Getting it Ready – Some Notes for the Road

I’ve been away for a bit getting some final planning done. I leave now in a little over a week so I had to take care of some logistical things. If you too are gonna depart for a time to be determined or a round the world trip, I’ve found a few travel things which I’ve focused on. My primary goal with these rather disparate things is to bring things into control so I don’t really depend on others too much.

Here’s my working list of things which I worked on. Its a list in Ulysses as well which is the home for things of this kind:

  1. Mail services. There are a lot of options for this when you hit the road. You can just rent a mailbox at UPS or USPS or FEDex. Just send the mail to the ex-wife and torment her and have her destroy it all. Or do what I did. I found a virtual mail and mail forwarding service specifically designed for travelers. There are even choices with this. Some will make you pay for each piece of mail. Others don’t give you many options in how mail is treated. Each gives you a real address you can use for mail forwarding. They all require a USPS form to be completed and notarized and a monthly or annual fee. I am using this one because it seemed to be the best value but still offers a lot. Find one that works and take care of your stuff.
  2. Travel charging and USB power. I know. Completely different but I have been going through different device combinations and then discounting them because of various limitations. There is no ideal charger with AC ports and USB chargers that will also do the variety of power adapting on the road. There are ones that come closer but you suffer in size or weight so choose carefully. I need one that will charge 4 USB devices and have 4 power outlets and also have plug adapters that do International plugs. Its better to not have to carry multiples of things here. I have the closest one I have found which is this one. Is it perfect? No. There is no perfect one but it will work to charge my devices and I am not lugging around a separate carry on bag for all the adapters I need.
  3. Carry-on versus Checked Bags. No real contest here. Carry-on for the win and pick a bag that is flexible and will accommodate your needs. If you cannot travel really lightly get yourself a 45L bag and do some organization with cubes. I chose the Tortuga Outbreaker because it also handles some needs on organization and function but it trades in some weight for that. Find the bag that fits your zen of traveling and use it. Forget the bags with wheels. Roller bags are dangerous. Also check out a resource I have been using for years when looking at traveling light. The One Bag site is an excellent resource that has driven me to make good travel decisions.
  4. Itineraries and tickets and vouchers and passports and stuff. Be sure you have this managed. I have printed out various and sundry things like proof of onward travel from Japan. Bus tickets from Vietnam to Cambodia. Rail tickets from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. Remember to take visa photos and pens. I’ve looked at this one as trying to reach even 50% of what I will need when I go. Undoubtedly I will need to get things on the road. Pack technology that works and that leads me to the final one.
  5. Technology that works. I went through this earlier and decided to take a single platform with IOS and MAC devices since I can share a set of applications across them all. But your needs are different. You need to enable yourself on the road and not feel constrained. Don’t self limit to a device which will not fulfill its destiny on the road. Need a laptop with a keyboard? Get that done. Want a tablet for easier use on small planes and buses. Get that too. A cell phone is not an option here. Just plan on it and get an unlocked one so you can plug in SIMcards on your travels. I’ve had android devices in the past I kept but had SIMcards in India and Singapore and Vietnam I would buy then toss. Easy to find cards with data only plans are easy on the road. Make the right decision here to fulfill your needs with maps or data sharing on the road.

Finally, this stuff does not take the place of play. A bit of work up front will give you the play later. Take it on!

I leave in a week and days and work ends soon. I purposefully chose an itinerary to let me burn out the work credo in a place I love. I’ll walk the city streets with my FujiFilm X series camera and my choice of devices. Finally, the needs around work will end. Whether a smaller project continues after me is beyond my control. My last day is set and it leads to my destinations.

Now I know that some planning covers a lot of woe on the road but I want some random events. Life is not a GANTT chart for me after 28 February.