I remember setting off to South Africa for three months travel about a decade ago. I left with six big books in my backpack and returned with a dozen more (All Wilbur Smith books).
How the world has changed. This time I left with one book and returned with the same one.
I know I’ve had some problems with my kindles in the past, but I’m now ready to accept that a paradigm shift has happened in my life … I now actually prefer to read on my Kindle.
Yep, I am becoming a very regular source of income for amazon.com.au
So what to take electronically is a big issue for me on every trip.
This time around we took Pineapple (our 13″ Macbook Pro), my kindle, a borrowed Ipad Mini and I took one book – the Japan Lonely Planet, borrowed from the State Library for this trip, and they were all invaluable.
Although the Macbook Pro was a last second edition (literally, a last second addition only added as we walked out the door and we had to stop at Anaconda on the way to the airport and fork out $130 for a full priced backpack to carry it in) it was invaluable for uploading photos and doing internet research (and maintaining my websites which always seem to have problems when I’m overseas, and there’s a lot of technical stuff you can’t do on a tablet). I’d definitely take it, or another lightweight laptop, again.
The iPad mini was a loaner from my mum as my old ipad is a bit big, slow and clunky now and I wasn’t 100% convinced that I really wanted an iPad mini.
It was however pretty darn good – it allowed me to read downloaded books from the State Library, and do 80% of what I needed to do online in hotels, but I wouldn’t have needed it if travelling alone.
I could see a world where maybe I didn’t buy an iPad Mini, but instead owned a Kindle Fire HDX Tablet for travelling (if only I had a birthday coming up soon …) which would feed my thirst for book access (I’d keep my normal kindle paperwhite for home).
And then there was the good old Lonely Planet guide – in good old paper. I’m afraid that Lonely Planet (and other guide books) in their EPub versions just suck (I had it on my Ipad mini as well). They are just so hard, and slow, to navigate as you want to jump from one section to the next – that’s where pages and paper bookmarks still work so well.
But, I’d like that to change.
So next trip – definitely a small, light weight computer (I could live with what I have, but if it were a long distance cycling trip, I’d consider the purchase of either an 11″ macbook, or maybe even try one of those Microsoft Surface Tablets, to cut down on size and weight). Definitely a Kindle (just not sure which one) and hopefully no books.
Just for the record, I love to read, especially when travelling. On this trip, as well as getting through the 600+ page manual for CbSubs (yay), I also got through two and a half science fiction novels, five zombie novels (I am NOT addicted) and am almost through the beautiful and highly recommended travel book “The Unplanned Voyage of Jack de Crow“.
I also read sections of “Clear and Concise business writing“, “…Then just stay fat” (terribly written book) and “The Sea Wolves – A History of the Vikings“.
Not bad for a two week trip.