Making My Life Infrastructure Portable for Seven Weeks

Seven weeks on the road in foreign countries requires some careful thinking about how I will make my total "life infrastructure" portable.

  1. Health/Fitness – Without access to a regular gym, my exercise will probably be limited to jogs outside. This is not ideal since I get lost easily and can’t track my time/distance easily. I will do pushups and situps, too, in lieu of weights.
  2. Current Affairs – News sites online; will try to follow day-by-day via NYT/LAT/BBC and others
  3. Books  - already discussed
  4. Blogging/RSS - I will just monitor my high and medium priority feeds. I will also do most of my blogging offline first via MarsEdit.
  5. Technology Infrastructure  - I am bringing my old 12 inch PowerBook. It’s reasonably light and will allow me to operate as if I were on my normal 17 inch PowerBook. I will also be toting a digital camera (and charger) and iPod (and charger). 
  6. Communication  - I will have no mobile phone or mobile email; just Skype primarily, pay phones, and of course lots of email! Will try to find wi-fi conections for my computer. Worst case internet cafes on public computers. Putting critical stuff in secure sites online to access from public computers in case laptop is stolen.
  7. Work – Email and Skype will keep in touch with Comcate activities. When I was in Zurich for three weeks last summer I reviewed documents and contracts, gave feedback on brochures, and did some rudimentary sales work. All of this can be done whereever I am so long as I’m on a high speed connection!
  8. Security – Money belt, encryption of software data. My partner Dave has put the chances of my laptop being stolen at 10-20%!

5 Responses to Making My Life Infrastructure Portable for Seven Weeks

  1. Zoli Erdos says:

    Ben, if along the business activities and conversations you try to be what most students in this situation are, i.e. a “tourist”, you won’t have to worry about fitness… you’ll be walking instead of driving and be dead tired by the evenings… but hey, that’s part of the fun:-)

  2. Ryan Kellett says:

    One trick I use is to scan your passport (for me visas too) and store a digital copy securely online just in case you lose your passport. Be sure to bring a universal plug adaptor for those crazy European electricity outlets.

    I agree with Zoli in that you’ll be walking plenty and in that summer heat you’ll get in the sweating part too so I wouldn’t worry too much about the exercise.

    Happy trails!

  3. Robert says:

    Ben: Re #1: I would suggest getting an inexpensive Ripcord (www.ripcords.com) or similar resistance band. You will be able to use your own body weight for strength training. I’d also recommend a jump rope (www.ropesport.com). Combined, both are light, can be stowed in shoes or in small spaces, and will provide some variety to jogging and sit-ups.

  4. Ben,

    As far as health and fitness goes, you should purchase a strictly bodyweight exercise program called Combat Conditioning by a guy named Matt Furey.

    I am a fitness professional by training and I will probably never touch a weight or set foot in a gym again because of this program.

    Try it and tell me it’s not awesome.

  5. Sacca says:

    I really think you should check out the Garmin GPS devices. Feld is a fan too. I wear mine to run/ride/hike all the time and am an addict. I use the Forerunner 305, but you might want one with a bit more on the navigation side.

    Also, explore getting yourself a WiFi phone with Skype on it. You can then dial with a common contact list from public hotspots or just unlocked access points.

    Regarding security, money belts are great. So are your sneakers. Get used to putting some loot under your insoles. Also, be sure to have two cards with which you can withdraw money from an ATM and always keep them in separate places.

    Spend some time thinking about your backpack. Don’t keep anything worthwhile in the outside pockets. It is 90% that someone will slyly attempt to quietly open them and snatch something.

    You are going to have a blast.

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