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Road Trip

© May 2008 Anthony Lawrence

As gasoline will be very cheap this summer (well, I think that's the way we'll be looking at it in retrospect), we decided to plan a cross country road trip. My wife has never traveled much, and wants to see the country, so we'll be rolling on wheels for close to a month.

I'm fortunate to have a business which allows me to do most of what I do remotely, by phone and Internet, so all I need to do is pack my computer and a few accessories.. well, that's not quite all..

I'll need to have Internet access as we travel, so earlier I asked for advice on EVDO modems. I already have an inverter, but I bought another just in case. Of course I have both a spare battery and a spare power adapter for my Mac, though with Apple stores almost everywhere now, that's proably less important than it used to be.

We've never owned a GPS, but I bought a Garmin Nuvi 250 for this trip. It's a basic model, no bells and whistles, but more than enough for our needs.. keep me heading in the right direction, find me gas, find me food, a hotel.. that's enough. And of course I have an Atlas and maps.google.com as a backup.

We already owned a digital camera, but have never had a camcorder - the camera can take movies, but it's a little clumsy, so I bought a FlipVideo Ultra: 60 minutes of recording, very small, lightweight, no learning curve, transfer the movies to my computer, erase, start over.. ideal for us on this trip.

Other things: good LED flashlight, road flares, and a few chemical glow sticks.. just in case. Cell phone chargers, battery charger (camera and Flipvideo both use AA's so that helps) - with all these plug in's, it's a good thing our Subaru has three power connectors.

So.. I think we are electronically ready to hit the road. Did I forget anything important?

Got something to add? Send me email.

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-> Preparing for a cross country trip


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Sun May 18 14:45:28 2008: 4208   JonR

The only possible omission that comes to mind is medication. If either of you has any prescription needs, it would be a good idea to make sure they can be met away from home. Otherwise, bon voyage!

Sun May 18 14:57:29 2008: 4209   BigDumbDinosaur

I think we are electronically ready to hit the road. Did I forget anything important?

Yeah. The bushel basket full of money you'll need to pay for fuel. <Grin>

You didn't say anything about where you two are going, what you are going to do when you get there, etc. All you described was all the gadgetry you will be schlepping to deal with clients (as well as the possibility of getting lost or taking advantage of a photo opportunity). The object of going on vacation is to leave work behind for a while and enjoy yourself. When my wife and I go on vacation, I enlist a trusted colleague to look after my clients while I'm gone, only calling me if he runs into an intractable problem (which hasn't happened to date). While gone, I want to enjoy being with my wife and taking in the sites, not wondering what's going on business-wise. You should do the same. <Smile>

Sun May 18 19:52:28 2008: 4210   TonyLawrence

"trusted colleague"

I do so many different things I honestly don't know anyone who could take over. I'd need half a dozen different people.

It's OK - I'm used to working through vacations. I get plenty of time off.

Mon May 19 17:52:07 2008: 4217   Friar

I did a three-month road trip 7 years ago, when I got laid off. I had a good severance, and I had the time, so I lived out of a Honda Civic and drove all around Canada and the U.S for the entire summer.

That was back before GPS's were cheap. I was totally unplugged. I didnt' even have a lap-top.

I would occasionally get to a library or internet cafe and Hotmail my family every week to so, to let them know I was alive. But for the most part, I was off the grid.

That was a unique time of my life, which I dont' know I'd ever be able to duplicate.
But I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Tue May 20 14:24:22 2008: 4221   BigDumbDinosaur

I do so many different things...

As do I. <Smile>

...I honestly don't know anyone who could take over.

Someone can always take over in a pinch. Maybe they won't be as meticulous as you, but they could probably handle the routine stuff.

My trusted colleague can handle most of what needs doing on a daily basis. I don't expect him to deeply delve into intricate software matters, as those usually can wait a bit. He can't handle the serious hardware stuff, but it's rare these days that anyone's hardware acts up anyhow. I just let clients know that I'm taking off for a few days and who to call for the routine stuff. That worked out fine when I was in the body and fender shop earlier this year (which definitely wasn't a vacation).

As I said, when I pack a suitcase and get out of here for a while, I GET OUT OF HERE and I all but forget that I have an office full of computer junk to come back to. As for GPS...to me, that's a solution looking for a problem. As long as cartographers stay in business I'll manage without GPS. <Grin>


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