Does Technology + Travel = Disaster?

This is the question I’ve been asking myself over the last few weeks, as I plan for my next big adventure. As an explorer and wanderer, I feel like I should be able to travel light, to not be weighed down by my material possessions, but as a blogger, photographer and film-maker, I also think it’s hugely important to use all the resources available to me to do the best job that I can, and this means bringing all my technological equipment along for the ride, laptop included.

But do I really want to be lugging my hefty MacBook Pro around the world with me? Or have to make sure it’s safe and secure if I ever leave it somewhere? I love my Mac (as much as anyone can love an inanimate object), and would be devastated if anything were to happen to it, more so for the content than the hardware.

I asked a few fellow travellers their thoughts on this topic and the replies were unanimous: take the technology, get a good backpack, secure it well, get insurance and you’ll be fine.

Advice from Curious Cheese (aka Chris Stevens of Backpacker Banter)

(Lindsay Clark of Nomadderwhere also made an excellent video post a while back about the equipment she used to keep her stuff safe)

Their suggestions are great, but before you get on that plane with your most prized possession, have a read of some other solutions to this problem that I’ve come up with:

1. First off get a whole load of memory cards for your cameras. This way you won’t need a computer to upload photos to make space on your camera, and you’ll never have to delete any pictures.

2. Secondly, get an online gallery, such as mobileme, to which you can upload your photos (whenever you come across an internet cafe) and any other important documents to so they’ll never get lost or damaged.

3. If you have an expensive camera, it may be worth investing in some GearGuard Camera locks, which can lock your camera body, its lenses and any accessories together or to an immovable object using a VERY strong steel cord.

4. Take a couple of portable external hard drives with you, such as the WD Passport, again onto which you can put your photos and videos, or even carry around some movies for if you come across something you can plug it in to, such as a TV in a hostel common room, or a fellow traveller’s computer.

5. Get an iPad (or similar device). This will enable you to make free video calls home to friends and family (using Facetime…so wait until the 2nd gen version is release this summer). It also means you can access the internet using any WiFi hotspot (don’t get a 3G one, the data charges abroad are off the scale!) when you want to update your blog or send an email. And finally, you can get an iPad camera connector and upload your photos from your camera to the iPad (well duh). Hopefully by the time I go on my RTW trip this time next year Apple will have also released iLife (iMovie/iPhoto etc) for the iPad, in which case I’ll be able to edit my movies right on that lightweight, hugely portable, genius of a technological invention! I won’t need the MacBook at all!

So hopefully I’ve given you a few things to think about. Just remember, there’s always a way around the problem if you look hard enough.

*Disclaimer: As always, I have not been paid to endorse any of the products mentioned in this post.

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