This is the first post in a new feature on Her Packing List called “The One Little Thing“. Each week, I’ll be interviewing a traveling lady to find out the one little thing they just can’t travel without. The first one is brought to you by Heather Rudd who has heaps of travel experience around the world and down under:
I’m Heather of There’s No Place Like Oz, and I’m originally from Virginia, USA. Eight months ago I left my job as a career counselor for university students and flew half way around the world to live, travel, and work in Australia for a year. I’ve equally divided my time between travel and work so far, and I plan to spend the remainder of my time in Australia on a road trip to parts of the country I’ve yet to see!
Before this experience, I had traveled to Australia briefly once before, Ireland twice, London four times, Germany, Paris, Barcelona, and Istanbul. I saved up my vacation time at work and took a 3-week trip at the end of each spring semester. It was a long vacation by American standards but I wanted to experience long-term travel — so I quit last May to come to Australia!
What’s the one little thing you can’t travel without?
There are several items I’ve become quite attached to, but there is one that I’ve literally been attached to nearly every day for the last eight months!
This may look like just a purse/bag, but it’s really a digital SLR camera bag:
Why has this one item been so important to you?
I bought my Nikon D3000 just before coming to Australia, and I knew I needed a solid bag to store it and both lenses safely. However, I did not want to carry a bag that looked like a camera bag. I felt the ones I’d seen could be cumbersome and draw too much attention from would-be bag snatchers. And, I wanted something that could easily double as a purse.
In the big, front pocket there is plenty of room for a D-SLR. The two smaller pockets are designed to hold lenses. As I only have two, one is always attached to the body, one is stored in a pocket, and I use the other pocket for a wallet, phone, chapstick, etc.
How packable is it? Does it take up much room? Is it heavy?
The bag itself is extremely lightweight! When I’ve flown it’s counted as my “personal item” for carry-on items (I also had a small backpack as my main carry-on). With the camera and other contents inside, it’s very manageable to carry on a day-to-day basis, which I have done over the course of the last eight months. I rarely step outside of the flat without it.
Would you recommend this to your travel friends?
Without a doubt! In fact, I’ve recommended it to several travelers on Twitter who were looking for a cute, well-crafted camera bag + purse. There are so many designs to choose from that you can pick one that will coordinate with most of your outfits or pick one because it draws more/less attention.
Can you name one situation where you were so happy to have this item with you?
I’ve been on planes, buses, trains, long walks, gone to work, and lived everyday life with this bag and have always been pleased with it. If it wears out one day, I plan to buy another from the same designer.
How did you hear about this item?
I put out a call on Twitter and Facebook over a year ago asking friends where I could find a cute, reliable camera bag that didn’t look like one. One friend recommended that I look at Etsy.com. I’d never heard of the website but was impressed with the handmade items for sale. While a handful of people had all crafted similar looking bags, I felt Janine King had the best value — best price for the selection and craftsmanship. You can often purchase a bag that she has already created for less than ordering a design that she does not currently have in stock and will have to create. When the bag arrived I was thrilled that it looked even better than it did online. I mentioned this on Twitter and she quickly spotted the tweet and contacted me!
What sort of traveler is this item perfect for?
If you have a D-SLR and want a bag that can double as a camera bag and purse, a bag like this may be perfect for you. If you don’t have one, it’s also been a great substitute for a day pack when you’re out and about. I often take the second lens out of the small pocket and use both smaller pockets to store items. Since I was living in Sydney for a while, it was nice to step out and travel for the day without a larger camera bag or day pack.
Sounds like an awesome camera bag! Thanks, Heather, for sharing.
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