O'Hare Airport, Chicago
"The journey not the arrival matters." - T.S. Elliot
*This post was extensively revised: 23 January 2014
Now that you've got the perfect carry-on, what should you put in it? Luxury and comfort are the operative words! Let's start with the basics: music, reading & writing...
iPod Classic ($250)
It holds up to 40,000 songs. Need I say more?
iPad 2, Apple (@$400)
For voracious reading travelers, an ebook reader is a must. I've talked about the trials and tribulations of being a voracious reading traveler (see my posts Galignani and The Adventures of Tintin). Well, I solved my problem forever when upgraded to the Apple-iPad2. I love, love, love! my ebook reader. It's small, thin, very light and has apps for every 'book' program in existence - though I've got to admit that I still bring a few paperbacks along with me - yeah, I'm an addict and have no control over my addiction. Still I never leave home or travel without it. To read my full iPad review, see here.
Yes there are other ebook readers on the market - the best selling being Amazon's "Kindle" and Barnes & Nobles' "Nook." Did you know that you can only upload books that you've purchased from Amazon or Barnes and Nobles? And did you know that you don't actually own the books you buy for your Kindle or Nook? (read this very interesting New York Times article). I don't know about you, but it freaks me out knowing that a) someone is monitoring what I'm reading and b) they have the power to delete whatever books I own that they don't like - sheesh! With my iPad 2 I can and do buy all of my books directly from the author's site or a publishing house and upload them to my iPad. I also store them on a designated flashdrive - totally under my control and for my eyes only. Okay, rant's over. Back to this post...
Along with all the tech-stuff, an old fashioned journal is absolutely a traveler essential.
Journaling in Scottsdale, Az
When my mom first took me overseas, soon after the plane took off, she gave me a small journal and told me to write in it everything that I saw, everything I did, and what I thought and felt about it. I was barely 13 years old. I still have a travel journal. Of course I keep a daily journal, but I keep a special one that's only for travel. And though I travel a lot (at least 4 times a year) and write a lot, I'm still not a 3rd way through my latest travel journal. A travel journal is a great thing to have because it's a chronicle of all your travel in one place. Also, since they last for such a long time, you can splurge a little and get something totally diva-lishious! And there are so many styles, sizes, and materials.
Paperthinks Recycled Leather Notebooks
Large (5x6.75) $17 - Kate's Paperie
My favorite journal 'store' is Kate's Paperie. She carries all sorts of journals and notebooks but I'm really liking her latest addition: Paperthinks. They're made of 100% recycled leather, 50% recycled paper pages, and come in 24 different colors. The Paperthinks Series comes in 3 sizes/styles: Large lined or blank (see above), Small blank (4x5, $14), and Slim lined (4x5, $14 - she's having a special: 3 Slims for $15).
Pilot Varsity Disposable Fountain Pen
$2 ea/$20 for 1 dozen - Amazon.com
There's something very Old World about journaling with a fountain pen. Varsity offers a fountain pen for the 21st century: the Pilot Varisty Disposable Fountain Pen. They're very light but write and 'feel' like an old fashioned fountain pen (with a metal nib and everything). They last for a very long time and don't bleed or leak - love these!
Thus, between your iPod, Ebook reader, and journal, you'll have plenty to keep yourself occupied however long your flight is - we don't need no stinking in flight movie!
Now that you've got all that you need to keep yourself entertained, there are a few essential travel items that will keep your body luxuriously comfortable as well. But that's for the next post: What a Girl Wants - Survival Kit.
Explore! Dream! Discover!