Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Pleasurable Lightness of Travel

The Pleasurable Lightness of Travel

I'll be going on a one day trip tomorrow without my notebook PC, so it is unlikely that I will be blogging then. I try to travel light whenever possible but these days it is quite impossible to pack your luggage without the usual array of chargers, cables, converters and what-have-you.

I used to have a checklist of things to bring on business trips. I go through it to make sure that I don't forget anything essential. The worst thing to forget on a business trip are things things like belt, shoes, haircream and business shoes. You can't replace these things easily, especially if you only discover them missing on the morning when you are dressing up for your business meeting!

I have a bad habit of bringing way too much reading materials (which also weigh a ton). On business trips, I bring along technical books which I kind of half know I will not refer to. But still I bring them with me because they give me a comfort feeling--that I'm not severed from my source of knowledge.

One thing we have to remember is that, we will always come back from a trip with a lot more things. Don't forget the ole-ole (gifts) that we have to bring back for the folks back home. In my case, if I travel to Jakarta, I also have to make sure I have ole-ole on both trips. The safest (and dullest) ole-ole are chocolates and perfume. Men don't expect ole-ole, it's only the women who do. Men are interested in other things--especially your "field report".

The best part about travelling to me is loitering around at airports, train stations and bus stations. Somehow I find these places fascinating--the variety of people converging there and the sheer sense of freedom in the air, of going some place far, of having your destiny in your own hands. Staying in a hotel is also great fun. I'm especially happy whenever I'm alone in a hotel. Which was why I was reluctant to move out from my hotel in Jakarta for two years. And those were such happy times...

No comments: