12 Jul

12th July 2012: Somewhere over the Atlantic, BA0213, heading to Boston Logan Airport from Heathrow.

We really left packing until the last minute for this trip. I should say that I did, since Ann has had all her dresses and accompanying accessories on the upstairs spare room bed for at least a fortnight and maybe longer. My problem is that I travel so much that I am always packing or returning, even the week before our trip I was in Brussels most of the week. Ah well, less of my travel chores, and back to packing. We packed Tuesday, and ended up with one very large 32kg suitcase, two medium 22-27kg ones and then we packed the smaller into a larger one so we have a reserve suitcase. We were going to use two little backpacks for hand luggage but at the last minute we pulled a small cabin legal suitcase down from the loft and popped my camera bag, Ann's MacBook Air and her GHD hair straighteners in there. We have a few shoulder bags and collapsible holdalls in reserved in case we go shopping mad.

So what was packed? Well it's a challenge, to have enough and yet not have too much. We're not young backpackers, we're flying Business class after all, and yet we also don't want to be too encumbered. We've probably overpacked, but I think 7 weeks on the road does require 7 t-shirts, 7 shorts, 7 shirts, 4 trousers, 1 jacket, 3 jumpers, 10 socks, and gazillions of underpants! Ann's priorities were different, I packed one pair of shoes and one pair of sandals, Ann has four, but her dresses weigh so much less than mine. Then enough toiletries to keep going, duplicates in case of bag loss, and ditto for the scoops of medication we take, and it was time for the fun stuff…

I mean, of course, the tech. Nowadays that also incorporates media, written and visual, and photography. The Kindles are the bedrock of literature, both well loaded with SF, thrillers, detective fiction and fantasy, readable in any light, almost weightless and small enough to take anywhere. The iPad follows, I have it synced to Dropbox for all our travel paperwork and a variety of travel and mapping apps all installed, allowing our documentation to be acessible. In addition is provides a pool of movies and TV shows, from Walking Dead Season 2 to Father Ted, a few computer games (Majesty and Bards Tale), and is a very capable browser and editor (I am typing this on QuickOffice). I have a good collection of roleplaying games as pdf files on the ipad, since they work better on a tablet. Ann's MacBook Air is along for keyboard based computing and also for photo collection and editing. We have a TravelTalk sim for low cost roaming phone calls (free incoming in all our countries save for Japan and China), a Boingo account for roaming wifi, and a proxy server service in case we need to pretend to be in the UK, such as for BBC Iplayer.

I sold my Leica to switch to a digital compact system camera, and so my Panasonic Lumix GF1, a micro four/thirds camera, is along to provide photography with a 20mm f1.7 lens, a lovely retro styled Olympus 45mm f1.8 and a 14-45mm f4.5 zoom lens. With an electronic viewfinder and one hell of a flash gun, I have no excuse to take pictures. I am looking forward to that, I have had no time at all for photography at all this year.

So, I never took a gap year, and now I am doing the round the world in a very "executive" way. I make no apologies, it's how we want to do it and at our age, why the hell not? We've saved the money and the hotel reward points for years, and if we don't do it now, then mabe never, so Bon Voyage to us, and I hope one or two of us might enjoy reading our adventures as the blog goes global..

Tom and Ann

P.S. As usual I will be reviewing hotels and restaurants and stuff over on Trip Advisor, I may or may not copy here, or just add the links. My picture albums at Facebook and Picasaweb will be slowly topped up, and linked from here. Roleplaying nonsense will be posted here and to my BBS, The Tavern.

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