Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Preparation

A few snafus along the way: a head cold, a missing health card and a weighty dilemma over whether to bring my laptop. It is sooooo 21st century to say you’re blogging your trip. Despite that, I’m terrified of having my laptop stolen out from under me while I sleep. Once, on an overnight train from Florence to Venice, I stuffed all my valuables down my pants and tried in vain to get some shuteye. It didn’t help that before boarding, my ex told me about a bus from Berlin to Barcelona that had sleeping gassed all the passengers and stripped them bare of money, passports and valuables. Supposedly one person woke up without a kidney. This thought caught me awake all night, one hand on stomach, the other clutching my earthly possessions.

Urban legends aside, I think my laptop dilemma is still valid. One option is this product called a PacSafe. It's a heavy steel mesh contraption that wraps around your pack and comes with a lock so you can bolt it to the seat. My dad tells me they're all the rage in Europe. However, after much deliberation and petitioning of friends, family and random strangers, I decided to go with the more back-to-the-basics approach: to not take the laptop. I know, I don't like it either. In fact, I hate writing by hand and editing on paper is even worse. But, sigh, I suppose everyone else who didn’t live in the last two decades had to write this way, so I’ll resign myself to it. My pack, even with the absolute minimum of clothing and essentials, is heavy. I’d probably be cursing that laptop by Saskatoon any way. What does this mean for the blog? Well, posting may be more sporadic. Let it be known though that I’ll try my best to post regularly along the trail. I'll be boarding my train at Union Station tonight and arrive Monday morning in Winnipeg. (I KNOW! 34 HOURS ON A TRAIN!) This first ride is covering over 2,000 kms in one go, which means I'll almost be half-way to Vancouver by the time I get off in Winnipeg. I like the sound of that.


  1. Hey - how long are you going for? Are you going to go up north, like NWT or Yukon? If yes, I am crazily jealous.


  2. Alas, no reason to be crazy jealous! I won't be able to make it there! My canrail pass is only good for 12 days of travel, which will barely get me to Vancouver and back. One day...