Wednesday, July 19, 2017

When Things Go Very Wrong

Sometimes things can go very wrong while traveling. I have been learning how to drive crutches thanks to a terrible accident involving a broken toe. How did I break my toe? I stubbed my foot on the leg of the couch in my hotel room. It was an incredibly good(?) shot because I hit the corner of the leg in such a way that it snapped my toes apart cracked the bone. At one point my foot had swollen so much that it was pushing against my shoe. On the plus side, I should be able to get pre-boarding on my return flight. Please note, I don't recommend going this route just to get a better seat.

Hobbling around on crutches is not a fun experience, especially if you've never used them before. But the really good lesson has been how to get medical help while traveling, and just how long it takes. You really appreciate home and the resources that you take for granted.

The next eight weeks are going to be quite interesting to say the least.

Monday, July 17, 2017

How Does This Happen?

When I see articles like this from respected travel bloggers, I really get a icky feeling. The first thought that comes to mind is "sellout," followed by "misleading." I understand that these sites and bloggers need to make money (why do you think I have ads turned on for this blog?), but so much of this article is full of just blatant misleading advertising that it leaves me scratching my head.

If you are an experienced traveler, you should know the pitfalls of days travel, and not be recommending things that will not only not help, but could actually make the travel experience worse. It's bad enough we have to contend with the airlines. Why would you want travelers to waste their hard-earned money on toys that are unnecessary?


I want to run through the list real quick to provide clarity based on my own personal travel experiences.

Charging Case

I completely agree. You have to have power available to you, but there are a lot of options out there. I prefer the largest power battery pack I can find that isn't too large or heavy. Honestly anything touting recharging more than three times, isn't worth it because it is very rare to have a situation where you are going to burn through that much power without being able to use an outlet along the way.

Laptop Charger

An extra battery is all you should consider. Laptop charging packs tend to be MASSIVE, and I would hate to travel with something that weighs just shy of a tank. An extra battery is bad enough.

Mobile Scanner

Use the camera on your phone. I've never ever found a need, or wished I had a mobile scanner. If you get the ExpenseIt app, that will automatically move receipts into Concur, and fill in all the expense details via your phone's camera. There are also apps that you can use for document scanning, business card scanning, and even language translation--all done with the camera you already have.

USB Ink Pen

Are you kidding me? Seriously? I need a pen maybe once a week, if that, and something like this is just an unnecessary expense. Get a decent sized USB drive, which the pen won't be, and toss it in your bag. If you need an occasional pen, toss one in your bag, but most people have a pen in their office when you really need one. Most of your work can be done on your laptop or tablet.

Smart Luggage

I just posted about this the other day--NO! It's a complete waste of money. I just purchased and received a TravelPro bag that has a nice pocket on the side for a battery pack to be dropped in to, and a port on the back to plug a device into. That's the furthest I would go with luggage. Anything else is a waste of money, and will definitely inconvenience you when you try to get through TSA.

Micro Projector

I have yet to see a micro/mini projector that can project a satisfactory professional level image. It might be useful in a pinch, but you're much better off using the proper tool. I make sure all my customers are aware of my requirements before I arrive and never have a problem providing a projector or monitor. What I would suggest is a multi-video adapter that has all the possible connections on it.

Mobile Hotspot

I agree with this section. I've saved my sanity many times by having a Mi-Fi available.

Smartwatch

This seriously doesn't belong in this article. You either have a watch or you don't. I wear a FitBit Surge to track steps and because we have competitions at work, but it isn't even close to being essential for travel.


Noise-canceling Earbuds

I agree with this one as well. Fantastic for planes.

Perhaps somewhere along the line, if people are interested, I'll do a post of what I carry. Let me know in the comments if that is something you would be interested in seeing.

Friday, July 14, 2017

1 Year Ago Today - Toronto

One year ago today, I was in Toronto and was amazed at all the cool architecture in the city. I also learned that this was where the TV show Suits is filmed.


I also had the opportunity to go up in the CN Tower, and experience the city from an incredible height. If you look very closely near the top of the tower in this picture you can see the people in orange jumpsuits doing the sky walk--the hook you up and you walk around the edge of the tower.



And here is a great view of the city skyline from up there:


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Getting Started...

I'm quickly approaching my three year anniversary with my company and I'm always amazed at how much travel I've done since starting work here. Basically, I go wherever there is a hospital, so yeah, wherever there are people.

I wanted to share my Google Location History with you to give you an idea of everywhere I've been to date. This will also serve as my launch post to doing more travel blogging. Expect updates on Sundays and Wednesdays. I think twice a week is the best I can manage with my busy schedule. There will be pics of food, landscapes, hotel rooms, and other manner of randomness. As well as non-travel content that I want to share with the world.

So, without further ado, I give you my travels thus far:


And while they look fairly sparse, that is an artifact of being zoomed out, but it gives you an idea at least.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Lots O' Luggage

With all my extensive traveling, I've put a lot of wear and tear on my luggage. It is TravelPro, so I thought it would last longer than it has. It could also be that it hasn't lasted because it bought it from a secondary supplier I think, and this may have been more of a "quality assurance issue." Regardless, I'm now on the hunt for something to replace my existing carry on. A lot of luggage that I'm seeing these days is "smart" with on-board battery charger, GPS tracking, etc. Quite a few models are popping up on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and I've been a little curious about them.

My initial thoughts are always that the features being sold are not practical for actual travel and my experiences have really shown me that these "smart bags" really are not a smart purchase. As an example, I saw this series of bags today:



And on the surface, they look "cool," "neat," "perfect for the traveler," but the number of reservations I had far exceeded my desire to make a purchase. But I thought that perhaps the issue is that I'm being biased, or stingy, and I wanted to gather more information. So a brief search of reviews and the like, found a video that addresses the exact concerns I was having:


My hope is that this post serves as something to think about should you ever need to shop for luggage, and you consider getting a "smart bag" of some sort. But please note, I'm sure there are smart bags out there that are practical and useful, so always do your research and if you have any suggestions for I might like, please let me know in the comments.

Friday, July 7, 2017

I've Been Absent

My goal is to start posting more frequently again. Specifically, I'm going to make this a bit of a travel blog. I'm not going to go overboard with details, and it will likely just be a copy of all my Google Reviews, but it will hopefully prove helpful to travelers from time to time, and be a place for friends and family to see what I've been up to. I'll also occasionally post stuff I find interesting, so if you care to see what I find interesting, make sure to subscribe to this blog. Perhaps at some point, I'll be able to say goodbye to Facebook once and for all.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Solar FREAKIN' Roadways!

I know you all have probably already seen this, but it is worth sharing again to increase the volume. The more I learn about our current state of environmental concern from actual scientists, not political activists, corporate lobbyists, or emotional citizenry, the more I realize that we really need to move to renewable power. And there is one new technology that really stands out as a very real game changer...

Ahem... SOLAR FREAKIN' ROADWAYS!

You can find the IndieGoGo campaign here where you can contribute:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/solar-roadways#home