A Look Inside My CLS Backpack: Malo Cloarec

IMG_0657Photography by Nelson Hua

Name: Malo Cloarec

Hometown: Paris, France

Undergraduate School: Sciences Po.

Inside My Bag:


So You’ve Seen What’s In My Bag, But 3 Items I could Never Live Without Are:

1. My Passport – Imagine if your passport was taken away from you, meaning you would have to remain in the same country for the rest of your life. I think I would find it very difficult.

2. Messenger Apps (Whatsapp, etc.). When you start studying abroad and traveling a bit you quickly end up having friends spread out across a few different time zones. What I like about these apps is how easy it makes it to communicate and keep in touch with people no matter how far they are. This really is something I use every day and life would quite different without it. Good one tech people!

3. My Barbour Jacket – Even though I now live in Paris, I grew up in Bretagne on France’s west coast. Rainfall is a fact of life  so tough and durable rain coats are a matter of survival. When I moved to Paris for college I just kept wearing it and it has become something like a second skin. Now let’s be honest I could probably do without it, I’d just get wet more often…

My brown leather book bag is from Florence, Italy. I like it because it’s not actually brown. It’s maroon! It took me quite some time to find a bag I really liked because I had very precise criteria. I wanted something that would be suitable for work and school. Black was too formal and I couldn’t find a shade of brown I really liked. Maroon was a good in between. It is easy to match, too!

On my recent trip to the MoMa I was most impressed by the sculpture garden. I like how they managed to recreate a peaceful and relaxing environment just a few blocks away from busy Times Square. I think when you’ve achieved owning a sculpture garden you’ve pretty much nailed life. It’s a good goal to aim at!

The thing that I miss the most about France is This might sound too French to be true but bread and cheese  because Philadelphia and crackers are fine for a few weeks but Baguette tradition and Roquefort is the real deal. It’s my number one snack back home and probably even constitutes up to 70% of my diet during finals time so yeah, I think I miss it a little…

On the weekend you are most likely to spot me taking advantage of my Columbia ID in one of the numerous museums around town. Then probably at Shake Shack or Five Guys – there is an ongoing debate here I haven’t been able to solve yet. Every time I think I’ve finally managed to establish a preference I double check myself by going to the other place and inevitably start doubting again. McDonald’s (or DoMac as we call it) is pretty much the only option available in France so I make the most of my time here to try out other options.

One day I’d like to take this bag and visit…ok so this bag is not a travel bag so it’s not going anywhere. I have a matching weekend bag I bought at the same time, which gets to do all the travel. I know, it’s a bit unfair. There is no restriction on the destination however! Both these bags are here to last, they are the type of bags which will still be around in 20, 30 years. I want them to remind me of everywhere they’ve been carried and all the associated experiences when I look at them, including my time at Columbia.


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