With the Olympics around the corner, women’s handbags trends are racing toward the finish line with all things athletic. Perforated leather, mesh paneling, and athletic detailing are being woven into all pieces. And these aren’t just for gym bags and backpacks, it’s for every day, take me anywhere use.

Don’t worry guys – you get to look stylish in a “manly” way too. Billy Reid has a range of leather bags made especially for men which will be the envy of everyone at the gym or going to work.

These are certainly a step up from the original duffle bag (the name comes from Duffel, a town in Belgium where the thick cloth used to make the bag originated) which are still used by military personnel.


Trying to remember which converter to take to a country to make sure you can charge everything, dry your hair and do the ironing.

Start by taking a look at the back of the device you want to use. If it says something like “100-240V, 50/60 Hz”, it will work anywhere in the world with the right adapters. Connecting a device to a lower voltage than it was designed for is generally not dangerous; the device may not work correctly, but no dramatic failure is likely. Giving any device a voltage higher than it was designed for is dangerous eg if you put 230 volts into a 110V it will melt or explode!

There are only two main types of electric systems used around the world:
100-127 volt, at 60 hertz frequency (in general: North and Central Americas, Western Japan)
220-240 volt, at 50 hertz frequency (in general: the rest of the world, with some exceptions)

Originally Europe was 120 V too, just like Japan and the US today. It was deemed necessary to increase voltage to get more power with less losses and voltage drop from the same copper wire diameter. At the time the US also wanted to change but because of the cost involved to replace all electric appliances, they decided not to. At the time (50s-60s) the average US household already had a fridge, a washing-machine, etc., but Europe did not.

But don’t despair, most mobile phones and digital cameras chargers work with both 110V and 240V systems, though you may still need an adaptor plug or have to use the shaver socket.

Here is a list of plug sockets and voltage for your next trip –


My “never travel without” item is a cashmere pashmina I bought while in India on a business trip 7 years ago. Besides keeping me warm, it can dress up any item when heading to the office, and here are some ways to wear it.

1. Wear your pashmina as a shawl.
2. Make a full shawl wrap – drape the pashmina around you, like a shawl, and then tie the ends in front of your chest
3. Wear it the European way – fold the pashmina in half and drape it around your neck. Bring the loose ends through the loop and pull them through
4. Make an artistic knot. Slide the wrap around your neck and tie a loose knot in the middle of the right side and pass the left side through it, then tighten the knot.
5. Create a shorter scarf – crease and fold the pashmina lengthwise three or four times.
6. Dress up your coat – fold the fabric four times lengthwise and drape it around your shoulders under the collar of your coat.
7. Slip on a sarong. Wrap the scarf around your waist and tie the ends together at the hip. Wear this sarong over fitted pants, a skirt or a dress.

And when buying a pashmina, neutral colors are the most versatile. Spice colors suit people with darker skin tones, while camel, ivories and beiges are best for those with pale complexions.


What are your top 5 must have’s for your carry on luggage/handbag when flying?
Here are mine -

1. Pashmina (a great one I bought in India)
2. Phone charger
3. Hand sanitizer
4. Paw paw cream – can be used for lip gloss, moisturiser, insect bites
5. Sunglasses


Have a ton of old headphones laying around that aren’t comfortable or don’t fit well? Try these

The new latest and greatest are sculpted headphones that are actually molded to fit into your ear – very cool idea and perfect for the gym or using on the plane.


If you are embarking on a flight anytime soon (or have a long commute to work each day), here are a few of my favourite books that may help pass the time away. All are non-fiction, and yes have a common theme of people and sport, BUT you don’t have to be an avid sports fan to enjoy them. They are great stories.

1. Born to Run – Christopher McDougall
2. Open – Andre Agassi
3. Racing Through the Dark – David Millar



Trouble sleeping after a long day at work? Drift off listening to whatever takes your fancy with an iPillow. No uncomfortable headphones needed, just relax and dream away. And I am sure something you can even take on the road with you to help with jetlag.