What’s in my bag: long-haul, long-stay edition

Much as the phrase makes me throw up in my mouth a little, I suppose I qualify as a part-time digital nomad at this point: I work while traveling, but mostly for extended stays of up to 3 months in one place. Enough time to get to know a city and really miss the stuff I forgot. This is my essentials kit.

Photo of some of the gear

Parmesan grater

I married an Italian: pasta is religion, life, constant. We do not move without one of these. Tried many brands (paging @siracusa) but the Zyliss is light, durable, goes in the dishwasher and is inexpensive enough to forget (every flippin’ time).

Ikea food clips

Airbnbs never have enough tupperware, and these are so much better than buying plastic bags or clingfilm.

Cucumber eye gel patches

Eye bags and dark circles aren’t really one of my beauty concerns. Don’t get me wrong, I have concerns for sure - I live in the Bahamas and have resigned myself to turning into a Sharpei sooner rather than later - but the undereye area generally does alright. However, two factors make them swell and puff like nobody’s business: jet-lag and altitude. These patches actually work, include a little spatula to get them out, and survive being tossed around in a suitcase.


The most bougie ones I have are these Yuni shower sheets but the basic red Wet Wipes do an excellent job too - actually wet and don’t dry out the skin. Heaven in a tent, but pretty great when flying too.


This is a decongestant nasal spray, and it’s the most effective product in the world. Two sprays of this and not only are you back to breathing normally, but you are also suspiciously energetic. As far as I know it’s only available in Italy, over the counter, no prescription necessary. It’s probably highly addictive or toxic or both, but there would be a national outcry if they banned it. I have a stash because colds are unbearable without.

Barbell locking clips

Wherever I am, I get my lift in. I do like a barbell, but my weakling wrists can’t deal with those metal spring clips. If it’s that hard to change up the plates I tend to skimp on warmup sets or avoid scaling back if the weight is a bit punchy, neither of which is a smart idea. Now I always travel with these clips, which make even the most neglected and rusty bar feel better. Bonus: Lululemon yoga towels are great for the gym when travelling, as they’re light but big enough to cover the grossest of machines (nothing like using the pec deck machine for reverse flyes, with your face pressed into someone else’s back sweat 👌).


I do not understand the appeal of those slippers that just cover the forefoot, leaving the ankle and heel to hang out behind, abandoned in the frigid air. The short classic Uggs keep it all warm even when wearing cropped sweats, are surprisingly light and squishable for packing, and you can take out the trash in them. As a person who becomes unbearable when operated outside a very limited temperature range, these are essential. Bonus: Falke Striggings socks - cozy af, but actually survive washing and the dryer, unlike cashmere.

Laptop Stand

I saw someone use this lightweight stand on Twitter (no idea who at this point but 👋 and thanks!) and insta-bought it. It seems a bit spindly, but it’s turned out to be remarkably durable and folds up small and light. My work travel set up is my MBP, Sony WH1000XM3s, the stand, a Magic Trackpad and this bluetooth split keyboard.