As a developer, I spend most of my day on my MacBook Pro. Unfortunately when I am out and about, I really notice the lack of screen real-estate, especially when I am doing web development or working in XCode. I have started using my iPad as a second monitor, using the “Duet Display” software. The iPad app is about £10 on the AppStore, and the Mac Software is a free download. You need to use a USB to Lightning cable to connect the iPad to the MacBook, which makes for a nice and fast display. It also means that I carry around a little stand for my iPad. The setup works well though, and makes a big difference to my development productivity when I’m on the road.
I’ve been reading a bit about No Bag Travel. This is travelling around the World without using any bags at all. In fact, the list of rules posted by Rolf Potts (the most famous proponent of this method of travel) is:
- No bags on the journey
- Borrowing items from locals is permitted
- Buying items along the way is permitted.
- Mailing items to oneself is not permitted.
These rules seem too limiting to me, and very arbirary. I prefer the “ultra-light” travel approach – travelling with as little as possible, but still have a day pack, or some kind of bag I can walk around with.
It looks like Firebox have a product which is essentially a giant photo of your face that you can put over your luggage. Brilliant! Who wouldn’t want to have a giant photo of themselves grinding around the luggage conveyor?
One tip I got from my friend Lydia travelling in Lisbon recently, was to buy these flat iPhone/iPad charging cables. They roll up and can be packed securely.
A few years ago I used to travel everywhere with a camera. I’ve had digital SLRs, and smaller compact cameras. It always used to add a ton of weight and bulk to my travelling though. For the last year or so, I’ve just been using my phone as my camera. It’s a bit of technology you always have with you, and adds no extra weight. The phone camera technology is getting to be as good as the cheaper digital cameras too.
Last night I watched episode 7 of Abstract, the Netflix Series about Design. It was all about Platon, the photographer. It inspired me to break out my Canon Mirrorless camera. I’m off to Lisbon tomorrow, so I’ll take it along. I’ve put a very small 22mm lens on it, and taken off the camera strap, so it is fairly compact now.
A while ago I thought I’d experiment with Scrubba, a portable washing bag. My thinking was that instead of packing a lot of clothes for a trip, if there was a way to easily wash the clothes, I could pack less clothes and just wash them more often.
I was reading another digital nomad’s blog post on gear this morning, and was amazed at the amount of gear she was recommending carrying around. I suspect that it was because she had Amazon affiliate links to the various things and wanted to get more sales. Most of the stuff she recommended was totally unnecessary in my opinion.
I’ve been doing a lot of research into what is the best power strip for the Hi-Tech Nomad. When I travel, I end up taking a bunch of wall-warts (usb power brick), with the appropriate plugs for the countries I will be working in. I also take along an international power adapter for my notebook. I currently need at least 3 USB power adapters (iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch) plus 1 power adapter.
I’ve been trying some power strips with 4 USB sockets on one plug, but it makes a faint humming noise when only one or two devices are plugged in, which keeps me awake and makes me nervous!
My ideal device would support fast charging, have 3 or 4 USB sockets, have at least 1 power adapter (for a power plug from any country), be very small and lightweight, not produce any noise, have overload protection, have a small cable for getting to those hard-to-reach power sockets, and be cheap!