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LIVING MY GAP YEAR

It's all in the Bag

Zuzu Tadeushuk

Whether I’m out for a day in New York, Paris, or the hilly little city of A Coruña on the Northern coast of Spain as I am today, I like to have a soft and capacious purse on hand to accommodate the melange of curiosities I insist on dragging everywhere with me. Recently I received Elleme's versatile and quaintly titled 'Raisin Bag' (elleme.com, $535), and it has lived up to my peculiar portaging demands this week while I shuttle to and from work at Zara's headquarters with enough trinkets and projects in my bag to entertain an army. Bumping off one shoulder on any given day and on any given side of the globe you may depend on finding:

—A book (currently “POND” by Claire Louise Bennet, Fitzcarraldo Editions £10.99)

—A journal (currently a nice big leather thing I got at Anthropologie ages ago and which is by now thoroughly faded, stained, and tattered from inumerable trips and only has two remaining blank pages)

—A poetry journal (Moleskine, $9.95), little unlined "cashier" paperbacks that I buy in bulk and fill almost monthly. These are for the little half-formed thoughts and disembodied lines of free verse that flicker by when one is on the subway, in an elevator, brushing one's teeth

—Multiple pens to meet all these scribal needs (Muji .38mm, $1.50)

—A highlighter, cause it feels smart to carry a highlighter

 —Weleda chapstick (Weleda $7); a tasteless, scentless, healing beeswax salve that I with my perpetually peeling lips survive by

—A yellow plastic finger puppet, which I photograph in each new place I visit. In this line of business, after all, you never know when you'll be walking by one of the seven wonders of the world

—A sleep mask (in this line of business, after all, you never know either when you'll be hopping on a plane, and beauty sleep is paramount). 

—a disposable camera, because apparently film is the new iPhone

—a collection of coffee shop “loyalty” cards, in varying degrees of achieving a free latte

—a collection of metro cards that I lose and find on various days and in varying rotations. I have to buy multiple for each city I stay in, and lost or found, my ways to get around are ever changing, depending on the day, the weather, my mood. As are the contents of my bag. These objects I carry, these ways to remember things, learn things, and forget things all lie collected in their assorted forms in my purse wherever I roam so that depending on the day, the weather, my mood, I may meet each experience, the modeling life and the traveler's mind, and ingest it as seems fit.