Last week I posted about the pens and analogue supplies I’m bringing with me to Japan and Hong Kong. Now, in Part 2, I’m covering some of the tools and set-up I’m going to be using to get things done (and also what exactly are the things I’m hoping to get done).
Essentially I’m going to be bringing my Traveler’s Notebook and an iPad.
I am planning on using my Traveler’s Notebook (of course) for both work notes and personal travel journaling, with three inserts, plus the zipper pocket.
- One kraft insert that will be travel journaling, taping in photos, recording memorable visits or events, stamps, tickets. This paper is great because it’s both good for fountain pen ink, but also a bit thicker so it can hold up to photos being taped in, or layers of paper being glued in.
- One lightweight paper insert will be for work notes, general thoughts and writing, journaling, lists, blog planning, vendor information. This paper is thin and has a lot of sheets.
- The last insert is the second half of the vertical weekly dated agenda, will be for keeping track of appointments, meetings, plane/train departures and arrivals. This is also a good way for me to backtrack and recall what happened on that Thursday and then the Friday…
We leave the last week of June, which is coincidentally the week when the first half of the two pack ends. For a while, I thought it was just going to be a terrible thing, for me to be missing that first week with the second half insert, and I would be floating around untethered, as I would (obviously) not bring an entire insert for just one dated week. I contemplated such drastic measures as photocopying just that week and taping it in, but it turns out! It turns out that the second half actually duplicates that last week of June, so you get it in both the first and the second insert. Those Japanese agenda manufacturers. Geniuses.
Jon runs the show here, and I mostly just take care of the kids and the animals and the plants, but after everyone’s in bed, I work on things like the blog, social media, emails, scheduling, research, new vendors.
Realizing that I’m certainly doing nothing magnificent or anything that requires a substantially powerful machine—I’m basically just using the internet and typing, and perhaps an occasional FaceTime or Skype conversation—we started considering whether it would be worthwhile to get an iPad. While we are moving around quite a bit within Japan and then to Hong Kong, staying in a few different places, added to the debate was the fact that for a portion of the trip, including the return flight home, I’m going to be traveling solo with the kids, so being able to pack light would be pretty helpful.
I expended a considerable amount of mental energy waffling back and forth between bring my laptop (13” MacBook Pro) and purchasing a e-reader so I could read books on the trip, or purchasing an iPad, and using it for both work (blogging, etc.) and as an e-reader. Both scenarios had many pros and many cons (my laptop doesn’t fit in my backpack but there are waterproof e-readers that I can take into the shower with me but an iPad is quite expensive but also much cooler and isn’t it about time I joined the 21st century for goodness sakes you Luddite and also how would the reading experience compare to an e-reader screen my eyes are not very good and also an iPad is something Caleb is now beginning to be old enough to use and his senior kindergarten classroom apparently has a bunch of iPads so I can’t protect from the real world for much longer in any case) …and I ended up going with the iPad.
It’s been an adjustment getting used to writing blog posts on it (in fact, what I’m using right now), to tapping and moving things photos around from different files and onto browsers, moderating those spam comments, but it’s been fun. I’m not naturally a very techy person (ha ha ha) but there’s nothing some flashing lights won’t help in life.
All of it will can be squeezed nicely into my Roots backpack, which is a wonderful size for me—slightly smaller than a regular backpack (and therefore does not fit a 13’’ laptop). This still leaves a bit of room for a spare diaper and a few snacks.
I’m still bringing a few physical books, and I’ve actually earmarked a few bookstores to visit in both Japan and Hong Kong (still very much accepting any recommendations, English language or otherwise!) to perhaps pick up something while I’m there, but it’s very comforting to know you’re not going to run out of reading material on a long train ride or something.
So that’s about it. We’re moving around a bit, and who knows what our routine is going to look like. Maybe an hour in a cafe while Jon takes the kids (oh, the dream!), but more likely the usual late nights. This is going to be an adventure, for sure, and while I’m a bit nervous about how all the moving pieces are going to fit together and whether or not the children are going to survive or whether or not I’m going to survive, hopefully there will be lots to share.
Currently reading: The Leavers by Lisa Ko
Current location: On the rooftop terrace, looking out at a line of laundry hanging to dry
Currently in the instant pot for dinner: tomato sauce
Current state of trip planning: plane snacks
Current bane of my existence: the dog’s moulting with the change of seasons
Latest heard from the mouths of babes (Caleb):
Mama: Caleb, you have to practise sounding out these letters. That’s the point of school.
Caleb: Shouldn’t I just go to Hogwarts?