Peace On A Plane
Today’s post takes a look at what constitutes a respectable road kit for someone who is both an events wrangler and a digital nomad.
In her recent post “The week we had,” Pam Kotke highlighted two pieces of air travel kit she bought to have a more restful plane trip from the USA to Spain.
“…Saved up some Amazon gift cards and got some amazing (and eye-wateringly expensive) noise cancelling earbuds. I feel quite confident that I’m going to snooze like a baby on the airplane next week because of these as well as this travel pillow I bought. YES I DID.
I don’t care in the least how goofy this looks if it means I can get a few hours of sleep on the plane. Erica and I arrive early Friday morning, and that night we have a presentation to give. So if I don’t sleep on the plane, it could get really ugly…”
Pam’s post got me thinking about stuff I take on a plane trip, an assortment of airline accompaniments put together over years of travel.
The gear, services, and practices one person needs to have the optimal experience, or at least an acceptable journey that leaves them smiling, from the time they walk through the door of their airplane until they walk back out that door upon arrival at their destination, will vary greatly from what many of their fellow travelers need.
Seven Items For POAP
Here’s a general list of the Seven Items I consider extremely helpful for achieving Peace On A Plane:
- Comfortable clothes and shoes.
- Smartphone & glasses.
- Boarding pass (hardcopy or on smartphone).
- Red backpack that will fit in overhead compartment.
- Personal bag that will easily fit under seat.
Preparation is the top item on the list for me. It’s on everyone’s written or unwritten list, but each person will prepare differently. And what you actually carry through the plane door isn’t preparation — it’s the end result of your preparations for the flight and for the overall trip.
Peace is tremendously influenced by your mental and spiritual situation, so I also listed Attitude as one of seven carry-on items you’ll need — and this item applies to every passenger and crew member. One section of a single blog post isn’t going to change anyone’s attitude, but if you’ve never looked into mindfulness meditation, consider it. I’m certainly no expert on the topic, but I think most people could benefit from it if they got acquainted with mindfulness meditation through guided sessions and regularly practiced it. You’ll be able to use it whilst waiting for the flight to board and when sitting in your less-than-perfect aircraft seating.
Comfortable clothes and shoes, smartphone, glasses, and boarding pass are all items without which I would feel slightly naked, or at least uncomfortable. And they’re sort of “worn” rather than carried onboard. No explanation needed for clothes and shoes, and everyone has a different idea of what’s best for those items. A smartphone has become indispensable for digital nomads, as well as for many non-nomads around the world who can afford one and have available cellular or WiFi networks. For me, the glasses are needed to be able to use my smartphone… 😦 The boarding pass has two functions — the gate agent seems to want to see it before letting me board, and it shows my seat number.
Items Six and Seven are the two which get physically carried aboard, although they may be over your shoulder or on your back rather than in your hand. My goal is to have only two items to handle when walking onto the plane — a backpack and a personal bag. The backpack should contain most anything I’ll need for a couple days when my checked baggage gets misplaced or we get stranded on an island like in Lost, Wrecked, or Swiss Family Robinson. My personal bag has everything I might want to access whilst seat-belted in during the flight or don’t want squished and squashed in the overhead. That includes a bottle of water and a paperback, as well as a couple survival items in case my backpack goes missing in that Lost scenario…
So that’s my list of boarding essentials. In future posts, I’ll spend more time on the details for each of the Seven Items.
As a digital nomad, I’m keenly interested in having quality tools (within my budget) that make connecting to the ‘net from (pretty much) anywhere an enjoyable and effective experience. Having been a digital nomad since the early 2000s, I know that having the right gear, tools, services, and practices can have a huge impact on your digital productivity and overall cyber-experience.
I’ve seen a number of posts over the past ten years about what digital nomads carry with them. A good recent example is Matt Mullenweg’s post, “What’s in My Bag, 2016 edition.” A couple others are “What’s in my pack?” (see picture on left), “Essential Entry-Level Work Gear for Digital Nomads,” “The Ultimate Digital Nomad Packing List for Travel,” and “The Digital Nomad’s Packing List (From a Girl Who Knows).”
I’ll describe my Digital Nomad Bug Out Bag contents in a future post, then update this post with a link.
As they say at Capital 1, “What’s In Your Digital Nomad Backpack?”
Using the term “road warrior” in this post is presumptuous on my part, but since that title is one to which I aspire, I used it anyway. I did much more airline travel in the corporate world than I’ve done in the past few years. Now all travel expenses are paid for out of my own pocket, and I don’t have a company paying me to work in different cities. When my goal of becoming an Events Wrangler is realized, I’ll likely be flying here and there more often. At that point, I’ll be leveling up my road warrior skills and kit.
As Abraham Lincoln is reputed to have said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” So this blog post and the future post wherein I will itemize my roadtrippin’ essentials are snapshots of me creating my future as a road warrior.
No links are included here for others’ posts about Road Warrior Gear because people’s needs and equipment lists vary so widely that it’s hard to find posts which relate well to my current situation and to the future I’m creating. This post will be updated with a link to my “road warrior essentials” post that I expect to publish roughly six months after being hired as an Automattic Events Wrangler…
Inspired By Neighbors
As extra credit for my Blogging: Fundamentals course at WordPress.com Blogging University, I am launching an online search project to find (and get inspired by) cybercitizens in three neighborhoods — the ones inhabited by Airborne Adventurers, Digital Nomads, and Road Warriors. To help me find those neighborhoods, I’ve got Blogging U’s suggestions for finding good neighbors. Maybe it would even help to use some of the internet’s maps, like the colorful Barrett Lyon / Opte Project map mentioned by Kasperksy, or possibly xkcd’s map of internet communities (although that’s a bit dated).
It’s good to see new areas of the metaverse, meet new like-minded and complementary-minded people and stretch one’s knowledge, skills and comfort zones. Now if there were only a couple more hours in each day. Sigh…
Bon voyage! 🙂
Blogging U Homework
Blogging: Fundamentals, Day Nine — Get Inspired by the Neighbors
- For Day Eight, you left comments on four other blogs.
- Write a post that builds on one of these comments, and link to the other blog.
- Give your post a few tags, including bloggingfundamentals, and publish it.
Blogging: Fundamentals, Day Ten: Build a Better Blogroll
- Use a widget to create a blogroll, a list of links you love that you want to share with your readers.
- Decide what kind of widget you want to use: the Blogs I Follow widget, or a Text widget.
- Open the Customizer, then select Widgets, and add the widget you want to use.
- Customize the widget’s settings and/or add your text, then click Save & Publish.
Yesterday’s post just didn’t lend itself to Day Nine’s assignment, so I combined Nine and Ten for today’s post. The Blogging U instructor said that was ok, and gave me ten points of extra credit for using my discretion rather than blindly following the course assignments…
A minor issue regarding the blogs listed in the blogroll text widget I added to Events Wrangling today is that I haven’t truly developed a list of cyberneighbor blogs that I want to advertise as “These Are My Favorite Blogs On The Internets.” What I put in the widget are #bloggingfundamentalsassignment blogs and a couple #eventswranglers blogs on which I’ve seen good posts. Six months from now, I’ll feel more comfortable about highlighting blogs which should be checked out by Events Wrangling readers.
Caveat: Publishing this post completes the Day Nine Assignment. I still have to create the blogroll text widget for Day Ten, which I’ll do after I publish today’s post and then figure out a couple blogs to list in the widget.