Hello Friends, welcome to Friday Food for Thought. I’m taking a couple of weeks off to (hopefully) relax and recharge. This week’s Friday Food for Thought offers a few of the items I’m be carrying with me. I travel for the experience, not to be weighed down by stuff, so I consider these to be essentials. In the meantime, click here for last week’s post. Let’s begin!
1) Turning Pages:
I never travel without one or more books, depending on the length of the trip (and the length of the books). This time I’m revisiting my mass market paperback edition of Tom Wolfe’s 1979 novel The Right Stuff. It has been more than twenty years since I last read Wolfe’s journalistic fiction account of the early days of America’s space program. Beginning with the test pilots of experimental aircraft in the 1950s and continuing through Gordon Cooper’s 1963 Mercury mission and Chuck Yeager’s terrifying NF-104 crash the same year, The Right Stuff captures a particular type of masculinity (which might legitimately be considered toxic at times) in service to a national identity. Wolfe claimed to have interviewed all of the Mercury Seven astronauts, though that was later disputed. The Guardian calls The Right Stuff one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time, and Philip Kaufman directed an outstanding, and generally faithful (though Wolfe and the astronauts disagreed), film adaptation in 1983.
2) You Can Leave Your Pants On:
Adaptability is always helpful when traveling, and not just in attitude. Columbia’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pants serve me well in packing efficiently (there is a comparable women’s version). They’re comfortable, light weight, dry quickly, include cargo pockets, and easily convert from pants to shorts. I’ve purchased several clothing items from Columbia over the years, and while their prices aren’t cheap, I’ve always found their products to be well-made and long-lasting.
3) Passport Around My Neck:
Pickpockets are a commonly reported scourge of travelers in cities throughout the world. I’ve been traveling with an Eagle Creek neck wallet for nearly 25 years and it has always served me well. It’s not an entirely foolproof solution, but I find it much more convenient than a conventional wallet. Mine fits comfortably under my shirt, but has plenty of space for passport, credit cards, cash, boarding passes, event tickets, etc. The strap is adjustable to get the length just right.
4) The Pandemic Isn’t Over:
Most discussions of declaring the Covid-19 pandemic over ignore the most important fact: viruses don’t care about our plans. At the time I write this, Covid cases are rising dramatically in the U.S. and a shift from government-sponsored testing sites to home testing means that we’re not even seeing the full picture. My wife and I are still masking up while traveling, and I encourage you to do the same. We’ve had good luck obtaining quality KN95 masks from these two sources: Bona Fide Masks and wellbefore. A few simple precautions now can make a lifetime of difference. Be careful out there.
That’s all for this week. Friday Food for Thought will return in three weeks. Have a good weekend!
This post contains NO affiliate links. All suggestions are based on my own personal experience, your experience may vary. Nothing herein is intended to serve as medical, legal, financial, or any other advice for which you should consult professionals and not some random guy on the Internet.