Micheline Maynard is something of a renaissance woman. The former New York Times Detroit bureau chief covers the auto industry, transportation, the reinvention of the US economy, travel, food, sports . . . you name it. She writes the Voyages blog at Forbes.com, contributes to Atlantic Cities, and indulges her foodie alter ego at her blog, Culinary Woman. She recently led the public-radio project Changing Gears, which examined the rebirth of Rust Belt cities around the Midwest. Maynard currently is the Reynolds Visiting Professor of Business Journalism at Central Michigan University. She unpacked her “little office on wheels” for Melissa Richards, one of her students.


(Melissa Richards)

1. Burberry raincoat
2. Insulated mug. “It’s my little reminder of home.”
3. Empty water bottle. She fills it after passing through security. “Airport water prices are ridiculous,” and “it’s important to stay hydrated while traveling.”
4. Grape-Nuts. For when she arrives at her destination late and hungry.
5. Granola bars. “It’s good to have a healthy snack if you are somewhere for hours.”
6. Bamboo portable cutlery set. Great for travel. It includes a fork, spoon, knife, and chopsticks. (She loves Asian food.)
7. iPad. She uses a flight-awareness app to track her route.
8. iPhone. For the camera and recording app as much as for the phone.
9. Flashlight. “For when the power goes out, or if you drop something behind a table.”
10. Broadcast-quality headphones
11. Powertrip. This portable battery charger works with all devices and has enough power to charge four phones.
12. MacBook
13. Pens and Sharpie. The blue pen is her favorite book-signing pen; she got it from a shop that matches you with your perfect pen.
14. Moleskine notebooks. A large one for speech notes, and a smaller one for business cards.
15. Business cards. Her personal card, and one for her food blog, which is “about finding quality food on the road.”
16. Blue folder. For hotel and car-rental confirmations.
17. Plastic clips. To keep hotel curtains shut, and hang wet socks or other garments.
18. Print! Doctors are advising people to not look at lighted devices before bed. And “it’s nice to have something that won’t die on you.”

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Melissa Richards is a student at Central Michigan University