It has been two years since i took a proper vacation, as in go somewhere more than a long weekend.
Ever since I took my first trip to Europe twelve years ago, i’ve vowed to take an international destination vacation at least once a year. I managed to fulfill that plan until last year.
In the months leading up to this upcoming vacation, i felt, for the first time since i started working, really burnt out. I really need this break.
With three more business days to go, just the mere thought of the vacation ahead seems therapeutic. Felt like I haven’t been this mellow for ages.
While i was doing my research, i found out the way of travel has gone through a quiet revolution in the past two years. Here is an idealistic rendition of how one travels in the age of iphone and kindle.
Instead of buying/carrying a stack of tour guides, you can buy/download them onto your kindle. Similarly any books you want to read during the vacation/travel time, take them with you on your kindle.
Instead of printing out your hotel/flight reservation, you save them onto your iphone/blackberry/smartphones, including your pre-checked in boarding pass. In the airport you let them scan the barcode off your phone screen.
Instead of buying audio tours at museum or touristy sites, you can either download pre-recorded audio tours in mp3 form onto your iphone/ipd, and put on your own headphone when you arrived.
Instead of buying maps, you use Google Map for Mobile with my location, you will never get lost again and you can search for anything real time on the go.
You will travel light and have the world of information at your finger tips.
In addition, you will be twittering, blogging, uploading photos about your trip real time. Everyone in the world gets to watch.
But in reality, a reasonable data plan is still not available. Kindle has a limited book supply. I was this close of ordering one over the weekend, then i found out none of the latest travel guidebooks can be bought. There is also no way for me to get the books i already own onto kindle free of charge, not to mention the books i want to read are not always available on today’s Kindle database.
Alas. Here is my poor man’s version of an upgrade travel, not perfect, but still better than two years ago.
Book reader app Stanza on iphone allows me to download any old classic that’s current available through Project Gutenberg: The Moon and Six Pence, Frankenstein, and even some Chinese classics!
Google Push Gmail was just released onto iphone which allows me to store email/attachments onto my phone, which i could read later without a data connection. So i could email myself all the hotel/flight reservations, maps, research bits, to-do list and download them ahead of the trip. Only need to make sure i have the proper power charger plug.
I still have to carry the travel guidebooks. Oh well. Reading a physical book has its own charm. I don’t mind the luggage.
And i will be bringing a pen and a little notebook, attempting at scribbling messy and typo-rich (cuz my little paper notebook doesn’t come with spelling checker’s little red squiggle under the alphabet soup i will be making up).
Off we go! Italy, here we come!
A co-worker shared this hilarious cartoon with me, and it confirmed Gui’s comment earlier, Italy is very similar to China!
Europe Vs. Italy