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What’s in your bag? A Conference Survival Pack;

Lydia Wilkins is a trainee journalist and Blogger. She blogs to document her Asperger’s Syndrome. Her hero is Harold Evans (investigative journalist). Her special interest is the poetry of Sylvia Plath. Lydia’s blog can be found at

What’s in my bag for conference day?

My name is Lydia Wilkins; I am eighteen, and I have Aspergers Syndrome. I document this over on my blog at

One of the things that I find hardest is to adapt to situations-be it social (when I was at school), or getting a train from A to B. Usually this takes a lot of planning-I talk my route through with someone, write instructions out, check train websites in case of strikes.

But I also think that being prepared with what you bring along with you can be a big help. For that reason, I am going to show you what’s in my bag for conference day. (Sadly I can’t come as I live too far away, and I have the exam that day. However, this is what I take with me to any other event in my capacity as a trainee journalist and as an individual with Aspergers.

The bag:

This is the bag I keep for ‘best’-to be smart, I guess. It’s from New Look, and you can buy it here.

The idea of the bag is to carry all I need for the day, but also to be comfortable-so not too weighted, and not to go against my sensory needs. (Some material I cannot stand the feel of.)

What’s inside?

This is what’s inside my bag!

Short answer: a lot. There’s a lot of stuff-some things are essential, but some are for me to adapt to my surroundings:

Essentials for travelling:

When travelling, I usually make a list of what to pack first, as not to miss out what is essential. In my bag you can see my purse (in blue); this has money for food, if there’s an emergency, etc. Towards the front you can see my ‘travelling essentials’; tickets, a card holder (for railcard, said tickets, and my press cards), and underneath is the instructions for travel. I also take a phone charger with me in case of emergency. Oh, and my door key.

For the conference:

I have a notebook with me (although I do take it with me wherever I go.) The notebook with books on the front is acting as my jotter-so, if there’s anything important, like a guest speaker or lecture, I can take notes. It’s also an important tool for networking. I also have a collection of pens. So I don’t run out, and I have a variety to suit me-a Bic makes my handwriting neater, but a pencil is for doodling. I also take a perfume bottle (albeit tiny) with me; there are also a variety of lip products. This is to be a little bit more professional by blending into, and adapting to, my surroundings. There’s also the post-its for quick jottings.

For me being on Spectrum:

A lot of what is in my bag derives directly to me being on spectrum, and the need to adapt to new surroundings:

Planner: This is my moleskin daily planner (hardcover, large). It keeps track of all my appointments. As well as this, it also notes when my blog posts are going live, when members of my family are away, what time to get trains, etc. Without it, I would be lost.

Dr Paw Paw: Can you see the pink peach tube to the left (bottom) of the photo? This is a multi-purpose balm, and is one of the few products that meets my sensory needs. It can sculpt hair, as a blush, as hand cream, for dry skin.

Headphones: Noise is overwhelming. Plugged into my phone, this blocks this out. And it’s useful for on the train.

What is in your bag?

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