Question Portable System build

Nov 26, 2020
To set things in context, I live in 2 different parts of the world, 6 months here and 6 months there. At present I am taking my laptop between the two. I am looking to get a new laptop or desktop so there isn't the need to transport it, but want full functionality at both places.

My idea is to buy a second laptop or desktop and leave one in the other place. So now we move onto the tricky bit.
Laptop 1 is working here and has all the files/programmes set up that I need, so how do I transfer all the files etc. to Machine 2?

I was thinking of ;

1. Booting both machines from the same USB / SD for the (Windows 10) OS and Programme integration. Therefore transporting only the USB / SD .

2. I was thinking of having a NAS / RAID 1 system here to store all files (programmes/photos/music/documents etc.) other than the OS. I am contemplating a NAS rather than DAS so that other laptops and the security system can also use the same system for storage. When I go abroad I pull one disk out of the RAID and transport that "home" disk. Put another disk in the RAID here and that will rebuild.

3. When abroad I use the USB / SD to boot the second machine and use the disk pulled out of the RAID as a stand alone external drive for all my files.

This may be too complicated but it would save me a great deal of grief and transportation headaches. If I can get the theory and practice correct, I might end up with a desktop in each place and then one synched laptop for portability.

So my questions are
  1. Any recommendations for running the OS with integrated programmes from a USB stick?
  2. a) NAS or RAID? Any other suggestions? Software cloning seems to take too long. The last time I did a clone it took over 18 hours (2TB + 1TB disks)
  3. Will the pulled disk from the RAID work as a stand alone external disk or do I need a RAID system abroad as well? If I have a RAID system abroad does that need to be the same system as here and how can I be sure that the "home" disk is not formatted by the second RAID and that the "home" disk is the one that is mirrored and is not overwritten? When returning home how do I synch the updated and changed files into the original RAID?
I understand I could probably just use the NAS as a cloud service and do away with the need to transport the HDD but the Internet abroad is not as quick or anywhere near as reliable as over here.

I couldn't find anything similar on the forums, but if there is an earlier discussion please direct me there.