In much the same way as the mortgage-ignoring song line "Wherever I lay my hat, that's my home" goes, so the modern work version is "Wherever my laptop has a wireless broadband connection, that's my office."
One's latest acquisition is the Asus EEE laptop. I've been sceptical of the emerging range of small, cheap, light laptops, on the grounds that they may not have the power to handle what I need to do for work. Plus, the keyboard may be too tiny for my big hands to use, and the battery may run out too quickly.
Turns out I was wrong. I'm loving this new laptop. The screen is bright and sharp, and the battery lasts for six hours. The time it takes from switch on to when I can do stuff is much quicker than on my 4 year old goliath Dell laptop (which cost several times as much and is several times heavier), and on the 28 month old Dell desktop (the key advantage of which is the large screen).
The quietness is noticeable. No hard drive, just a solid state memory. So most of the time it's totally silent. It's also powerful enough for work, being able to nimbly handle virtual worlds such as Second Life. The keyboard turned out to be fine, too.
So my "office" - the physical part - has now become this:
The laptop being light and cheap has two other advantages. It's easy to lug around, and if something disastrous happens to it e.g. at airport security, it isn't a huge financial loss. A by-product of this is that, for some people, laptops are now literally becoming a "disposable" item.
There's one item not pictured to add to the passport, memory stick (for backup and easier transfer of files), laptop and credit card, and that's a broadband dongle to give you extra options for getting online in the UK and Northern Europe.
Those five items together - which can fit inside a small shoulder bag - are pretty much the core office. Periphery items such as toothbrushes, clothes, pen and paper are temporary and incidental, and can just be bought and discarded anywhere. I noticed during a summer cleanout that, apart from my underwear (for some reason, cheaper in the UK than anywhere else), all my other clothes have been bought on trips abroad when needed and when the exchange rate has been attractive.
Anyway, back to playing/working with my new toy/mobile office, which goes by the name of "Samantha." This is in recognition of one of the earliest examples of the truly mobile laptop-based authors, who also wrote one of my favourite pieces of travel writing.