Is a handbag an essential round the world item?

Do I need my handbag on our life changing year journey?  This has been my dilemma over the last couple of months.

Why have I decided to torture you with this question now?  Recently several of my friends participated in a group writing project and the subject was “Living Without”  While I was reading their stories my brain was lamenting the decision I had made to “Live Without” a handbag for 12 whole months!!

Amy at livinontheroad wrote all about the things they are missing out on or suffering without during their travels through the Australian Outback.  I thought “lack of medical services in the outback?” but I’m going to be missing my HANDBAG FOR 12 MONTHS!!!!

Justin at greatfamilyescape has elaborated about how heavily he and his family are influenced by corporations and how he can’t wait to live without the influence of advertising.  It’s a great read and it amused me that I don’t need any advertising to help me think I need a new handbag!!

Gabi at thenomadicfamily told all about the things her family had to live without for 5 WHOLE YEARS to be able to set off on their nomadic trip around the planet.  5 years is a really long time to focus on your dream and do everything you must to achieve it.  Do you know just how many handbags I have owned in the last 5 years??  At least 17!!

So what to do?

I had thought long and hard about it.  At home my handbag and I are very rarely separated.  Whichever one is my current favourite will be crammed with everything I need to survive.  The chosen one will have it’s own place in the car when driving, ALWAYS comes into every shop and restaurant and ALWAYS goes in the same spot overnight.

If someone jams something into one of the pockets , I have been known to get annoyed.  Especially if this squashes something else nestled in there. Just ask Gert about the last handbag that he killed by jamming his iPad into the pocket – my $200 handbag was never the same again and was quickly relegated to the back of the wardrobe.

On any family holidays my handbag is an absolute necessity.  I clean it out before we leave and during our holiday it fills up with souvenirs, snacks, receipts, memorabilia and generally useful stuff!  By the time we get home it is usually unable to be lifted due to a) its weight or b) the sheer size of its bulging sides!! I often take a photo once we return home to show just how much I managed to jam in that baby!

None of the above uses ever occur in a place that has less than awesome security. I’ve discussed my general lack of attention to security in a previous post and how I plan to turn over a new leaf during our life changing year adventure!  I think next year’s activities will require a bit more forethought!

To that end I’ve made the momentous decision not to take a handbag with me in 2012.

When we purchased our backpacks I purchased a small slashproof bag for just our passports and cashola.  And to stop me from going back on that decision I sold all but one at our recent garage sales.

How my insides clenched when my $99 red and gold number was sold for $8.  That thing had charms dangling off the end!!

I tried to ignore the squeals of joy emanating from the garage sale customers as they made off with my $150 silver snakeskin creation with pink lining – for just $10!!

And my practically new Miche bag with extra detatchable giraffe print cover walked off down the driveway for 20 bucks!  Oh the pain!!

I’m very glad I sold them all and didn’t have to pack them up to store (Yes, yes, really I am!).

Which leaves the one victim that made the cut.  This one has to last me until we leave on January 20, 2012.

For my own amusement I weighed it the last time I was at Weight Watchers.  The ladies there were shocked to discover that it weighs 4.8kg!!!  I thought that was hilarious and possible explained my trips to physio to fix my neck over the years!!

Again, for my own amusement, I decided to empty it out and give you a list of all the great and useful stuff that I carry around every day.  Here goes:

  • iPad & Cover, iPad camera kit
  • iPhone 3, iPhone 4
  • Wallet (crammed with receipts, cards, ID, US$75 and not much else!
  • Digital Camera and Case
  • Work social club cheque book, deposit book and bank bag
  • Jono’s wallet (we’ve been searching for that!)
  • 1 x Weight Watchers bar
  • 1 x half used pack of paracetamol
  • Car keys (big dangly thing with 5 keyrings on it!)
  • 4 pack of AA batteries for the digital camera
  • Nail file, Random envelope with $20 in it
  • Empty lolly packet, 2 lanyards with our gym swipe cards
  • Name tag, Bag with $4.00 in silver
  • 5 loose diet lollies,
  • iPad stylus
  • Christmas magazine from our local supermarket
  • 3 pens, 2 lipglosses, 1 mini moisturiser
  • iPod
  • chewing gum,  2 pairs of earrings, a sydney souvenir hat pin
  • various loyalty cards for icecream stores!
  • a big pile of receipts from last year’s christmas presents!

Now you can see my worry about doing without this very useful item in 2012!  But I figure with a daypack and the slashproof bag there’s be no room for receipts, lolly wrappers and loyalty cards!

This will be my very own experience of living without!!

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Is a handbag an essential round the world item? — 9 Comments

  1. Very Funny! I think you are going to have a fabulous time on your trip!

    I have been killing Heidi and her handbag for the past few months. It is packed full of crap and overflowing. I don’t know how you guys do it!

    My guess is you won’t want the handbag after a month of traveling, it becomes a pain. And in NY you can get a knock off on the street for like $15. I say ditch it, it will give you something to buy if and when you find out you truly need it!
    Justin@GreatFamilyEscape recently posted..School. Work. And Traveling Forever.My Profile

  2. Wait – you’re hauling an iPad, 2 iPhones, a camera and an iPod in there? My neck hurts just thinking about carrying that around! I completely feel your pain, girl. I’ve got two shelves full of purses and feel the need for a new one, although we are downsizing in preparation for our big trip next year. But of course, we won’t be needing all the loyalty cards while we’re away, will we? Just the essentials.
    Paige recently posted..The first steps toward the nomadic lifeMy Profile

    • Hey Paige. Once you get rid of that shelf full you will surprisingly not miss them. I thought I would be really upset but I was only upset that I practically gave them away! And yes I do cart that long list of i-things. Especially now that we are homeless I don’t like to leave them anywhere! And the new camera is light but bulky! The Baskin Robbins man tried to give me a loyalty card last night and I very sweetly told him I was on holiday!! One less to throw out in 48 sleeps!

  3. HA! The amazing thing is that once you’re on the road, you won’t miss it in the least. My theory is that since everything around me is changing all the time, I don’t need to change at all. Or worry about what I’m wearing or what I look like. I’m free to be me. Yes, you will need something to carry your crap, but functionality will become more important than ever!

    Have fun with the last-minute prep!!
    Nancy from Family on Bikes recently posted..50 Lessons I wish I had learned earlierMy Profile

    • Hi Nancy. I’m sure looking forward to just being me!! My daypack will have to suffice for carrying crap I guess. Sure u wouldn’t like to pop on over to Australia and assist with the last-minute stuff??? lol

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    yahoo mafia recently posted..1My Profile

  5. It’s amazing the amount of stuff we hoard in our handbags.

    I always start out with the best intentions of travelling with just a daysack and a money belt but always give in and buy a handbag wherever I go. I have some beautiful bags from Zanzibar & Nepal. Sometimes I just don’t want to walk round with a daypack, and just want to carry some water, a book, suncream and oa few other bits and bobs, so a cross body handbag usually finds its way back into my packing list, one way or another.
    Lottie recently posted..APT7 @ QAGOMA: The 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary ArtMy Profile

    • Hey Lottie – I’m happy as long as I can carry my ipad!! Bugger the sunscreen!! lol. I have to admit that I didn’t miss my handbag at all. But since we are home my little eyes are fascinated by the sheer “quality” that is available here! After all those fake handbags overseas I wonder if I don’t need a nice new one to get me started in civilisation again? Just need to find one that is lightweight!

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