I’ve backed up the computer, my novel in two different places (back up hard drive and memory stick), written directions for the petsitter, charged all electronics, set my mobile phone to international, done a last minute weather check for the places I’m going to coordinate appropriate clothing to pack.
I choose to take my computer with me, mainly because small notebooks cannot handle PhotoShop. It’s a choice. The computer stays in my room. While wandering I have 3×5 cards and the notebook. If it is a research trip I have a voice recorder for the ipod. This particular trip is not a research trip—except vaguely for the next novel.
I love all the overheard conversations on planes and trains and in waiting rooms and restaurants at airports. A great way to add to the journal for future stories. And, the “types,” the examples of salespeople, men in the middle of their career, women in the middle of their career, bureaucrats, children, barbituated housewives…
Travelling is a great way for writers to add experience.
I always leave room in the suitcase for books. Especially since this time in Winchester there are many bookstores—the Oxfam bookstore where I found my Latin dictionary, the used bookstore where I found my pocket Giotto (not a large coffee table tome but a small truly pocket-sized book of color plates), and the used books at the cathedral in the portico with the Roman mosaic where I found my current replacement copy of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman because I keep giving away copies to the culturally deprived.
I also budget for mailing books home.
Until I return…keep writing.