I’m not exactly obsessed with travel. I don’t really want to backpack though Nepal or hike the Amazon (though I wouldn’t mind a week in Paris or a trip through Scandinavia!)
I’m just obsessed with planning what I take with me on trips!
In my notes on my iPod Touch I have a packing list. I update it every few months, before and after every trip we take. In old diaries I have lists for trips we took in 2006 and 2010. I always try to note what I didn’t wear and what I wished I had but didn’t take so that I can refine the list for next time. I spend time online looking at packing guides and videos. Yeah, I’m a packing geek!
We are planning a trip home to see my family (coming up soon! we have finally booked tickets) and my mind is spinning with all the possibilities and limitations of the stuff I plan to bring.
My number one concern is photography. I will bring at least one camera. Possibly the film camera as well as the digital camera. I would like to take some nice pictures of my family, if they’ll let me, as well as the usual sightseeing pictures and silly self portraits.
I would love to bring an iPhone – for the camera, the music, and the wifi connection. But I did the math on the cost of owning one and I just can’t convince myself it’s worth it. My digital camera is great but slightly bulky (the trade off for having awesome features) and it can’t connect to wifi so I can’t share pictures as I go. The iPod Touch is great for wifi connections, music, games, apps, note taking… but it doesn’t have a camera. And after deciding that I might upgrade to a newer one (with all the money I saved by not buying a smartphone 2 years ago, or even 2 months ago!) I found out that the Touch and the iPad have terrible cameras – 1 megapixel? are you kidding me?! Then I discovered another way that Apple has failed me – the camera connection kit which makes it possible to link a digital camera to an iPad doesn’t work on the Touch (even though the iPad is basically a giant iPod Touch. grrrr!) and I don’t really want to buy an iPad, do I? (or do I? no, I just took a look at them online – I don’t want one!)
I could bring my laptop. Yes, I could. But I really don’t want to…
I could also borrow my husband’s smartphone, or one of my family’s computers, both of which I will probably end up doing.
Or I could go offline for a couple of weeks… imagine that!
I am going around and around in circles on this, trying to figure out what I really want.
- I want to keep things simple.
- I want to have a good time.
- I want to take pictures because that’s what I like to do.
- I also want to to keep my money and not spend it on another gadget! especially not one with a monthly bill.
My other obsession is with travel accessories. I recently spent a number of hours clicking around looking at travel blankets and sleep sacks because I spotted someone online packing a tiny little silk sleep sheet or blanket into their luggage and thought that might help me get comfortable on the long flight. Not that the airline doesn’t provide a blanket… (and no I’m not someone who is afraid of using the airline blanket. I have never gotten sick from using a blanket nor have I caught a dread disease on the backs of my legs from sitting on a toilet seat – don’t even get me started on that!) It’s just so hard to stay warm and comfortable sleeping while sitting up on a plane. But that’s just how it is. There is no magic that will make this situation different, except maybe having so much money that first class seems like a reasonable investment – I guess if I save that smartphone money for a couple of years…!
Anyway, this is what everything comes back to: traveling is inconvenient. Planes are crowded and you have very little space to store your stuff. When you’re bored and can’t sleep and your muscles are stiff 4 hours into a 12 hour flight, there’s nothing much you can do. You have to keep going.
So maybe what I need to plan is an attitude adjustment. Maybe I need to practice sitting and letting things be. Wishing for more and different and newer gadgets and accessories doesn’t actually make the hard things any easier. New stuff just means new worries and frustrations, different wishes and desires and regrets. Because there’s always something else…