Category: Travel

Digital Decluttering: Get Control of Your Unruly Data

This week, I tackled a non-digital task that has been driving me nuts for years.  I had one spice rack and two spice drawers, but whenever I needed to find a spice, I ended up looking in all three places. Even worse, I had to pull out every single jar to read what was on the label.  During this process, I often discovered that I had  duplicate spice jars or that I was completely out of the spice I was looking for.  Over the winter break I purchased a 48  little glass jars with white tops, and yesterday I moved all the spices into these jars, labeling the side and the top of each with the name of the spice.  Sure enough – there were duplicates, there were empty jars, and in the end, I got this unruly collection down to one drawer of neatly organized spices.  Now that it has some uniform structure to it, I can find the spice I am looking for easily and quickly check for the spices I need when I am making a grocery list. What would be the equivalent of this organizational task in our digital world?  For me, the digital spices are all the miscellaneous and unruly pieces of information about professional trips I take during the year, including flights, presentation titles, speaking fees, lodging, who I’m meeting for dinner and...

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Travel Uses for McDonalds

This is like an “Ode to Chris” blog as I am just making lists tonight. 1) McDonalds will always give you change no matter how ridiculously large the bill you have is and how little you have ordered. 2) There are always reasonably clean bathrooms. 3) It is a good well-lit place to duck into if you are being followed late at night by questionable people. (I have not used it for this purpose myself, but I can see how it might be good for that) 4) Some McDonalds in Europe have cheap Internet. 5) If you have been waiting at a restaurant for 30 minutes and have not even been given a menu, and are starving after a very long hot train ride, you can get your food in under 5 minutes. (sorry to any Intrepid leaders who might be reading this, sometimes hunger wins over local eating) Possibly Related Posts: Write an Operating System for Your Brain The Four Processors: A Neogeneralist Problem? Strategies for Escaping the Echo Chamber Lean in to the Discomfort Steal Back Your Time and Accomplish Your...

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What do you do if you read too fast?

I know a lot of people that buy a nice thick novel and bring it on a 2-week vacation in hopes of getting through it on their trip. Well, what do you do if you can get through that thick novel in one plane flight? When I was a child, my family would have to make room in the trunk for a box (yes, a box) of books for the family vacation, just to keep me occupied. (mind you, this was before the advent of portable DVD players). So, if you can consume reading material at lightning speed, how do you keep yourself entertained on long plane trips, car trips, train trips, bus trips. Obviously, you can’t carry a box of books with you (unless you’re planning to travel naked). My self-entertainment plan: iPod with Audio books from Audible, two Paint by Number puzzle books (they don’t take up much room, but do take a lot of time), two novels (which I will swap with folks at hostels for more reading material), one leadership book (need to read it for my comprehensive exams in the fall), disposable reading material (like magazines) and one book of logic puzzles. This is a total of six physical books, several magazines, and an iPod. I know that still sounds ridiculous, but for me, that’s not very much reading material. iPod Leadership books (studying...

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All Packed and 24 Hours to go…

You’ve heard the phrase “All packed and no place to go”? Well, for the first time ever I am packed well in advance of a trip (usually I pack the morning of the trip). Here’s what all that packed up stuff looks like… Okay, you’re thinking, I thought we were only allowed TWO bags. Well, the middle one is my “I don’t trust the airlines” carry-on duffle with the stuff I would really not want to be on a vacation without or that I would really not want to repurchase (bathing suit, extra underwear, etc.). After I arrive in Vienna (with my luggage), I will pack that stuff back into the large bag and carry the empty duffle (it will work also work nicely as a carry-on on the plane trip home for the stuff I accumulate on the trip). Here’s what all that stuff you packed looks like outside of the bags… the day pack (there’s a little extra here because of the need to carry on important stuff, like prescription medicine). And the large backpack (shoes, clothes, towel, etc.)… Did I forget anything? Possibly Related Posts: The Four Processors: A Neogeneralist Problem? My New Work Colleagues Momentary Lapse of Memory New Chapter: Life Reboot Self Evaluation: List of...

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How to pack for a 32-day trip?

Mission (should you choose to accept it): You get one day pack and one piece of luggage (a larger backpack). You must pack everything you need for 30 days and save space to bring back a few things. You also must be able to carry everything you’re bringing with you. First the technology: (this is my version of technology-lite) 1) Digital camera, an extra memory card, and batteries. 2) Digital voice MP3 recorder (not so good at writing anymore). 3) iPod loaded with approximately 15 audio books, 2 days worth of music, and several photos of home, headphones, and headphone splitter (in case you want to share). 4) Regular film camera (I can’t give up my extra-wide angle lens, and I can’t afford a digital SLR + wide-angle lens), film, and extra batteries. 5) Thumb drive. 6) G-Mail account – email yourself your Internet favorites too. 7) Alarm clock. Vacationing necessities: 1) Travel pillow (one of the really cushy ones, not the blow-up ones). 2) Rain jacket and warm liner, just in case the weather is bad. 3) Bathing suit(s), travel towel (packs in small space and dries quickly), and lightweight sari (good cover-up when you don’t want to get burned). 4) Paint-by-number puzzle books (also called Nonograms). 5) Passport, ATM card, and credit card. 6) Outlet converter (to charge iPod). 7) Bug-spray wipes, hand wipes, stain-removing wipes, and...

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