LOVE this post. That Better Together pouch is amazing (yikes, that website is dangerous! So many good things) but let’s be honest; the real star of the show here is the Badz Maru pouch.

    • Thanks! Dude, MochiThings is a black hole. You get sucked in and you might never come out. And whenever I replace my Badz Maru coin purse I actually get a little angry. Lol

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