Travel reminiscences

It is that day again, departure day. There is stuff strewn across my office, an open suitcase and a nagging feeling that I have forgotten something important. Even lists can’t help. Years ago I made packing lists. I had one for every country I traveled to because each has special requirements. Like malaria prophylaxis for countries around the Bay of Benin but not for Afghanistan; winter clothes for Afghanistan but not for any of the other countries I usually travel to; electrical plug types etc.

The lists were made in the early 2000s and show how much the technology has changed our lives. On my lists featured items such as a phone-flashlight-music player- handheld (remember the Ipaq?) – camera, with different charging devices for each; now a tablet or smart phone will do all of that and so much more. We also had paper tickets which sometimes made for some exciting last minutes, waiting for a DHL or Fedex envelop with either my ticket or my passport with visa stamp, or both. Now, except for the visa part, these days are far behind us. Today I crossed off all these superfluous things; I happily crossed off theTampax as well, I am way beyond that now.

Travel was relatively simple then. There were three classes, First, Business and Economy, with Business only a few hundred dollars more than economy. Our travel policy included a rule that allowed B-class for trips longer than 14 hours. Alas, these days are long gone yet my trips are often closer to 24 hours. I am ecstatic if I get an Economy Comfort seat but by the time my ticket is purchased these are usually long gone.

I also used to travel with toys, gadgets to entertain people or give away as prizes, stacks of quotes printed on large colored papers, poems and what not. All this filled half my suitcase – I brought very few clothes and without all that stuff could have travelled with hand luggage only. I invested a huge amount of effort and energy in creating a ‘space for learning.’ It is not that I don’t think this is important but I am lacking the energy and create the learning space psychologically only.

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