Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Electronic Traveler

Inevitably, the minute I committed to taking the cruise with my sister, I started to think about what to pack.  Never mind that we aren't leaving until November - if I need to buy some vital item between now and then, I don't want to wait until the last minute when it may not be available.  I no sooner started the list than I realized that for the first time ever, electronics may take up more space in my baggage than clothing.

Partly this is because I pick my travel wardrobe very carefully.  I make sure all my clothes are color-coordinated so I need perhaps one belt, very little jewelry, and the fewest pairs of shoes possible.  I try to take mostly washable items so when I flip part of dinner down my cleavage or onto my knee I can rinse the stain out immediately.  I also like to pack multi-purpose items - the white shirt with the long sleeves that can be rolled up and tabbed, cotton tanks that can be worn alone or as camis, sweater sets that can be broken up and paired with other pieces.  My father, who was in the Navy during WWII, showed me how to roll clothing to minimize creases the first time I went to Girl Scout camp; using his techniques, I can fit two or three weeks' worth of clothing into a single carry-on bag.

On the other hand, my electronic burden is growing by leaps and bounds.  When I reluctantly retired my film SLR camera I bought an integrated Konica Minolta digital camera that freed me from the need to carry around a bag of lenses.  Unfortunately, after many years of faithful service the KM has ceased to focus properly, and the cost to repair it would be ridiculous, so I bought myself a new camera for Christmas.  The new camera is not an integrated model; it's pretty much the digital version of my old film camera and it uses the same lenses.  So, I'll be back to carting around a camera body, lenses, filters, and external flash, PLUS the battery charger and the cord that will let me download photos to...

...my laptop.  I can't afford to take the time off from teaching online, so I'm going to buy a package of wireless access Internet minutes and keep going.  Computer, computer bag, power cord, cleaning supplies - you know the drill.  I am going to be rational and leave the cooling pad and graphics tablet at home.

I've taken along my cell phone and charger for most of my past vacations even though it didn't work overseas.  I can get a card for my Smartphone that will let it work there, though; I'm still debating whether to do so.

Whether I take along my phone or not, this year I will definitely be adding another gadget to my load.  The ship houses a lovely library, but we will be logging a lot of time in airplanes and airports to get to Athens from Phoenix and back again from Istanbul.  We don't yet know which airline our seats will be on, so we may or may not have access to personal video screens.  This looks like a job for my Nook.  I spent this morning, guided by this site, downloading free reading material.  By the time we leave I should have a real electronic library to browse in moments of boredom.  Of course it also needs a charging cord.

Good thing this isn't a "roughing it" vacation - I'm no longer able to travel anywhere that isn't furnished with electrical outlets.

"Why is it drug addicts and computer afficionados are both called users?" ~Clifford Stoll

No comments:

Post a Comment