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ONA around the World + Giveaway

ona camera bag giveaway

How small of a world do we live in?

After years of traveling anywhere and everywhere, I’ve realized six degrees of separation is more fact than fiction, and at this point, I shouldn’t be surprised anymore by coincidences with strangers.

Living in a digital age has enabled us to better connect more than ever, and this is none more evident than in travel. Often times I’m surprised (or not surprised) when I meet someone on the road, add them on Facebook later only to find out we have a mutual friend! Has this ever happened to you?

ona camera bag giveaway

Let’s take a step back.

Back in April when I was invited to Jordan, I decided it was high time to invest in a new camera. My old Canon Rebel circa 2008 was on its last legs, and since I knew I was going to be traveling loads and moving to New Zealand in the summer, I couldn’t put it off any longer.

With a little help from my friend Ed of the Polar Route, after I badgered him for weeks on what camera and lens to splurge on, I (we) decided on the Canon 60D and Tamron 17-50mm.

ona camera bag giveaway

After getting the bill from Amazon (shudder!) I realized two very important things about my new toys. Firstly, I needed to insure them, which as fate would have it, was the best decision of the year because I ended breaking my camera two weeks later falling off a camel in the desert; secondly, throwing my camera and second wide angle lens loose in my purse wasn’t going to cut it anymore.

That being said, there is a HUGE dearth of cute camera bags for sale nowadays, and hell was going to freeze over before I would cart around my gear in a big ol’ ugly camera bag with “Canon” blazoned across the front.

Doesn’t go with any of my outfits and also where I travel and the fact I’m always alone, I don’t like to advertise that I’m carrying valuables with me. “Hey, who wants to mug me?”

No thanks.

ona camera bag giveaway

And since I was embarking on my new career as a “professional travel blogger,” or at least full-time writer and cookie expert, therefore I needed a classic, serious, Hemingway-esque camera bag to match my new image.

Something vintage. Something sexy. Something intellectual.

Brown leather. Satchel/crossbody/messenger padded camera bag. Room for camera, extra lens, GoPro, wallet, notebook, passport, iPhone, Kindle, oh, and cookies too. Easy requirements, right?

Searching in vain, I realized I had the answer right under my nose all along; I had my dream camera bag pinned on my Pinterest for ages before I remembered it was there – The Brooklyn by ONA Bags.

ona camera bag giveaway

Since my birthday was coming up, I convinced my parents this bag would make the perfect gift (and I would die without it – some people never grow up, tsk, tsk), and sooner rather than later, my new camera had a home, just in time for Jordan!

Super excited about my new Brooklyn, I quickly instagrammed a photo tagging ONA. Later on I got a message from Christine of C’est Christine who not only runs social media and marketing for ONA in New York, BUT who also is a travel blogger and would be on the same Jordan trip as me.

REALLY small world!

Our friendship was solidified the first day in Amman when we showed up at breakfast wearing matching outfits.

ona camera bag giveaway

The Instagram that started it all

ona camera bag giveaway

Six months later, and Christine and I are still good friends, and my Brooklyn has traveled with me to eleven countries.

Jordan – America – Canada – UK – Italy – Greece – Switzerland – Iceland – Ireland – New Zealand – Australia

How do I phrase this right? I am not a delicate traveler. This bag has taken a beating; from camel rides in the desert to getting soaked under waterfalls in Iceland to sailing around Greece to road-tripping around New Zealand, the Brooklyn is still in one piece and looks even better than when I bought it.

Durability was as important to me as quality, and I needed a bag that could keep up with me on my adventures around the world for years. Looks like I chose right.

ona camera bag giveaway

What’s #InMyONA

ona camera bag giveaway

And then it was time for adventures!

There are so many things I love about this bag, it’s hard to pick a favorite. To me it’s really important that I can fit all the things I need while traveling in the bag, which I can, especially with the two pockets on the outside which I can shove something as big as a guidebook in if I need to.

It’s also a small enough size that when I can only bring one carry-on with me on a plane, I can shove it inside a larger tote bag where I can fit larger things, like my giant Macbook and more cookies. Nowadays with strict airline baggage policies, it’s good to have a flexible bag.

I can’t wait to take my Brooklyn to a whole new slew of places this year!

Here are some sightings of the Brooklyn in the wild. Do you have one key thing that you take everywhere with you? Whether you are traveling the world or exploring your own backyard?

ONA in Jordan

ona camera bag giveaway

Exploring the ancient city of Jerash, image via C’est Christine

ona camera bag giveaway

 Overlooking Amman and the second day Christine and I matched, image via Seattle’s Travels

ona camera bag giveaway

Riding camels around Wadi Rum, image via Seattle’s Travels

ONA in Italy

ona camera bag giveaway

After a climb up to the top of San Miniato in Tuscany

ona camera bag giveaway

ona camera bag giveaway

At a wine festival in Brindisi

ONA in Greece

ona camera bag giveaway

Exploring medieval mountain monasteries in Meteora

ona camera bag giveaway

Visiting the Acropolis at sunset in Athen – holy crap I’m tan!

ona camera bag giveaway

Discovering the beauty of Delphi

ONA in Iceland

ona camera bag giveaway

Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon

ona camera bag giveaway

Learning about medieval monasteries and early settlements

ona camera bag giveaway

Whatcha looking at? Ferocious viking horses (don’t call them ponies!)

ona camera bag giveaway

Turf house sitting

ONA in New Zealand

ona camera bag giveaway

Sunday farmer’s market fun

ona camera bag giveaway

Rugged south coast of the North Island

ona camera bag giveaway

Partaking in some serious brunch culture in Wellington

ona camera bag giveaway

View over Wellington and a perfect rainbow

And now I finally have the chance to both share something that I really love and couldn’t travel without, as well as offer my very first giveaway to you guys to say thanks for reading and putting up with me for so long!

Almost four years of blogging under my belt, and I’ve never done a giveaway! Gasp!

My reasoning is both simple and childish – I have received many offers from companies offering me a giveaway on my blog, but none were for things I could genuinely AND sincerely vouch for, nothing I had tried myself first.

My Brooklyn, however, I paid for (and by me, I mean my mom – thanks mom!) and I’ve used and loved it for half a year, so I am really excited to offer a brand new one for you guys!

ona camera bag giveaway

So whether you are a seasoned travel warrior or a newbie photographer or a girl (or guy) who just likes to take pictures of beautiful places (me!) now’s your chance to win an ONA Brooklyn of your own!

Just enter the Rafflecopter below before Monday, November 18 midnight EST. Don’t forget! 

Please note this giveaway is only for U.S. residents only or for anyone with a U.S. mailing address (if you’re abroad check to see if you have any package forwarding options available, like You Post in New Zealand).

Leave me a comment letting me know that you liked our FB pages, and tell me where you would like to take the Brooklyn around the world!

**Update! Congratulations to Lydia from Connecticut for winning the Brooklyn! A million thanks to everyone who entered and I can’t wait to set up more giveaways for you all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to like ONA on Facebook and Young Adventuress too to keep the goodies coming! 

247 Responses to ONA around the World + Giveaway

  1. Jen November 14, 2013 at 6:54 am #

    I would love this bag! I just moved to South Africa for a few years, and already have trips to Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Swaziland booked, in addition to various locations around SA.

  2. Abby H November 14, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    I’ve liked your facebook page…I would LOVE to take this bag on my next journey, which will hopefully be Germany! Thanks for hosting this giveaway! I am a photographer and have been drooling over this bag for a while!

  3. Hannah C November 14, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    I would love to take this bag when my boyfriend and I go backpacking through Europe! I also want to take it everywhere, like birthday parties and walks through the parks! It is beautiful and functional, I am head over heels in love!!

  4. Miranda November 14, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    Liked on facebook! I’d love to have an Ona bag. They seem spectacular! I’m planning a trip to Scotland next spring, and I don’t want to be without my camera for even a moment! An Ona bag would be perfect 😀

  5. Anna B. November 14, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    Hey! i had previously liked your facebook page but now I have like ONA’s as well! I plan on teaching in Spain starting in september and can’t wait. I’d love to carry that stylin bag around everywhere. I am a graphic designer and l o v e taking pictures. this is an awesome idea. cheers!

  6. Robin McQuay Anderson November 14, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    I adore this bag and have been saving pennies, nickles, and dimes! I have 6 kids all in differnt cities so there’s my travel for this coming year! I would love to do it with a Brooklyn Bag!!

  7. Megan November 14, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    Holy crap, I had no idea the perfect travel bag like this existed. Just entered ALL the ways to win. I wish my mom didn’t request Christmas gift lists in September (ahh, a childhood tradition that I’m so glad still exists)…totally would have put this on the list. It’d be great for my daily life here in Colorado, and for travel too (upcoming trip to Guatemala, whadduuup.) I’ve returned so many bags that haven’t fit my needs.

  8. Kristen November 14, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    I’m a photojournalist and would love to win it and take it on all my stories and on my upcoming trip to New Orleans!

  9. Sara November 14, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    Headed to New Zealand (wooh! hey there, travel spirit guide) in January for six months. Knowing that I am going to be taking lots of photos and videos, I’d love to have this gorgeous companion to accompany me during my travels.

    • Liz November 15, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

      Let me know when you get here!

  10. Julide November 14, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

    Would love to take the bag to Turkey with me next summer
    Or better yet be the coolest college student around with a bag like that 😉

    had already liked it 🙂

  11. Claire November 14, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    Liked and submitted for the contest!
    I’m leaving to teach in Korea in February, but this bag would come with me around the world (planning a multi-year RTW trip afterwards: ideally, Southeast Asia, China, New Zealand, Eastern Europe, parts of the Middle East and Africa, and all of Latin America!). I would love to have a comfortable and well-made camera bag that is simultaneously beautiful 🙂
    Before I go to Korea, I’ll be traveling in southern Mexico for most of January and part of February.

  12. Angela November 14, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    I’ve been following for a while. I taught in Granada Spain 2012-2013. I came for the CIEE tips and then stayed for your awesome posts. I also follow you on instagram and liked you on FB. I can’t get enough! 🙂 I’m back in the states for now and would love to take the Brooklyn around as I rediscover DC +my domestic trips. The next adventure I’m saving up for is Alaska, but my dream is New Zealand, Thailand, and Ireland.

  13. Sam @ Twenty Something Wanderer November 15, 2013 at 12:56 am #

    FB pages liked! Love this bag!

  14. Hannah Murphy November 15, 2013 at 4:59 am #

    If I’m going to travel I want to do it right, so i need a companion and this beautiful bag is clearly the one. Study Abroad USA 2014 here i come.

  15. CrifJohnson November 15, 2013 at 8:02 am #


    Really loved the places you shared. I would love to travel.

  16. Cate November 15, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    Love this bag but love your blog more! Can’t wait to check out NZ soon. This Brooklyn bag is going to South Africa with me next March! 🙂

  17. Kelli Dailey November 15, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    If I won, I would post a picture of me with the ONA bag in.. Ona. Because that’s the name of the town where I live. 🙂

  18. Kate November 15, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    Love ONA! Would be my go everywhere bag – keepin it local in Oregon and Washington and then on down the road for an as yet uncharted anniversary trip to Italy 🙂

  19. Rachel @ Hippie in Heels November 15, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    fb liked, tweets done… I would carry this bag all around India and hopefully not offend my cow-loving neighbors with the leather. It might (will) get me rejected from some of the best temples, but then when I go in my boyfriend can stand outside and hold it for me! the beauty of this bag is worth it!

  20. may November 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    INDIA. It’s next on my list.

  21. Alexandra W November 15, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    We’re off to Jordan in April and this would be the perfect camera bag for me!! Thanks for such a fantastic giveaway 🙂

  22. Veronica November 15, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Really great post, and an awesome story of friendship & travel! I would love to take this bag to South America or Mexico. The rich colors and cultures would be perfect to catch on camera 🙂

  23. Ana María Méndez November 15, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    Hola! ya participé en todas las formas posibles y además hice like en tu página (ya a ONA los amaba desde antes)

    Pienso primero que nada, traerme ese bolso a España. Ya luego me lo llevo a NY, a Venezuela y a Inglaterra, por ahora. Más adelante lo llevaré a otros lugares mas escondidos.

    Lo necesitaba en Italia, Andorra y en Portugal.

    ¡Ojalá pueda tenerlo ahora!

  24. mell November 16, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    I like both pages on Facebook. If I win, I would take the camera bag on my trip to the Seychelles Islands.

  25. Erica November 16, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    I have lusted after an ONA bag for years! I’ve liked both pages on Facebook and if I win, I’d take the bag to ANTARCTICA… the prize comes with a free trip, right? 🙂

    So glad to year you love your ONA bag. I hope someday to be the proud owner of one myself!

  26. Meggy November 16, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    Hi Liz 🙂 I don’t have a facebook, but I do follow you on twitter and I’ve been devouring all your posts ever since I discovered your blog a month ago. You are so inspiring! And I am so happy that I have found your blog! It’s so difficult for me to say just one spot I would take the ONA if that gorgeous camera bag was mine…..I think I would first take it all over Israel, and then hopefully all over the rest of the world after that!

    This is an awesome giveaway! Thanks for your spectacular posts!

  27. jessica November 16, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    Hey Liz!
    Love the blog, been a fan for a few years now, and I believe we’re friends on facebook since you were so kind to answer some of my Spain questions some time ago! I’m applying to the UCETAM program for next fall and would love a snazzy ona bag for my canon rebel!

    Take care and keep up the good work lady!


  28. Sarah November 16, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    Hey Liz! I really enjoy your blog. The ONA bag is beautiful. I would love to take it on what will hopefully be my next big trip – SE Asia! I’ll be crossing my fingers that both the bag and my trip work out. 😉 I have already liked you and ONA on FB – I love keeping update on your new posts. Hope you are having a grand time in New Zealand!


  29. Melanie Ann November 16, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    Oh how I’ve LOVED Ona bags from a far… for LIKE ever! Lol) I’m a family & wedding photog & would happily sport my fabulous new bag with me for every session/wedding! Awesome review & thanks for the chance!!

  30. Marika Paz November 16, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    I want this bag for my camera so I can come visit you in New Zealand with it!!!!

  31. Claire Alicia Findlay November 17, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    I’m leaving Melbourne to go and teach in Spain for 6 months, but I will also be heading to some incredible places around Europe and the Middle East.
    Perhaps the one I am most excited about is seeing the Northern Lights- in the Arctic Circle above Sweden!
    Imagine having the Brooklyn everywhere from Israel to the Arctic circle! How fantastic!
    LOVE your blog! Keep writing! It fills my days (otherwise filled with law textbooks!) with so much beauty!

  32. Anna November 17, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    That Brooklyn would go with me everywhere. To west Texas (magical) and then a return to Iceland (camera broke on last trip) and Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and on out road trip to Maine.

  33. Cameron November 17, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    Hi Liz!

    So we have lots of travels coming up! Both domestically and internationally. We are planning to travel to Calabria, Italy to see where Nathaniel’s family heritage! Then to Scotland- including the Isle of Skye. Then we will be all over the USA for loads of road trips combining med school visits/interviews and exploring!

    Hooray for the the mobile life!


  34. Shalee Blackmer November 17, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

    I entered every way possible! This bag is amazing, I just recently upgraded to my first DSLR camera and I use it everywhere. I would use this bag on day trips to Lake Michigan with my friends or across the globe on my long term travel plan of 30 countries, starting off with Ireland!

    I love your blog Liz! I think it is safe to say I’ve read every post of yours…twice. Great stories and great tips, way to enhance female travel!! You go girl.

  35. dee November 17, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

    I’m a fan of both Ona & Young Adventuress on FB and I would take The Brooklyn everywhere.

  36. Marianne November 18, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    I’m a fan! Heading to the German Christmas markets soon, and to Iceland in March and would love to have a Brooklyn to take along 🙂

  37. Shireen November 18, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    I am traveling to London and Scotland and would LOVE this bag for my Canon 650D! Next trip will be Iceland… then who knows?! Excited to start reading your blog. I’ve been following Christine’s blog for a few years now! Cheers xx

  38. Amy November 18, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    Love your fb page, traveling through you and dreaming of my own adventures. Perfect pairing of escapism and humor all complimented by your beautiful photography. I would take that bag everywhere!

  39. Jemma November 18, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    I’ve liked your fb page’s for ages now, always love seeing what adventures you get up too! I think I’d like to wear this bag in Joshua Tree when I travel there during the holidays. And later I’d use it during a trip to India which I’m planning for after I graduate from college in a year. I figure that I’d start “breaking the bag in” before I took it over sea’s. 😉

  40. Alyssa November 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    I like your facebook page and now ONA’s as well! Your blog is amazing and so inspiring after seeing your post about Iceland, that is on the top of my list for places to visit and I would love to be able to put my new camera when I upgrade from my canon rebel in the Brooklyn! =)

  41. Coti November 18, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    Hi Liz! First of all, I LOVE your blog. You’ve inspired me in so many of my travels. I’d love to take this bag on my next trip — Istanbul, Turkey and Prague, Czech Republic. I’ve liked all the pages and am happy to be entered! 🙂

  42. Bridget November 18, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    Sweet bag, goes perfectly with your kickass watch. I want both 😉

  43. Travis November 18, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

    I could totally use the Brooklyn when I take off for Chile at the end of December. NYE in Valparaiso with fireworks over the Pacific, Santiago for January, (probably) Chilean and Argentinean Patagonia in February… then back to Santiago for I have no idea how long or to do what. But I’m sure it will be pretty amazing.

  44. Mica November 18, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    I’d already liked your page & now ONA’s as well. I’d love to take my Brooklyn to Hawaii (Oahu) next year when I move there!

  45. Mona Line Moisan November 18, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    This bag caught my eye while checking out all your incredible photos on the FB page. I recently returned from a 2 week trip to Italy and wish I’d had such a bag with me. It would not only be used as a camera bag, but also as an everyday purse (I’m not into the girlie ones). It’s a beauty for sure!!!!

  46. Sarena November 18, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

    I can’t believe I hadn’t done it already but, I just ‘liked’ your fb page as well as the ONA fb page. The Brooklyn bag is SO my style! I would love to use it to carry my DSLR around on my upcoming trip to the York Christmas Markets in England. 🙂

  47. Steve November 18, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

    I’ve liked your fb page and I’d like to take the bag to Ireland, Scotland, London, France, DC, and NY in April! Thanks again for the opportunity.

  48. Elisa Hough November 18, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    Liked and tweeted! I just moved from California to Washington, D.C., so I’d like to take a trip to London now that I’m so much closer. Indonesia is the ultimate travel goal.

  49. Yelena Giannuzzi November 18, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    I liked both of your pages!

    My husband and I are planning a dream trip to Florence and Strasbourg, and feel that this bag would perfectly compliment our travels. It’s a perfect blend of stylish and practical, and I would love to bring it on our trip!

  50. Sarah Dilworth November 18, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    I’ve been visiting your site for a while now, but this is my first comment! As I have travelled to two dozen countries in Europe, Scandinavia, and North Africa, I look forward to taking my (*fingers crossed*) new ONA bag to my next adventure to South America in the not so far future!

  51. Shannon Healey November 18, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    Hi, Young Adventuress! My husband and I actually quit our jobs in NYC a month ago to travel and have just started our 6 month journey. 🙂 Photography is really important to both of us, and we always travel with at least one camera in hand to try and capture beautiful moments everywhere we go. Sadly, I do wish we had a more stylish and versatile bag (okay, I’m being a little selfish — husband could care less, but it’s me that would just flip for a bag like that gorgeous ONA).

    We are documenting our travels on our site ( and it would be a real pleasure to have that bag along for this ride and many to come 🙂

    By the way… Love reading about your journeys and experiences! Very inspiring! Can’t wait to see more.

    • Shannon Healey November 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

      Oh and PS – of course we liked your page and follow you on Instagram and Twitter as well 🙂

  52. Jessica November 18, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    Hello! My husband and I are moving to Wellington, NZ in 2 months! This bag would be perfect for his new camera (he doesn’t know he’s getting one yet!)

    Love your blog:)

  53. Mandi Schmitt November 18, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

    I love the old fashioned an chic look of this bag! I’m tired of carrying around my boring black canon case – not very stylish. It’s beautiful and practical, which is tr best combination for anything. I’m currently backpacking around Southeast Asia, but this bag would be perfect for my next adventure – moving to Tanzania!! No plans, hoping to get a job, and then it’s off to visit friends in Norway and Switzerland next summer.

    I’ve liked both pages, thanks for the opportunity to win something cool!

  54. Barbara November 18, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

    I Liked and tweeted as well. I would like to take the Brooklyn to Nice, France and Berlin, Germany. This is on my wish list

  55. Chris November 19, 2013 at 12:30 am #

    I’ve liked your Facebook page for a while and if I won this bag I would love to take it to Teotihuacan in Mexico. I love to go on adventures with my family when I’m in Mexico and this bag would be perfect for carrying my Canon DSLR!

  56. Kara November 22, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    Normally I don’t read gear reviews, but I have to say yours was a convincing one! It is seriously difficult to find a bag that will fit everything that you want without screaming “tourist” or “mug me”. The Brooklyn is super classy, congrats for finding it!

  57. Rebecca May 26, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    I’m going to buy one of these bags because of your post! You should have a code we can enter at purchase so you get some credit!!

    It’s an awesome & genuine article and you should get some recognition for it 🙂


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