I am the most unqualified blogger to be writing about technology.
I could be described as a ‘late bloomer’ when it comes to technology, but perhaps ‘luddite’ is a better label.
Technology just doesn’t float my boat.
I don’t need to be connected 24/7.
I don’t need to Instagram my every meal.
Despite this, I do have a few essential tech items that are the first things to go into the packing pile.
Yes, I am very old fashioned and carry a genuine point-and-shoot camera. Yes, point-and-shoot may seem like cheating, but it is a good quality camera and seems to deliver some pretty nice shots.
I chose the Canon Powershot SX720HS because of its 40x zoom and a high megapixel count. (I almost sound like I know what I am talking about). The zoom is truly fabulous, and if I keep my hand steady, I can get some excellent detail in the frame. At 255gms, it is a little heavier than my previous compact camera, but still small enough to fit into the pouch I attach to the hip belt of my back pack, or in the front pocket of my cross-body bag/satchel.
Getting all fancy schmancy, I downloaded the Canon app onto my tablet and I am able to transfer photos from my camera to the tablet for emailing, Instagram etc. I marvel at this every time I do it, but perhaps I am easily impressed! I told you I was a late bloomer.
I am not an Apple fan and have been very happy with my Asus android. It is an 8” tablet in a padded cover which is great for weathering the knocks and bumps. At 365gms, it is a good weight and size for carrying in my backpack or in carry-on luggage. Yes, a larger sized screen would be handy, but I am not prepared to carry the additional weight, and the extra length and width would make it slightly more awkward to stow.
I am in the process of researching the purchase of a small keyboard that may be able to Bluetooth to the tablet. I am not sure they exist in a small enough format. Do you have any tips for me here?
As well as the usual emails and internet, I love the range of apps I have installed to make traveling more enjoyable. I am a voracious reader when I am at home, and am delighted to be able to read while I travel without having to carry neither books nor Kindle.
- Project Gutenberg: Is a free download site. All the books are from the ‘classics’ genre, and as the copyright has expired on those texts, they are free. Just perfect for catching up on those old favorites or texts you should have read at school like the teacher told you to do.
- Axis 360 and Borrow Box: Axis 360 and Borrow Box are library apps promoted by my local library. Membership of my library means I can access thousands of e-books and audio books and borrow them like a ‘real’ bricks and mortar library. It is also free and the app is available from the App store or Google Play. Check if your library has this facility before you travel.
- ABC Radio App: This app is useful to keep up-to-date with what is happening at home. A small set of earphones/plugs lets me listen to the news without disturbing anyone else when staying in dorms or hostels. I did try to access the ABC Iview app to watch my favorite shows, but copyright restrictions mean I can’t watch anything when I am outside Australia. Disappointed.
Well, it’s going to be new tech to me when I undertake my next walk. I am going to walk, for the first time ever, with a mobile phone. Yes, I know! How cutting edge am I?
I fear it is going to be one more thing for me to lose, drop or smash, but on the Via Francigena, it is said that you must phone ahead to book your accommodation rather than just turning up. I will also download some apps such as Maps.me and Pocket Earth for general navigation and the Sloways App for Via Francigena specific maps. Surely with all those, I should be able to stay on track?
As I write this I think I should look for an Italian language/translation app too!
I will also research the purchase of one of those one-point-multi-lead chargers. It may alleviate some of the cord spaghetti that occurs and may be even more necessary now as I try to charge my tablet, phone, camera, head lamp and smart watch all at the same time!
Perhaps I may have to leave some things out of my backpack to fit all this tech in. Only two pairs of underpants instead of three?
As long as I have space for my pens and my paper travel journal, I will be happy.
Apologies if you haven’t learnt anything from this post.
What can you teach me?