Anything that goes into my backpack has to earn its place there.
This past year, I have lived in 6 continents, 17 countries, 7 time zones and 21 cities. All this while working a full time job, remotely.
Work is my primary goal. Work is what enables me to live this life. So obviously, being connected is the center of my focus. Additionally, I am part of the Infrastructure team at BuzzFeed, which means, I have to be oncall for a week every month and be generally available 24⁄7, at other times.
So, what do I carry around?To be honest, what I carry around changes a lot!
Anything that goes into my backpack has to earn its place there and needs to be used at least once a week for it to keep its place.
Preface: None of this would be possible without my trusted powerhorse, my Apple iPhone 7 Plus. Honestly, its the driver of my existence. Takes photos that aren’t too shabby (instagram.com/sricola), lives up to battery life expectations and the large screen means I can read, write or watch anything on the go.
- iPad Pro 9.7 (4G LTE) with Smart Keyboard — this is my go to device when I want something larger than my iPhone but don’t want to pull out my laptop — to check my email, read, watch videos or pretty much anything else. With T-Mobile’s data service on it, I get high speed internet while in the US, Canada and Mexico — and manageable, albeit slower speeds outside the North American continent.
- Anker PowerCore+ external battery (link) — keeps my devices charged and the gigantic 20,100 mah battery means there is plenty to go around. It also has a USB-C charge port which means I can also charge my MacBook Pro with it! That in itself is a huge selling point to me.
- LG Nexus 5x with Google Project Fi (link, we both get $20 if you sign up)— this is my secondary phone. I use it to get high speed internet while roaming at the not-so-great-but-also-not-so-terrible price of $10/GB. Savior when you need that bit of fast internet, no matter where you are — Bali to Tokyo to Santiago — wherever you go. The phone is also unlocked meaning I can pop in a local SIM if needed.
- MicroFiber Cloth (link) — I mean, all these devices are finger print magnets and nobody wants a dirty screen. What can I say? I am obsessed with clean screens.
- MacBook Pro, Non Touch Bar (link) — I love and hate this little laptop. Battery life is hit or miss, glitchy af on graphics, overheats BUT it’s light, and can be charged using the aforementioned battery pack. I have come to love the lower profile keyboard.
- Bose QC35 Noise Cancelling Headphones (link) — Bose makes solid acoustic devices. They aren’t my ideal sounding pair, but the bluetooth functionality and noise cancelling makes this a god send on flights or in a noisy environment. Battery life gets me through 8 hour flights with ease.
- Apple AirPods — okay, this was a hard sell to me. They are also hard to find since Apple can’t figure out the supply chain. Apple’s older wired EarPods never stayed in my ear, and I was skeptical about these. But, without the dangling wires of the old style, these actually stay in my ear! I wouldn’t dare to jaunt across the street with them in my ear, but they’re great for casual listening. They stow away easily and the battery life is decent.
- Anker PowerCore Fusion (link) — this is the swiss army knife of my life’s power needs. Not only is it a multi port USB and USB-C charger, it also has a built in battery that charges itself. The in-built battery is on the smaller side, but its good enough to charge my iPhone 7 Plus up at least once.
Other Honorable Mentions
- US Power Strip — I have a mini 3 outlet power strip. Top Tip: With this, you only need one outlet and one convertor to plug in all your devices.
- Cables — I mean, there is no way around this. You will end up with a tonne of cables.