That’s the view from the blogmobile–I’m reporting in the field on a massive road trip from Chicago to San Antonio, Texas and back again. It’s a nine-day odessey that combines travel writing, blogging and a lot of caffeine.
For this little adventure I packed the laptop, iPhone, a 500GB portable hard drive for images and media, batteries and about a mile of USB cable with connectors for every conceivable application.
The little things are the ones that bite you on trips like these. For example–my laptop battery is two years old and won’t hold much more than a 40 minute charge–horribly inconvenient when you’re trying to blog, upload images and post tweets about the adventure.
The iPhone is great for blog photos, but a proper camera would have come in handy on this trip. There was no room for it in the luggage (took the train for the first leg of the journey) but now I regret not having sucked it up and packed the extra bag.
Travel writing on the go like this requires a lot of note-taking–what was the first thing that me about the excellent sushi bar I ate in today in Springfield, Missouri? What is the most ugly thing about Springfield’s endless strip malls? What is the most beautiful part of the drive from St. Louis to Springfield, MO? Trying to memorize all that is a chore…and most of it can’t wait til I get in the hotel. Case in point–I had to pull over and raid a local college’s rec room space to post this before I get back on the road.
That’s one thing you can really take advantage of when on the road–if you need a place to plug in and work undisturbed for a few hours without all the coffe shop clatter, a campus is the best thing—there is usually visitor parking and nobody bothers you–they assume you’re faculty or some kind of weirdo exchange student. Well, at least in MY case they assume I’m that.
My bad news–I lost my cell signal half way between St. Louis and Springfield so I couldn’t call back one of my clients who needed a “right away” answer. I finally touched base and all is well, but it’s another one of those little things that bite you when it’s least convenient.
I’ve also scheduled myself too thin–I have a half day to make up already and I haven’t even started…gonna have to cut corners somewhere on this trip and believe me, you don’t want to make those sacrifices if you’ve already promised them to someone in an editorial department somewhere if you can avoid it. Beware of overcommitting yourself and you’ll do fine.
More from the road tomorrow…