Monday, October 31, 2011

Road Trip 2011: Epilogue

I learned a lot over the past two weeks:

  • Four-poster to futon: I slept on six beds over eleven nights and had comfortable, uninterrupted sleep in them all. Two nights home in my own bed, all my aches and pains have returned. We need a new mattress, stat. Either that, or the dog, cat and husband need their own room!
  • You do not need to have previously met people IRL for them to be friends. Spending time with people I had only known online was great - thank goodness for ABAChat and Facebook.
  • Solo travel is great. Solo travel as a female is still great. The single downside is there isn't anyone to watch your carry-on luggage when you go to the loo at the airport, so you have to squeeze it into the cubicle with you!
  • Apps are ace: I used two apps on my Android phone which made everything so managable:
  1. Tripit was amazing - it even tracks your flight details for you: it knew my gate had changed before I did! (If my phone hadn't been flat on my return trip, it might have told me Qantas had issues!)
  1. Packing List  was terrific: I was able to work out all I would need to take, divided up into various bags and then just gather it all ready to go - and check I had it when I left each stay.
  • If you are going to use your mobile phone as a GPS in a rental car, yes - do pack your dash mount. I didn't.
  • Audio books on CD make long drives much more enjoyable, as does your whole music collection on a memory stick.
  • My aunt once queried the modern trend to carry drink bottles of water everywhere. I have worked out this is because we don't tend to punctuate our days with multiple pots of tea! It is much more hydrating than you think.
  • B&B accommodation wins hands-down over motels at much the same price and cuts out all the middle-men - your money goes directly to the owners.
  • Cousins morph into your aunts, uncles and grandparents over the years - quite disconcerting when you haven't seen them in a while!
  • I much prefer art to depict real life in a way I can see it - abstract is too abstract for me.
  • Second-hand bookshops are always staffed by people with a passion for books, a tendency to chat and piles of books they are getting around to shelving. The best ones have a resident cat or dog and the ultimate also serve tea!
  • It is much wiser to post your book purchases home by mail than try to squeeze them into your luggage.
  • The Goodreads app is essential to prevent doubling-up! There are two - I prefer this one
  • The BEST gadget I had with me was a last-minute purchase at Coles before I left - basically a double adapter with two USB points - I could charge my phone, Kobo and laptop all at once with access to only a single, standard power point. I think it was $15.
  • Don't take your tripod and really don't lug it to dinner at Parliament House, just in case - you won't use it!
  • Do use the Facebook check-in feature - it keeps the family informed you are safe, let's hosts know you are on your way/made it safely and is fun for everyone else to track your travels!
  • Finally - I could so make this a regular habit! Which State should I visit next time????

Oh, and I so want a new car! I hired a Kia Sportage and fell in love! 
Dear Santa, I have been a very good girl ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Use the disabled toilet if you have too much luggage. A tip given to me at Heathrow Airport.