I’m not really a “purse” person, I only have 1 (ish) and I often leave the house without it. But, I do have bags

Sparked by a recent discussion on carry-ons for air travel, here’s what I use… for now…

Cotopaxi Uyuni 46L Duffel- Del Día


This duffel is very roomy, and I’ve had no trouble getting it in the overhead bin. That said, it’s usually not filled to capacity, so it’s pretty squishy. The shoulder strap can be tucked away so it’s not a snag risk if it has to be checked. Plus, the Del Día model comes in one-of-a-kind color combos, so it’s easy to spot at the baggage carousel. Has a laptop pocket, but I’m a little weary in the duffel-context.

Downside: if you’re stuck hauling it for a while, it can get a little cumbersome.

Timbuk2 Aviator Convertible Travel Backpack


Mine is a little older than the one pictured. This one isn’t quite as roomy, but looks nice. I do wish mine had some side pockets though. Again, fits just fine into overhead compartments, and both the shoulder straps and hip belt are stowable if you need to check the bag. On that note, the straps do make it easier to carry than the duffel. Additional handles make it easy to carry like a duffel if the straps are tucked away.

Timbuk2 Command Messenger


I think this laptop bag looks really nice. This has been my go-to for maybe a year (I’m bad with time). This and the Cotopaxi duffel were my last travel companions. The crossed-shoulder straps was a little odd, but worked fine.


Timbuk2 Alcatraz Backpack


This is new to my collection, but I’m looking forward to a backpack-carry for my laptop.

I’ve also got 3 other messenger bags that rotate in and out if there are particular needs. As well as a some small daypacks like the Cotopaxi Luzon 18L Daypack, which stuffs down okay in case I end up with extra souvenirs.

My CamelBak Fourteener accompanied me to Iceland last year, and I loved having a small, sturdy, secure (as in not falling off my shoulders) bag available for the bit of adventuring I did.

I have an Osprey Kyte backpacking pack, but I hesitate to take it on a flight in case it has to be checked – way too many loose straps that I fear would get in the way.

I only have one rolling bag, and it’s a giant Dakine Split Roller I’ve only used it a couple times since it’s so big. Right now, I think it’s just storing clothes in the closet.

Food challenge

I’ve got an upcoming 2.5 week housesitting gig. I often take the opportunity to do some sort of food/diet challenge/experiment, since being away from my own kitchen keeps the temptations down.

For this stint, I think I’m planning to try a raw food challenge. Basically, lots of veggies, fruits, nuts, and nothing processed or cooked.

I have no intent to do this either for the long-term, or religiously (I’m not prepared to give up caffeine, but may tone my 4 cups of coffee down to tea). Decent chance I’ll forget or overlook some “rules” completely, but even if I fail miserably at “raw food” the focus of veggies and such will still be healthy.

Rumor has it that even as a short-term diet there can be long-term benefits by way of “palate resetting” – that is, people often report losing their cravings for sweet and salty foods (i.e. all my favorite snacks).

I’m planning to keep track of what I eat, how I feel, etc. and will update this post (either with edits or comments) with my on-going progress. I expect the first few days to be the worst, but I’m hoping to level out earlier than later… we’ll see.