The Technology of Travel

Here’s a list, as close as I can recall, of what I carried with

me in 1999 – 2000, the last time I was on an extended trip:

  1. A camera
  2. Film (!)
  3. A small, battery-operated vibrator
  4. A headlamp
  5. An alarm clock
  6. A pocket calculator (for money conversions)
  7. A few extra batteries

Things have changed in this past dozen years!

Here’s what my list looks like now:

  1. A camera
  2. 4 memory cards (for photos)
  3. An extra camera battery and battery charger
  4. A small, battery-operated vibrator (some things don’t change!)
  5. A headlamp
  6. A pocket calculator (still for money conversions – I’m not crazy about the I-phone calculator)
  7. A few extra batteries
  8. A memory-card reader (to download photos from the camera to the computer)
  9. A Netbook computer (new screen and all!)
  10. 2 Flash drives for back up of something or another
  11. A Kindle
  12. An I-phone
  13. An I-pod, complete with headphones (thanks to PMC!)
  14. A very small external speaker (bought in Cambodia) which attaches to the computer, I-phone and/or I-pod to be able to listen to them (and share the listening with others) without headphones.
  15. Charging cords for the computer, I-phone (2), I-pod, Kindle, external speaker)
  16. A multiple outlet plug (for rooms with only one outlet, so I can keep all these damn things charged up!)
  17. Small bags to keep this mess organized!
  18. Let’s see – have I missed anything?!

YIKES! It’s a wonder I have any room left in my backpack for that much talked about pathetic wardrobe!

And here’s the thing, I use every single one of these items and I’d bring them all with me again the next time I undertake another such journey! And I would add yet another – a very small (in size, but large in storage), external hard-drive as back-up for my writings and photos so I don’t have to worry about losing them if something <ahem> happens to the computer. (Or who knows, maybe I won’t need now with I-Cloud!)

Oh yeah, and I’m not alone in this mish-mash of technological marvels. Almost everyone I see has a cell-phone, local and traveler alike. Many, many travelers also have netbooks or laptops (lots of Macs), fewer have I-pads; and everyone seems very busy and focused on interacting with their tools rather than each other. It definitely makes for very different scenes at guest houses, cafés and restaurants where people are spending much more time looking at computer and phone screens than at one another or at the sights around them.

It makes me wonder – what will another dozen years bring???

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