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Travel gear

For this trip, I splurged a little. I've never had full-size luggage of my own so I bought a Samsonite set at Costco. Of course, I'm colorblind so what I thought was a black set turned out to be purple. Sometimes it's nice to travel vibrantly.

My other big purchase was an Abisko travel shirt from Fjallraven. It's vented, with a mesh pouch in the chest for phones, passports, wallets, etc. The long sleeves can roll up and down, and be buttoned with built-in straps, so you can have more or less sun protection as needed. I'm wearing it for my flights along with a Costco microfiber t-shirt underneath, so I've been comfortable in both warmer and cooler temps.

For pants, I'm using Uniqlo's EZY jeans, which use sweatpant material to be stretchy and super comfy. They look more dressed-up than they feel, which is perfect for the airplane. I also packed some Uniqlo chino joggers, which are ideal for hot temperatures and office environments.

(Update: I've just worn through one of the pairs of jeans I brought...glad I have backups!)

For my office and about-town travel, I've got my custom Osprey bag. They designed a special bag just for Google a few years back, and I've used it on nearly all of my travel since. It's got almost everything I could want in a bag, including a built-in rain shell, and at this point I know the layout so well I can find anything in it in pitch blackness.

The item that's surprised me the most so far is the Grid-It organizer I bought. I'd previously used the Osprey's built-in cable pouch in the bottom, but it can be kind of a pain to access and return the pouch when you're done. The Grid-It has kept everything nicely organized. I pared down all my cables and dongles before I left, so I've only got the essentials and they fit great on a medium organizer.

In addition to my global outlet adapters I brought a Belkin mini power strip. It has three three-prong outlets and two USB 2.0 ports. Travel adapters get pretty bulky, so this helps make the most of just the two I carry. Especially when I want to charge my Kindle, headphones (I've gone Bluetooth), 3DS, toothbrush, and more all at once.

Speaking of headphones...I'm surprised how little I've used them so far. On the plane I mostly slept, walking around I prefer to pay attention to my surroundings, and at the office I'm there to work directly with people so checking out with headphones is strictly not allowed.

That actually fits a pattern I've noticed in the past, though. When I'm traveling on my own, I rarely listen to music except when relaxing in my hotel or apartment. If I'm out and about, I'm usually drinking in the sights and sounds. Music is a comforting way of returning to my cocoon, and more often than not when I'm traveling I want to be a bit outside of that cocoon.

Other honorable mentions for useful travel items:

  • Tissue packs (toilet paper isn't always readily available here)
  • LifeStraw (clean drinking water anywhere!)
  • A little baggie of ZzzQuil and cough drops (for banishing plane crud, among other things)

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