Excess Baggage

Now that my husband and I have made firm plans on a trip to Spain (we leave in under a week!), I am debating what to travel with on our 9 week trek to Europe. I’m trying to travel as light as possible, which is quite challenging when trying to factor in such electronics as a laptop, tablet & phone (not to include all the plethora of accessories + chargers). On top of that, I’m uncertain on which camera to take — do I go with my Nikon SLR with the standard 28-50mm lens or choose instead my efficiently portable Nikon point & shoot camera. Forget about the 70-300 zoom lens for the SLR. I’ve got too much as it is. And trying to narrow down to the basic ‘necessities’ is proving to be difficult when it comes to hauling around expensive toys across the big pond. I’m even considering bringing the GoPro. But now, am I going overboard? I have video capabilities on both my cameras and phone. Too many gadgets weighs me down in my travels. I have too much experience living that truth …. I want this trip to be hugely different from my travel days of 15+ years ago when I lugged around a HUGE 75 litre Lowe Alpine backpack plus a day bag. At the time, I wasn’t just on week or month-long trips. I was trekking for YEARS. And carrying all that excess baggage really was a literal pain in the butt. It limited my options, at times, of spontaneity and freedom. I even took my skydiving rig with me on an overload tour of Africa. But it was functional and well-used during that trip. So it made perfect sense. And this was well before the days of expensive electronic gadgets and stuff. Nowadays, I’m of the mind that the less I have, the better.

I remember sharing a bunkhouse with an amazing nomadic world-travelling goddess in India, 7 years ago. She travelled scrupulously lean with little to her name except for her explicit desire for her music library by her side. Megan hauled around a ridiculous amount of CDs for her cd-playing Walkman. But she couldn’t live without her music. An iPod was not an obvious option for her at the time (she had never actually heard of an iPod 7 years back, even though this amazing Apple life-changing invention had been released in 2001). That memory of Megan’s music devotion reinforces the concept that many people tend to travel with excess baggage that they deem important and are unwilling to relinquish. Myself included! I’m having a hard time considering 2 months away without my laptop. Dang.

MAC electronics

I’ve toyed with the idea of only travelling with a tablet. But after spending a few days out and about trying to navigate my working habits, I quickly saw the limits of said device. Editing photos and websites are tedious at best, even with several different blogging and photography apps. For me, nothing can beat a traditional computing experience where hardy software and an accessible hard drive provide for all my digital needs. Having a keyboard is key. I’ve yet to see a usb keyboard that would serve the functionality and ease of my laptop for the iPad. I’m open to recommendations and suggestions! So back to my plan A. Laptop goes with me to Europe. In reality, no one really needs a tablet to accomplish all their digital needs. But once had, tablets are certainly hard to give up! The reading experience is pleasurable compared to trying to surf on a phone. The screen size of my iPhone 4S is not meant for reading large amounts of material online or in book form. Hence the iPad. I’m a MAC girl at heart, and having the whole payload of Apple’s toys at hand is hugely gratifying and appealing. Worth toting around the European Continent??? Something yet to be determined. I’ll keep you in the loop!

To what lengths have you travelled the world with your toys and life possessions on your back? How much is too much when it comes to baggage? And what have you given up in the process?

Rebranding of a Canadian Icon

yogaFLIGHT on Lululemon’s previous website design

Lululemon launched a whole new design with the rebranding of their website. White vs black. More sleek and vavaVoom, with meaningful bells and whistles that enhance the user experience.

We received an email from the marketing firm who worked on our story for the feature, telling us about the new photo of us online — the photo on the left. WOW! This company continues to surprise us with new poses from our photo shoot, here and there where I least expect, such as on their twitter and facebook pages. What lovely surprises to stumble upon!

  

Newly Designed yogaFLIGHT

Our yogaFLIGHT.com website goes live today! Wow, the anticipation of such a huge change in format is exhilarating. Perhaps the adrenaline keeps me awake as I forge my way towards finishing the self-imposed deadline. It only seemed fitting and necessary that we launch our website before the Lululemon campaign arrives this Thursday. I’m just as excited about the process as the end destination. And truly, is it really the ‘finale’? I dare say not … an exciting new future awaits us, as potential new avenues and markets open up to our brand of partner yoga.

And as I test and retest in between creating new photo galleries, sleep is beckoning me to the futon, but I have a target in sight, and I must continue to carry forward as best as I can. Of all people, I certainly know that once a website is rolled out for the whole world to investigate, the work is never truly done. Always room for improvement, upgrades, new info and finessing. Onwards I forge!!

Google Wow

Waking up to the sound of rain in our Airstream is one of the most beautiful sounds, the steady drone of heavy drops ~ like the rhythmic seductive beating of  drum. But unlike most of our mornings on the road, I had an appointment to make! I promised to teach an early morning yoga class, and 5 friends showed uP! Fabulous. 🙂 But after that, I had plenty of time on my hands. A perfect day to spend on the computer, searching and researching.

Google has always been a good place to start for me, and today I stumbled upon a goldmine! Did you know that Google offers more than 70 Google services — from 3D Warehouse to YouTube? I didn’t realize this fact until I installed a Google toolbar add-on in my Firefox browser. The Firefox toolbar rocks! I’ve always been a fan of the Google search engine and my Gmail account, but add an additional 68 features (and growing), you have a pretty behemoth workhorse of a company that is providing useful target services, pretty much for every individual on this planet who uses the Internet! Now that’s an impressive company.

For example, they have Google Transit … kind of like Google Maps but a planning /  scheduling system for the transit systems of more than 446 cities. Now that’s impressive (and as we approach Earth Day, an eco-friendly resource that I want to promote).

Here’s an extensive (but not fully comprehensive) list. You be the judge!

Search

  • Alerts Get email updates on the topics of your choice
  • Blog Search Find blogs on your favorite topics
  • Books Search the full text of books
  • Checkout Complete online purchases more quickly and securely
  • Google Chrome A browser built for speed, stability and security
  • Custom Search Create a customized search experience for your community
  • Desktop Search and personalize your computer
  • Directory Search the web, organized by topic or category
  • Earth Explore the world from your computer
  • Finance Business info, news and interactive charts
  • GOOG-411 Find and connect for free with businesses from your phone
  • Google Health Organize your medical records online
  • iGoogle Add news, games and more to your Google homepage
  • Images Search for images on the web
  • Maps View maps and directions
  • News Search thousands of news stories
  • Patent Search Search the full text of US Patents
  • Product Search Search for stuff to buy
  • Scholar Search scholarly papers
  • Trends Explore past and present search trends
  • Videos Search for videos on the web
  • Web Search Search billions of web pages
  • Web Search Features Find movies, music, stocks, books and more

Explore and innovate

  • Code Developer tools, APIs and resources
  • Labs Explore Google’s technology playground

Communicate, show & share

  • Blogger Share your life online with a blog – it’s quick, easy and free
  • Calendar Organize your schedule and share events with friends
  • Docs Create and share your online documents, presentations and spreadsheets
  • Google Mail Fast, search-able email with less spam
  • Knol Share what you know
  • Orkut Meet new people and stay in touch with friends
  • Picasa Find, edit and share your photos
  • Reader Get all your blogs and news feeds fast
  • Sites Create websites and secure group wikis
  • SketchUp Build 3D models quickly and easily
  • Talk IM and call your friends through your computer
  • Translate View web pages in other languages
  • YouTube Watch, upload and share videos

Go mobile

Make your computer work better

  • Pack A free collection of essential software