Category Archives: Travel

Review – Nomatic Messenger Bag

As anyone who follows me on social media knows – whether on the road for my job or vacationing with my wife – I do a fair amount of travel. One thing my wife and I are (possibly unhealthily) addicted to is finding travel hacks, travel gear, and travel clothing that makes our time on the road more efficient and comfortable.

Luggage, packing cubes, water bottles, clothing, shoes, toiletries – you name it, we’ve looked into products that are built with the traveler in mind. My last post I wrote about the Apple AirPods that I’ve begun using, especially while traveling. They’re intuitive and very useful for an Apple person like me. So, I thought I’d write about some other products that I use for travel. Hopefully, you’ll find it useful, and if I hurt your wallet, sorry!

First, the “problem.” For a long time now, my personal bag (where I keep my iPad, phones, keys, headphones, etc.) while traveling has been a backpack, currently an Osprey. It’s a very good daypack, but in the end it’s a backpack. I’ve been wanting to find a more efficient and elegant solution, especially for work and air travel when I dress more smartly and when a backpack is less than ideal.

A few month ago, I started to look at messenger bags when I came across the company Nomatic (actually, I think my wife found them first, which is normally how thing work:-)

Nomatic is a company that crowdfunded their bags on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, beginning with a large travel bag before moving on to smaller versions, including a backpack. Each of their campaigns have been very successful. They also have a laptop bag along with the messenger bag I purchased. Their current crowdfunding campaign is for a line of luggage…no, we’re not thinking of buying them…seriously…well, maybe the large checked bag. Sometime in future because we obviously don’t need it now.

So, the Nomatic Messenger.

Messenger with my water bottle in one of the magnetic bottle holders.

First off, I like the techie, modern look of the bag. Right off you can see the two magnetic bottle holders. When a bottle is removed, a little nudge puts the holder flush against the bag like the one on the left. The bag is water resistant, and I can attest to the claim. Empty, the bag is 3.8 lbs, so it certainly isn’t light.

So, what’s so great about this bag? When it comes to either my EDC or travel gear, I want everything to have its place; Nomatic bags have a lot of pockets and places for my stuff.

The outer compartment.

This outer compartment has the four little pockets you see, places for pens, plus two zippered pockets – one of which is RFID-blocking and lockable (a great place for your passport). The white cord on the left is connected to a power bank; it is threaded up to an easily accessible phone pocket so you can charge your phone while you store it.

The main compartment.

The main compartment has a zippered pocket you can see part of on the bottom of the picture. The main feature, however, is the customizable interior. The bag comes with two different storage sleeves that velcro to the back of the compartment. Utilizing the velcro dividers, the one pictured can have one, two, or three spaces for your stuff. The other sleeve is more for documents. The bag also comes with a sunglasses case (seen on the left).

Laptop and tablet compartments.

On the left side of the bag you can see the two different compartments for a laptop and tablet respectively. Very protective and very easy to access. On the right side is another view of the pass-through for the power bank cord. This also provides a good view of the ingenious shoulder strap with magnetic clasps. My only beef with the strap is that since it can rotate 360-degrees, it can get easily twisted; it also can just as easily be untwisted.

A look at everything I had in my bag for my most recent trip.

Overall, I’m very happy with this bag. It holds everything I need for both work and leisure travel, has a place for everything, and is much more efficient than a backpack. You can check the company out for yourself here.

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Impressions of Bhutan

Bhutan. Land of the Thunder Dragon. Some call it a modern day Shangri-la. I call it a beautiful country steeped in tradition that my wife and I had the good fortune of visiting on our most recent vacation. I know what you’re thinking. “Oh yeah, Bhutan…that’s where now?” The Kingdom of Bhutan is a small (around the size of Switzerland), land-locked country nestled in the eastern range of the Himalayas between India and China. Its history is rooted in protecting its sacred traditions but the last forty years has seen its monarchs slowly open the country to the modern world while simultaneously safeguarding its heritage. Continue reading


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It’s the Little Things

My wife and I have been in Korea for about four months now. There are things that I miss about living in the U.S. and there are things I love about living in Korea. Obviously, I miss my friends and family, and living in an Asian culture certainly takes some getting used to, but here are a few things I like about Korea that I wish we would adopt in the United States: Continue reading

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Episode VI: The Return of the Blogger (Part 2)

After a vacation for the ages with my wife and her family, we said goodbye to Virginia Beach and the Army School of Music, which had been our home for five years. We’ll always carry a lot of wonderful memories to go with the occasional headaches, but we were more than ready to move on to our next adventure – Korea. Thankfully, our flight to Korea took us through Seattle, giving us the opportunity to visit with two of our closest friends and their family before the long flight through Japan to Osan Airforce Base. When we finally did arrive at United States Army Garrison Yongsan, which is located in the Republic of Korea’s capital city of Seoul, we were excited to hit the ground running, taking very little time before wondering off base. Continue reading

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Episode VI: The Return of the Blogger (Part 1)

It’s been a long, long time since I last published a post on this blog. I could say I had a good reason, but the truth is I let my busy work schedule be an excuse to do other things…like watch “Blacklist” and “Agents of Shield.” The truth is that I think deep down I felt like I had said all I wanted to say about my time at the Army School of Music – I was there for five years after all – and was hoping that a return to the “operational” domain (i.e., serving at a band) would inspire me to write again…almost true. I did feel inspired to write again, but I also felt a little overwhelmed with moving to a foreign country and the new job, so I again made excuses. No more. For the five of you who have been hoping I would return to this space, the wait is over. Continue reading

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