On The Road Again

It’s getting cold here in the UK so it’s time to pick up my laptop and head south. Qantas seem to be wanting to give tickets away at the moment so I picked up a four flight deal for just over a grand, Heathrow Bangkok, Hong Kong – Sydney, Perth – Singapore and then Singapore – London with a break in Tioman for some diving and Penang for a good curry.

I obviously have to make up the bits in between so I’ll be travelling overland from Bangkok to Hong kong and from Sydney to Perth. On top of this I have to co-ordinate work while I am away, but in this day and age that’ll be a doddle right?

Leaving things until the last minute as usual I have been sorting out things like visas this week. China and Vietnam need you to have a visa before considering entry into the country so my passport is at the Chinese Embassy right now. I can pick up a vietnamese visa in Camobodia, apparently without the hassles of getting it in London. The Australian visa was a a simple case of applying online – Thailand will simply give me a visa at the airport which is nice of them. Sorted.

This leaves the gear I will have to take with me to help me work and play on the road for three months.

I do enjoy this bit in a nerdy kind of way, as a kid I would collect camping gear to escape into the wild, even going so far as to shoplift kit from the local camping shops. So this isn’t drudgery to me. In fact this whole Cyber Gypsy thing is just an extension of that, carrying my whole universe around with me so that I can even run my business while I am away. It does take a little thought to be able to travel light though –

One of my First buys was a Jungle Hammock from a very nice fellow called Tom Claytor who just happens to be flying around the world in a light aircraft at the moment. I guess he is another kind of Cyber Gypsy. I like the idea of a jungle hammock because it makes me totally sefl sufficient for a place to spend the night – mosquito free. It has a rain cover and a mosquito net and can even be used as a kind of netted bivouac if needs be – all for a fraction of the weight of a tent. Done.

I didn’t get the camouflaged one.

For a rucksack I needed something with a laptop pocket that could take up to 40 litres but also get on a plane as hand luggage. After looking around the London camping shops I came up with the North Face Overhaul 40 a bag that can be expanded to a tardis like degree.

For mobile communication I changed mobile providers to ‘Three‘ and picked up a schpanking new Nokia E71. Now this was a canny move as ‘Three’ have networks in two of the countries I will be visiting (Hong Kong and Oz) meaning I can use my phone as I would at home with unlimited internet access and minutes. It also has a huge memory for all my MP3’s and an FM radio so it means that I don’t have to bother with any kind of MP3 player. Sorted.

Next was a camera that would take great pics but not take up too much real estate. I could have gotten hold of a nice Nikon but opted for a point and shoot with an 18x zoom lense – in my experience having a good analogue zoom is the killer point for a camera when you travel as it means you don’t have to get into peoples faces to take nice pictures, the Panasonic DMC-FZ28 seems to do it all. My onle issue with it is the battery life, but I’ll pick up a few spare batteries in Hong Kong while I am there which will sort that out.

Pop a super teeny weeny Storm Shield S660-D Sleeping bag (not made anymore I think) that has pure down in it meaning it will pack up small enough to fit into a sock and that’s it.

I’m not going to go down to the suntan lotion level of detail, so assume I’ll pack some swimming trunks and a pair of sunglasses.

I have six days to ponder the finer points of packing a bag and that’s it – my next post will be about some of the things I do to make sure I can still run my business even if my laptop is stolen.

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