· Reading Material: I love sneakers and have worked in footwear for many years, so I read all the specialty magazines, like Sneaker Freaker. I read non-fiction almost exclusively, mostly business books, but I also have a small set of classic fiction which I read over and over again. This time itís Catís Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. I read 10 of his books in a row once, as Iím a little obsessive like that. He was just a brilliant writer and I donít know anyone who thought like he did.
· Easy Crosswords: These allow you to really tune out, but also keep your brain active. For someone who probably has ADD, these are therapeutic.
· Bose Noise Canceling Headphones: These revolutionized air travel for me. If you fly, you need these. Period.
· IPod Nano: Admittedly, this device is way too small for its own good.
· T-shirt (H&M) and Socks (Happy Socks): On most flights thereís a risk of lost luggage. On a flight with a connection itís pretty much guaranteed that your luggage will be lost. Having back-up essentials in your carry-on can make a huge difference in the 48 hours it takes for the airline to get your bag back to you.
· Toothbrush and toothpaste: See above.
· Blow up pillow: I typically donít work on planes, but I do sleep a lot, so the pillow is essential. And Iím not paying the airline $5 for one of the pillows that resembles a large tea bag. Having a blow up one also saves a ton of space. No self respecting person should be walking around the airport with a big foam horseshoe around their neck.
· Maps (various): I just collect these along the way. I donít use them for directions, I just like to know where I am in the larger context of the city or country. I also have a train timetable from my parentsí house in England into Waterloo Station in London, which is really useful here in Southern California.
· Eyewear: When you have no hair, eyeglasses are the only way to have any fun from the neck up.
· Clif Bar: I always take one of these on long flights, as it might be the only healthy item you can buy from Hudson News. It contains every food group known to man compressed into a dense brick that feels like youíve eaten an anvil, but will keep you going for hours.
· Medication: I always carry Dramamine and never use it. I think thatís part of having anxiety. Tylenol PM is for night flights and works like a charm.
· Reading Light: If itís dark, I think itís bad form to blast your entire row with the overhead light, so I use a smaller portable version.
· Highlighter Pen: I have really bad short term memory, so I read books with a highlighter, and mark the parts I want to remember, and then go back and find them later.
· Phone: I have no explanation as to why I still have a Blackberry and havenít switched to the iPhone yet.
[Photo: Barney Waters]