What's in My Bag

What’s in my bag? — Ida Yalzadeh


What's in my bag? issue #68

Sign up here to get What’s in my bag? a week early in your inbox.

Ida Yalzadeh is a writer and educator based in Chicago, IL. She researches on the histories of race & U.S. empire and teaches Asian American Studies courses. She also recently started a newsletter chronicling her thoughts at tinydriver.substack.com. You can also find her on twitter @idyalz.


About the bag

Arc’teryx Granville 20 Backpack ($199): The perfect waterproof backpack for me that’s lightweight and durable. It’s lasted a while and I like that it is fairly sleek and doesn’t come with a bunch of pockets everywhere.

What’s inside the bag

Spirit Speak Tarot Deck ($43): These tarot cards are great for traveling and carrying day-to-day because they are the size of playing cards. The size also makes it perfect to chuck into your bag if you’re meeting friends for a socially distant hang and want to do a little reading to change up the conversation. Mary Elizabeth Evans, the deck’s artist, designed the illustrations to be intuitive to each card’s meaning and rife with symbolism. Although I am fairly new to tarot, this deck has been a joy to learn with, and I love pulling it out when I want to be reflective.

Living for Change by Grace Lee Boggs ($20): I always have a book with me when I go out. I’m currently reading the autobiography of Grace Lee Boggs, Living for Change, which talks about her life as an activist for racial, economic, and social justice. Not only is the writing accessible and compelling, but the stories she tells about her time in Detroit are unforgettable.

Hyde Park Hat: When I still lived in New England, this hat was gifted to me by one of my friends along with the note: “Sending you all the best vibes from the place where your brain first grew big.” I went to college on the South Side of Chicago in Hyde Park, and the message reminds me of my time there in the best way. I always carry it in my bag during the colder months because sometimes a hooded jacket is not enough!

Yunai/Akko and Itoi Glitter pouch: I picked this up on my trip to Japan last year because I loved how playful it was. The pouch is in collaboration with the Hobonichi brand, which makes planners that I’ve been using for years now. It’s the perfect size to hold smaller items (hand sanitizer, gum, lens cloth, chapstick, etc.) so that they aren’t thrown all over my bag.

-- Ida Yalzadeh 09/23/20

© 2022