The Art Of Being Lost

If there was one thing I learned going on family excursions growing up, it was how to be lost. Hiking in the woods, driving in an unfamiliar town, you name it, we could get properly lost in it. But this was not because we had a poor sense of direction or poor map reading skills, quite the opposite; we simply took a “big picture” approach to directions, which at times would roughly encompass half a national forest into simply, “over there”. And we always found our way, because really, we knew where we were headed. We just couldn’t tell you with reliable accuracy where we were at the moment.

As I’ve expanded my travels on my own, this foundation has served me very, very well, particularly in places where there was very little chance anyone spoke English. Some of my best experiences traveling have actually been in the process of trying to figure out where I was and what to do about it. The real key is all in not just preparing to be, but expecting to be lost.

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Being A Computer Hobo

Being A Computer Hobo

Despite being a tech geek with a daily internet habit, I actually hate traveling with a laptop. While not the backpack-dominating bricks they used to be, they’re still a significant size and weight in your bag killing your posture. Additionally, laptops are a single point of failure: if it dies or gets stolen, you’re dead in the water, not to mention when your laptop walks away, who knows who now has your data.

So even if I’m still lugging my laptop around with me, I have focused as much as possible on “off-shoring” my computing, giving me the same access to my usual tools and data from pretty much any computer with an internet connection. By using install-free web tools, I’m left free to ditch the laptop if I so choose and become a computer hobo, living on the move off borrowed resources; all the freedom, none of the smell.

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