gadgets,gadgets, and more gadgets, and a DSLR
You are SO the Silicon Valley man, eh?! While I am not out there now, that is my home area and I am very into many gadgets. Having both traveled and lived overseas, here is what I thought as a techy-type... I have a high-end, not digital SLR camera that will absolutely go with me, as I am an artist. I also have a good quality digital camera that is in the "point and click" catagory that will go for the hanging-out and quick email-type shots. I have an HP Pocket PC as well that will be great for keeping the journal, schedules, general emailing (depending on the internet cafe), and even books and music. I also have a large capacity mp3 player that I will likely take less for the music (as I like to encounter the sounds and music of the places as well as interact with the people) than for possible travel-sized file back-up. I will say that I am a minimalist packer, so I go with little, yet I wouldn't go without the first three at least. I really didn't see a need for the GPS or phone thing. To me those things were not only un-important, but frivolous... but that is just me and my minimalist ways. If you want to discuss more, let me know!
"Everything unknown passes for something magnificent." Tacitus
Needless to say, they call came in handy on my travels, even more minimalist trips. Sure, the other backpackers look at you like you're showy or rich, but then they admit they wish they had their laptop for more convenient emailing, keeping their journal, storing remembrances from home, downloading their pictures, maintaining their website, etc.
I searched for the lightest, most efficient, most durable, etc. and ended up with a Sony Vaio w/ double capacity battery (I mean, I've used the thing to play movies or music on to entertain entire civilization-deprived crowds; it's tons of fun!), Sony Clie w/ a nice QWERTY keyboard for jotting down notes, holding those addresses and important contact info, scheduling, and even taking low resolution pics, and a Sony digital camera. REally, I'm not tied to Sony, but they had the best for what I was looking for.
What I HIGHLY recommend is making sure your gadgets all fit into one bag. All mine can go in a snazzy laptop backpack....everything's cushioned and all in one place. It was handy to just grab the thing to carry with me at all times or have within view, even to set next to my head in a hostel bed at night. I never worried about the expensive stuff getting stolen and they were never a burden that way.
Oh, I also ended up picking up a GSM phone once over here. I don't talk on the phone AT ALL, never thought I"d need one. Next thing you know, I'm meeting locals, wanting to keep in touch with them, coordinating get togethers, and it was darn handy to have a way to keep in touch with all of them, meet up later down the road, etc. And once you have the phone, you find it comes in handy when you've gotta book a hostel room and there's no public phone around or if you want to take care of that business while lying on the beach. Just pick up a local SIM card in your first destination.
So, if you've got the money, buy the BEST....go for light, durable, large capacity, ...you know what to look for. You don't want to be worrying about recharging and things like that anymore than necessary. Buy some retractable telephone and USB cables, etc....anything to save space and weight.
And have fun with it all! If you want more input, send me a private note or check out my website. Cheers!
"The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live." â€“Flora Whittemore
The smaller the better is also my mantra for travelling and I have been looking at a PDA also and yes the Sony is on my shortlist! I think Sony owe us a drink should we ever visit their headquarters.
I was debating about getting a Treo 600 which is also a quad band phone as well as a PDA. I like the idea of having a phone when you need it but I don't fancy having large bills from calling friends in the UK and USA just to tell them how wonderful the sunset is that I am viewing from Waitemate Harbour!
Any other tips about maintaining your gadgets while travelling would be welcomed.
PS - I must stop buying these things..
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