part and parcel: Erin.

i’ve been doing part and parcel for a few years now, and never tire at getting a look at what my friends – and some strangers – consider their daily essentials. especially find it interesting when it’s in a different setting than what i’m used to. while Erin and hang out much more regularly as city people now, it all started on the trail. the contents of her hiking backpack familiar with – she always has great snacks and bug spray when i forget it – but her purse i’m not acquainted with.

let’s peek inside Erin’s bag, shall we?

this has made me come to realize i keep basically nothing in my purse.

peppermint rocky mountain soap company lip butter
because ain’t nobody got time for crusty lips and alberta is dry as hell.

lemongrass rocky mountain soap company hand lotion
for the same reasons above regarding hands. ;)

skull candy headphones
>because music is a must while taking transit or going for a walk.

swell bottle
full of lemon water because hydration is key.

iphone charger and a battery pack
because i’m on my phone way too much and it will most likely die before i get to where i’m going.

calgary public library card
because we are lucky to have such a large library system and you never know when you might need a good book!

that’s it! other than my wallet/keys/phone which i think are givens.

what are your pure must-haves?

part and parcel: Chrissy.

i love nicknames. my best friend and i had one for every guy we dated. looking back at it, i can barely remember their real names, but i know every nickname associated with each gem.

Chrissy loves them, too. i don’t know about her dating life, but her friends all get a delicious alias – it only makes sense for a food blogger. along with drool-worthy recipes, Chrissy details her travels on her blog the hungary buddha eats the world.

from healthy to decadent, europe to alaska, Chrissy writes about it all. not surprisingly, her purse has a very similar theme. let’s take a peek.

for a long time i didn’t even carry a purse. i was a tomboy to the nth degree, and a purse just seemed so…girly. it took me until after college, really, to get over it. maybe after law school? anyway, i was a late bloomer when it comes to purses, but now that i’m old i’ve made up for lost time, and they’re one of my favourite things to buy.

what’s in mine? well, not too many exciting things, but here we go:

a little thing of vaseline
i’m a mouth breather (tmi?) and so have the driest lips on the planet. chapstick just doesn’t cut it.

why does my nose always drip? and not just in the winter!

for a long time, i just had a wristlet that i used as a wallet and my friends mocked me endlessly, particularly when the “leather” on it started to crack. finally, i got myself a big girl wallet and i’m particularly fond of mine from stella & dot.

a pen
more specifically, a fun pen that i won’t forget and that no one will want to steal. since i just got back from Disney, the one i currently carry has Mickey ears.

an umbrella
i used to live in Chicago (until 2 months ago!) and always had an umbrella because…you never know. also, it was a hard core, two layer windproof umbrella because….Chicago. anyway, old habits die hard and i still carry it around.

gotta have chocolate, usually one of a little fancier variety that i want to eat square by square rather than all at once. whatever chocolate bar i have tends to actually last quite a while because, if i’m honest, i’m an excellent ration-er of treats. currently: vosges blood orange caramel (a stowaway from Chicago).

usually of the hotel stowaway variety. currently, i’m using this lovely grapefruit scent from H20.

a gazillion receipts (not pictured)
why do i hoard receipts? i don’t know, but there are always at least three loose ones messing up the works.

international currency
i’m not so good at cleaning out my purse or my wallet. i usually have leftover currency from wherever i traveled last. currently: $5CAD and a few loonies.

because you never know when there will be a postcard emergency.

what are your purse essentials?

part and parcel: Jen.

have you ever daydreamed of quitting your job to travel with no fixed address? that’s exactly what Jen and her husband Tom are doing. they’ve been scheming for two years and as of the end of this month, they are off to Japan to start a year full of travel. with stops in Cambodia, Croatia, Bali, and Bolivia – to name a few – the itinerary will give them a taste of the entire world.

i’m looking forward to living vicariously through her photos and blog posts. i was happy to see Austria on the list, as it’s one of my favourite places in europe. if you haven’t been, you definitely should! the architecture, the mountains, the whimsical beauty. i’m swooning pretty hard from memories alone!

as Jen’s packing her bags to leave calgary, she’s sharing with us her favourite travel daypack essentials!


these are the things i always either have in my purse or in a travel daypack:

eating at restaurants gets old when you’re travelling, not to mention expensive. i love going to grocery stores or farmers markets and picking out items to make myself a picnic lunch. the spork comes in handy all the time for eating on the go.

wet wipes
from cleaning my hands when there is no soap in the bathroom or after eating a particularly messy ice cream cone, i never travel without them.

i am obsessive about using sunscreen. i love the sun and don’t like to stick to the shade but i also don’t want my skin to look like a prune as i age, so daily sunscreen protection is key.

the ultimate travel accessory. it instantly dresses up an outfit, covers your shoulders when needed for modesty in temples and churches, keeps you warm when the sun goes down, acts as a travel pillow on long bus or car rides and works as a beach towel or picnic blanket when needed.

lonely planet travel book
yes, i’m that traveler! i love the Lonely Planet travel books. they always find me the best places to visit, eat and stay. plus in areas where you don’t want to hire a guide, you can act as your own tour guide with the help of the book. i often rip out pages of my book to throw into my purse so i don’t have to carry the whole book around with me. it might make it less usable in the future but it’s more convenient at the time and you look like less of a tourist.

toilet paper 
if there’s one thing i’ve learned from traveling around the world, it’s that toilet paper is a luxury! i always carry a stash in my purse and restock before i leave a hotel.

portable phone charger
like most people i use my phone a lot and when i’m travelling i never want to be stranded without it in case something happens or i need the GPS (i’m hopeless with directions).

camelbak UV purifier
when you’re in countries where the tap water isn’t drinkable, the cost of bottled water can really add up. that’s why i carry a UV water filter. within seconds my water is safe to drink and i can save my travel dollars for wine instead of water.

camera (nikon 1 J5)
i refuse to let all my travel memories be captured on an iPhone camera. so even though it’s sometimes bulky to carry around, my nikon is always with me.

what are your travel essentials?