Monday, July 27, 2009

i dream of africa

Ok, so Africa is now bought and paid for and I'm looking forward to it. And even though it is 8 weeks away, I'm getting started on all the things I do before big trips, like make lots of lists of things to bring and do. I love a good list--it makes me feel like I've got control of something.

So I've got a camera. I've got luggage. I've got two pairs of travel knickers (although one pair has gone missing. I can't lose a $16 pair of knickers, people! Let me know if you've seen them. I promise amnesty for the knickers if they just return to me!). I've got all the appropriate clothes and shoes (I think), including a sweater/wrap-like thing for the plane, which will be blanket and sweater combined.

On the technology from we're still weighing the laptop concept, which would be good and yet we're not real sure how much/often we'll get to use it. We've got a sim based cell phone that is unlocked. To some extent I think we might be in the territory of overkill with some of this stuff--we'll see what makes the cut.

I've got an iPod touch which should take care of a good portion of the rest of my media needs. I have the Kindle app for it, and I'm planning on loading a ton of books, some movies and a whole lotta music on there, along with game apps and hope that keeps me occupied for some of the extreme amount of time that we're in the air.

So what else is an absolute travel essential that I'm forgetting? What is the thing that you can't live without when you travel? Please let me know so I don't forget it, bearing in mind that all my stuff has to fit into a 22 inch duffel on wheels and a backpack. I know there exists a contingent of people who will just tell me to take a credit card and my passport and go, but sorry sweetie--that ain't me. I need to keep stuff to a minimum, but there will be stuff.

My next question for you is what books do you recommend I take? I need things that are good page turners. Things that can sustain me through the long hours cramped in to steerage. Throw out your suggestions, even if they aren't available for the Kindle. I'm waiting with bated breath!


Chris said...
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Chris said...

Recently finished City of Bone. Tween supernatural story that wasn't bad. Also reading Three Musketeers. And recently finished The Art of Racing in the Rain, which has to be one of the most moving books I've read in years. All are on Kindle. And if you feel like rereading Lord of the Rings, it is too, now. I'll think about it some more.

Christine said...

I agree with the comment on The Art of Racing in the Rain.

Hrm. With as much as I read, you'd think I'd have more recommendations. Have you read Water for Elephants? How about The Time Traveller's Wife? Damage Control is a collection of essays you might appreciate. Hrm.
So jealous of your trip, btw! NOT jealous of the time spent on planes getting there and back - my recent 3 hour trip was enough for me at the moment!

Mrs.Bump said...


Yeah, I know about the flights. I'm just trying not to think about it any more than I have to until it is upon me. Thanks for the suggestions!

James said...

Lana, let's not take laptops - think the camps that we'll be going to (at least a couple of them) will have access. Let's be free! We thought about taking ours, but decided against it. Just more to lug. Thoughts? How about the book Modoc? It's great.

Miss Kim said...
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Miss Kim said...

Revised with the actual name of the book. Sorry, Midge!

A couple books for traveling; keep in mind that I usually pick mine for size:

I just finished The Lost City of Z, which was nonfiction but simply fascinating, about crazy explorers going off into the jungles to find lost civilizations and the modern day reporter who goes off in search of the same lost civilizations in a kind of "What the hell am I doing?" haze. Gripping and fun.

The City of Bones/City of Ashes/City of Glass series is like YA urban fiction candy when you don't want to think too much, and they're also mighty big.

The other one I'd be remiss if I didn't recommend for a foreign trip is Forgetting English by Midge Raymond, which is short. It's a set of (unrelated) short stories that all revolve around Americans traveling (to Hawaii, Tonga, Antarctica, Japan, China, etc.) and how those foreign environments force them to evaluate who they are or are not. But that makes it sound much drier than the stories actually are.