Posts Tagged ‘kindle’

Travel Indispensables: The Five Things I’m Glad I Have Across the World

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Moving to a different country was not easy. We sent our pets for adoption, sold everything we had, and only took what would fit in our suitcases. We had to adapt to a different culture, different language, and different food. There are a few things, however, that made the transition much easier, from a logistic point of view. Here are the top five that I am glad I have

1. Kindle: I have to echo Sean’s raving about the Kindle- I use mine constantly. I can’t download books through the wireless network, but buying a book, downloading it to my computer and moving it onto the Kindle just takes a few minutes. I must have about fifty books on it so far, including some Spanish readers to practice my language skills.

2. Skype: I use Skype not only for phone calls, but for video calls as well. Calling others on Skype is free, but I can call regular phones and cell phones anywhere in the world for very low rates. I am limited to calling from my computer, however.

3. Paperless Mail: I use a service that gives me a P.O. Box in the United States and electronically scans my mail so that I can view it online. There are several services that do this. Some, like offer a street address where you can receive packages for an extra fee.

4. A pocket Spanish-English dictionary (paper version): Electronic dictionaries often don’t have variations between south American Spanish and Spanish in the rest of the world. I use my little pocket dictionary all the time, and it doesn’t need batteries.

5. A Schwab bank account: Schwab has the best customer service of any bank I have used so far. I need to have a U.S. address, and the checking is piggy-backed to an investment account, but they don’t charge any ATM fees or conversion fees. They also refund ATM fees charged by other banks. What’s more, I lost my ATM card and had a new one within a few days.

If you are going to travel anywhere for any period of time, I recommend checking out the above products and services. culture shock is bad enough- you don’t want logistic challenges as well.

Julia Evans wrote this article for where she blogs about her life as an expat.  She also writes a personal blog Evans’ Gate about living as an American expat in Buenos Aires, where she lives with her husband.  Comments on both blogs welcome!

Don’t Leave Home Without It: Amazon Kindle

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Packing your life into a suitcase is no easy feat!  For anyone that has ever tried it you know what I mean, in our case, it meant packing my wife and I and our two school-aged kids into 4 carry-on suitcases and 3 backpacks.  Sound tough?  How about planning what to pack for an entire year?

Both my wife and I are avid readers…actually my wife is a voracious reader and can consume a book faster than anybody I have ever met.  As we were planning our year long trip to South America the question of what to do about books came up, initially we had 2 choices; carry a bunch of books with us and have family send others, or just trying to find them along the way.

I have done enough traveling to know that the selection of books is not always great on the road and when you do find something it is usually the latest “best seller”, neither of which was very appealing to us.

As I was researching other travel gear that we would need I stumbled upon the Amazon’s electronic book reader named Kindle.  It was a little pricey, but as I continued to read reviews of the product and talk to my wife it became clear that this was just the solution we needed.  We bit the bullet and purchased our first Kindle a couple of months before we left the states.

In the U.S. you have access to Amazon’s wireless network that allows you to instantly purchase and download a book directly to your Kindle…within minutes you can find a book you like, purchase it, and be reading it in the comfort of your own home…or soccer tournament.

We like the Kindle so much that we decided to purchase a 2nd one before we left.

Both my wife and I can’t imagine how we would get along without our Kindles, and we have even used them to homeschool our kids while traveling.  If you are an avid reader, or simply want to read books that interest you and not what is left on the dresser of a motel room, take a look at this product and see if it meets your needs.  They just recently released an upgraded product, the Kindle 2.

Sean Lannin wrote this article for where he blogs about his life as an expat.  He also writes a personal blog Portable Parents about his travels in Latin America with his family.  Come by both blogs and share a comment!

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