the Long's Strange Trip
into the unknown...
When we leave on our trip, we'll be taking along what we need to keep this web site updated on a fairly regular basis. It's really important to us not only to keep those at home up to date on our whereabouts, but also to create a permanent journal of our experiences on the road.
This site was built using Microsoft FrontPage version 3.02 on a Sony Vaio PCG-N505VX. This machine is an incredible little sub-laptop, weighing in at only 3.1 pounds! It packs a 333 MHz Pentium® II processor, a 6.4 GB hard drive, and 64 MB of RAM. Portability is critical for us, plus the small size means it will be easy to pack (and hide). Using the Vaio, we'll be able to add pages to the web site as we travel. We'll also be taking an Olympus D450 Zoom digital camera so that we can easily add photos to the pages.
Once the pages are complete, we'll upload them to our web hosting service, Mindspring Biz. When updates are available we'll also send out an email to everyone on our mailing list to let them know that there are new tales to be read. We'll be connecting to the Internet via our internal 56 KbS modem and phone jacks in the hotels we stay in. This could prove challenging, considering that we'll probably usually be staying in places without in-room phones, so we'll be doing some of this uploading in the hotel lobby. TeleAdaptUSA is a great resource for the tools you need to stay connected while on the road. Since the Vaio is internationally rated, we don't need a currency converter. The only other detail sounds mundane but could prove tricky - making a local phone call in a foreign country to access our Internet Service Provider, AT&T Worldnet®. We hope to use our Vaio not only to keep the web site updated and access our email, but also to pay our credit card bills via American Express Membership Banking Online®. Hopefully technology won't fail us, as we're depending on it pretty heavily.
Update: Since I first built this page, I have been to hell and back with the ISP's. First, I used Mindspring, because that's what we had to begin with. But you will quickly realize that if you leave the U.S., you're out of luck with Mindspring. So then I signed up on a free trial with AT&T Worldnet, only to discover that their "global" coverage leaves something to be desired. Then Wiley read something about how AOL had the largest global network of Internet Points of Presence (POP's) of any ISP. So I checked it out, and sure enough, they are in alot of places. What I soon discovered after signing up (again on a free trial) is that AOL is a great solution for people who just woke up from a 20-year coma and would like to get on this Internet thing everyone's talking about. It's too cumbersome to use if you just want to get to the web. PLUS, they make you use their mail package, which is terrible.
So I ended up going with a local ISP called Speedfactory. The reason I chose Speedfactory is because they are a partner with iPass, which has a huge global network of POP's. By using Speedfactory as my ISP, I have access to over 5000 local dial-up numbers all over the world. Plus, I can use Outlook Express as my mail package. So, for now, I am happy. Stay tuned as we see just how easy this is while traveling...
We're each taking an internal frame backpack. How do you pack for a year on the road? I'm not sure - I've never tried it, but we're taking basic layering pieces, in solid colors, hiking boots, sandals, and comfortable walking shoes. We'll also have good rain gear, because we learned on our trip to the rainforest that not all rain gear is created equal. Other than that, it should be pretty easy to pick up additional clothes as we need them. We're obviously concerned about keeping the backpacks as light as possible.
Most of our country-to-country travel will be done via aircraft. Before leaving the USA, we got our tickets through Ticketplanet.com. Some flexibility is allowed in travel dates, but we can't change the locations without penalty. We'll be cruising the Greek Islands and the Nile River, and the Amazon, and we'll rent cars if we have too, but we don't plan on doing too much of that. We did alot of train travel on our honeymoon, so we feel pretty confident about using that mode of travel. We'll be trekking through northern Thailand and Nepal, so we'll call our feet into service on those journeys. Other than that, we're pretty much open to anything, including camel, rickshaw, and/or elephant travel.
For more information about all of the clothes and gear we're taking, click here to read about Gear and Resources.
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