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What’s in my bag: everyday essentials for freelancers

If you're always on the go, these may be useful for you too

Here at The Tempest, we’ve started a new monthly series: What’s in my bag?

In this series, we’ll have The Tempest Staff members and fellows give you a glimpse of what they carry every day and what makeup they use on a daily basis. This month, for our series, you’ll catch a glimpse of Staff Writer, India Kushner’s freelancing essentials:

While the majority of the time I’m toting around my computer backpack (thanks to my freelance life), there are a few essentials I always have on hand.

Photo of India Kushner sitting outside. She has long brown hair and brown eyes and wears a blue floral blouse. Behind her a mural of a woman on a wooden house, green tables, and red metal folding chairs
[Image Description: Photo of India Kushner sitting outside. She has long brown hair and brown eyes and wears a blue floral blouse. Behind her a mural of a woman on a wooden house, green tables, and red metal folding chairs] Photo by Sonam Kushner.
While the majority of the time I’m toting around my computer backpack (thanks to my freelance life), there are a few essentials I always have on hand. Click To Tweet

Badger Chapstick

Badger Lavender and Orange Lip Balm
[Image Description: Badger Lavender and Orange Lip Balm] Photo via Amazon.
As someone who suffers from dry skin, having a good chapstick on hand is a must. I love Badger because the ingredients are organic and the scents are lovely. My favorite is the lavender and orange flavor because it’s so relaxing, but Badger has a variety to choose from.

A good lipstick

Marc Jacobs Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Lipstick
[Image Description: Marc Jacobs Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Lipstick] Photo via Amazon.
Being constantly on the go often means I wind up at networking events or hanging out with friends, so I always make sure to carry lipstick with me in case I need to look a little nicer. I really like this mini Marc Jacobs lipstick, but it’s definitely for a treat yo’self day. When I need a good lipstick that’s less of a splurge, I like to wear something like this Color Crush lipstick from The Body Shop.

Being constantly on the go often means I wind up at networking events or hanging out with friends so I always make sure to carry lipstick with me in case I need to look a little nicer. Click To Tweet
A rose colored lipstick called Japanese Blossom that is open with the cap standing to the left of the lipstick
[Image Description: A rose-colored lipstick called Japanese Blossom that is open with the cap standing to the left of the lipstick] Photo via The Body Shop

Resilient hair ties

A box of colorful hair ties
[Image Description: A box of colorful hair ties] Photo via AliExpress
As someone with extremely thick hair, having hair ties that stand the test of time is very important. When I’m ready to get to work, like Violet Baudelaire, I like pulling my hair back so I can think clearly. I use strong hair ties like these because they come in bulk in a variety of colors and they don’t break too easily.

When I'm ready to get to work, like Violet Baudelaire, I like pulling my hair back so I can think clearly. Click To Tweet

A cute cosmetic case

A zipper pouch that says in bold font She Wants the D and then in small letters estruction of the patriarchy
[Image Description: A zipper pouch that says in bold font She Wants the D and then in small letters destruction of the patriarchy] Photo via Amazon
It seems like every so often my bag turns into a mixed up dumping ground for hastily written notes to myself or even items I thought I lost a long time ago. I try to keep things organized by having a zippered pouch to hold my hair ties, chapstick, and lipstick. A friend who visited Southeast Asia gave me one with an elephant on it made from sequins but I’ve been eyeing this one for a while as mine needs to be retired soon.

Quirky keyrings

No Face from Spirited Away, a character with a black cape and white mask that has red stripes over the eyes. It carries a blue umbrella
[Image Description: No Face from Spirited Away, a character with a black cape and white mask that has red stripes over the eyes. It carries a blue umbrella] Photo via Amazon
What’s life without a ton of keys? I love the freelance life but it can sometimes be a struggle to make ends meet. Because of that, I sometimes work at a clothing store on the weekends to make ends meet meaning on top of my house keys, I also have store keys. I keep it all separated by having different fun keyrings to distinguish them. I have a bicycle keychain that doubles as a bottle opener to remind me of my time spent abroad in Copenhagen. This keyring with No Face from Spirited Away is cute and will make spotting your keys at the bottom of your bag easy.

This keyring with No Face from Spirited Away is cute and will make spotting your keys at the bottom of your bag easy. Click To Tweet

A notebook for creative ideas

A blue notebook standing on one's end. It is closed with an elastic closure wrapped around it and is embossed in silver on the front. The cover features the Ravenclaw crest from the Harry Potter series, a raven sitting on a tree
[Image Description: A blue notebook standing on one’s end. It is closed with an elastic closure wrapped around it and is embossed in silver on the front. The cover features the Ravenclaw crest from the Harry Potter series, a raven sitting on a tree] Photo via Amazon.
As a writer and poet, I always have ideas milling through my head so having a cute notebook on hand is key. This one fits my personality because I’m a big Harry Potter nerd and my favorite color is blue.

As a writer and poet, I always have ideas milling through my head so having a cute notebook on hand is key. Click To Tweet

A nice pen

A black Uniball rollerball pen standing on its point
[Image Description: A black Uniball rollerball pen standing on its point] Photo via Paperchase.
With all that writing, I enjoy having a decent pen to jot down ideas, rather than just a free ballpoint pen. I enjoy pens that write really easily so the words can flow and preferably in black.

A useful wallet

A grey leather wallet that is sitting upright
[Image Description: A grey leather wallet that is sitting upright] Photo via Amazon.
Having a practical wallet is very important for me because I’m very forgetful and liable to lose things. Being able to keep all my credit cards, money, and many punch cards organized helps ease this stress a lot. I currently have a slate grey one from Hobo with an orange interior. The splash of color makes this utilitarian wallet anything but boring.

The splash of color makes this utilitarian wallet anything but boring. Click To Tweet

A grey handbag on the floor. A set of keys with a bicycle keychain lay on top of it. Above it is a small black zippered pouch with an elephant made out of sequins, a grey wallet that's open to show an orange exterior, a lipstick, chapstick, a blue hair elastic, and a notebook with the Ravenclaw crest from Harry Potter. On top of the notebook is a blue and white pen that says doodles on it
[Image Description: A grey handbag on the floor. A set of keys with a bicycle keychain lay on top of it. Above it is a small black zippered pouch with an elephant made out of sequins, a grey wallet that’s open to show an orange exterior, a lipstick, chapstick, a blue hair elastic, and a notebook with the Ravenclaw crest from Harry Potter. On top of the notebook is a blue and white pen that says doodles on it] Photo by India Kushner
Thanks for letting me give you this peek into my bag!