IN FOR THE LONG HAUL

I STARTED the big daily commute this month and a couple of weeks in I am recalling the pain of shuffling along train station platforms with...


I STARTED the big daily commute this month and a couple of weeks in I am recalling the pain of shuffling along train station platforms with other travel-weary daily commuters, fumbling for tickets and loose change, thinking up absurd ways to amuse one’s self for the long haul to work and back home, juggling all that has to be done at work within the finite hours available between commutes and juggling the routine at home so you can do it all again the following day.

One of the commuter issues I have been grappling with is the packing of my bag. You may recall I used to carry a basket. Baskets are not designed for tucking yourself quickly and discreetly into that middle seat of the three-person bench on an Oscar. I scoured eBay and op shops for weeks to find the perfect satchel or backpack and was rewarded last week when I bid for, and won, this backpack. It’s the right size for my notebook computer, a book, a magazine, lunch, a lippy, comb, pens, phone, Keep Cup ... you know, the essentials.

What do you carry? How long did it take you to work out your ideal system?

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12 comments

  1. I wish I had a system! I have waaaay too many handbags and I chop and change depending on where I'm going and what I need to carry. For a workday, it's usually my backpack/handbag so I can sling it on my back and be hands free.

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  2. trust you to be so stylish with your work bag. i find having just the right bag to grab on the way out the door to be good for the spirits, especially if scored for a bargin as i trust you did. goodluck for the week ahead madame nuts xx

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  3. I have a five minute trip and still carry enough for a year ! Good luck with your tripping .

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  4. I usually carry two bags!! One with lunch and knitting and the other is my handbag. I really need to consolidate!!

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  5. That bag looks great. I kind of miss the commute to work, I loved being able to sit and read on the bus or train. Now it's dashing to work in traffic after dropping the kids at school.

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  6. I did the commute to sydney for two years and found one bag that could hold all my bits and pieces to be the best option, inc. computer in a sleeve, water bottle, reading material, journal, sketch book, lunch etc... I carried a lot of stuff!

    I don't really miss commuting, but there is one thing about that I do miss and that is the time that you have to yourself to read, think, dream... oh and the view over the hawkesbury in the early morning.

    Hope your trips are pleasurable.

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  7. I have a (purchased) black leather handbag, and a homemade small fabric bag for my lunch and knitting.

    Also, I thought a Keep Cup was another thing entirely until I followed your link.

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  8. I don't commute by public transport very often (she says, with great guilt, but it would take double the time) but when I do it's a nightmare as I have to carry reading matter, lunch, snacks, and the essentials like wallet, phone, water, lip balm, Keep Cup when I think I'm going to need it, cardigan/jacket/scarf because it's Melbourne so you never know, umbrella for the same reason etc. I'm still looking for the perfect bag that will fit all this but look stylish... I doubt I'll ever find it! The worst thing is when I swap bags and forget the lip balm... if there's one essential item, that would have to be it.

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  9. the perfect bag. Can't believe you can fit all those essentials + your laptop! It takes me a half hour on the bus to work through winding streets and over a couple of hills. I usually take a book. mag and ipod but often just sit and look out the window. I think if I had an hour long trip I would take my trusty old school thermos.

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  10. Wow four hours. On a train from your description? You could become an expert on a subject or hone your knitting or crochet skills. P.S. Big fan of the basket a la Birkin - but am finding there is no end to buying baskets :)

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  11. I used to commute for 1.5 hours each way for a number of years and I don't think my need to carry everything but the kitchen sink has ever really left me! I drive to work but like some of your other readers I still carry two bags (one for water bottle, lippy, phone, purse, various small zipped bags full who knows what, pens, keys, small toys, snacks, notebooks etc) and one for book, knitting etc. I often ask myself, 'Do I really need all this stuff?' but everytime I try to cut down or change bags I always seem to leave out just the wrong thing!

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  12. Wow. That's some serious commute!

    I'm actually not really commuting at the moment. I'm mostly working from home. But, if I'm not lugging my sewing machines into the shop for my one day a week of work, I take my bike. It has a big basket on the back, big enough to carry my gocco, lunch, water, and other little crafty goodies.

    I bet in those commute hours you would read a lot of books...?

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