Fitting my office into a backpack for our world trip

**I posted this originally on my company blog, leahremillet.com but wanted to share it here as well!

Making the decision to travel full-time as a family was probably the most exciting (and life changing) decision we’ve made since deciding to start having babies. We packed up our house, put everything we owned inside a storage shed and took our three kiddos to explore the world.

But before we got on that first flight bound for London, there were some logistics that were really hard to wrap my head around. Probably the biggest being, how I was going to condense my big office (that I absolutely adore) to fitting inside a backpack. I can’t even tell you how much time was spent trying to figure out how this was ever going to work.

I searched on the girl boss’s version of Google (Pinterest of course) but with no help. That’s why I wanted to blog about this, maybe someone else out there is trying to figure out how to become truly virtual too.

My plan was to work while we traveled, so I needed all of my essentials. It’s funny because I had always thought of myself as “virtual” since I do work from home but I quickly realized that I only seemed to know how to work from my big pink chair.

I needed to learn a whole new skill. I needed to learn how to work from anywhere in the world. From London to Hong Kong, Tokyo to Bali… All places we’ve been in the past year. I had no idea how this was going to work!

So the challenge was to fit my office into a backpack. I needed to get down to the absolute necessities. I’ll admit there were some moments where trying to convince myself that gold staples and pretty Kate Spade trinket dishes were not crucial, it wasn’t easy! What can I say, I’ve always been a sucker for the details.

Knowing this change was coming, I worked my way down from dual monitors to one monitor to finally a laptop. I purchased a portable storage drive from Costco and got everything that I was going to need, stored on the drive with a backup in the cloud and a backup in Dropbox. It was important to have a portable hard drive that did not rely on internet connection to get what I needed because I knew there were times I might have zero access for days.

Today I thought it would be fun to show you what made the list, and after months of traveling what has become my absolute must-haves.

This is it! This is my must have list. The only thing not pictured is a universal adapter for my laptop charger by Twelve South. I got mine from The Apple Store and love it because it gives me one extra USB port, and let me tell you – that extra port becomes incredibly valuable when you have as many devices as we do and you’re looking at an outlet that is not a match to all your charging prongs.

I also knew I would need a mouse! Most wouldn’t need it but I’m special (and not in a good way in this instance). Even after months of working on my laptop now, I’m still slow with the trackpad. With a mouse comes the need for a pad, so my weekly schedule notepad doubles as a mousepad.

So in the backpack, I have one medium size zipper pouch that holds my portable hard drive, mouse, small notebooks, pens, earbuds, and thumb drive.

Then I have a larger journal for sketching out ideas and thoughts, my schedule pad that does double duty as a mousepad, and a little coin purse for money, transportation cards, and Starbucks gift cards (my typical workplace when I need a quiet space. Well, quieter than being surrounded by the family in our latest AirBnB. And then, of course, I have my cell phone.

I never want to lose this availably to truly be virtual. It’s incredibly liberating. It took a bit of getting used to, but now that I am – I love it!

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leah

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