Traveling Light, Part 1

Now that I’m the Paulists’ First Consultor (part of our 3-man leadership team, together with the Paulist President and Vice President), I’m doing a lot of traveling. This week I’m back in Columbus to help cover things while Fr. Chuck is on vacation, and to help the new Director, Fr. Joe Ciccone, CSP, get oriented. After this, I’m off to Tampa, Richmond, back to Columbus, then on to Colorado, Washington DC, Chicago, and Washington DC again. Between now and October 15, I’m only home for two weekends. I expect I’ll hit Delta’s Silver Medallion status by October, and I may make Gold by the end of the year.

This is a lot more travel than I’m used to. And, while I don’t mind travel per se, it’s pretty clear that I’m going to need to develop some strategies to deal with life on the road.

I’ve been doing some on-line research, as well as consulting friends and colleagues who travel frequently for work. I’m discovering that there are many helpful tools available. In this series of posts, I’ll share a little bit about what I’m finding, and experiencing as I travel.

Much of my life today is digital. Communications, entertainment, task management, document storage, and lots of other categories are the stuff of my work, leisure, and interests. For years, I’ve traveled with a MacBook Pro, a most excellent laptop and digital hum. That always required a separate laptop bag, external hard drive, cables, media, power cords and bricks. It was a lot to cart around, and it couldn’t be checked as baggage.

The solution to the “laptop problem” (too much to carry, risk of damage or theft, etc.) is an iPad.

With the iPad I have pretty complete internet access (no Flash-based sites). I can keep up with my email, browse the web, read books, watch movies and TV shows, manage my travel itineraries, keep up with my social media contacts, write and edit documents, create and show presentations, and do almost everything I do with my laptop. I can maintain this blog and its WordPress software, without having to use my laptop or office computer as a base. The iPad slips into a luggage pocket without the bulk and weight of my laptop.

What doesn’t an iPad do? Video editing (although iMovie is rumored to be in the pipeline), photo editing (yes, I know There’s An App For That, but they’re not great and don’t connect to my iPhoto library in a consistent and synchronized way), and printing. So far, when I’ve needed to, I have been able to just use the iPad instead of paper– when preaching, for example.

So, yes, I’m loving’ my iPad. It’s making life on the road MUCH easier.

Up next: the perfect luggage.

Location:Lane Ave,Columbus,United States