The last time I left Australia for any considerable length of time was 2009. I spent nearly a month in China on an Intrepid tour. Later that year I spent three months in India.
The Intrepid tour in China was a group of 16. Two weeks of our time in India was on a road trip in tandem with six other travellers.
We all had one thing in common. A very heavy guide book.
The Lonely Planet Guide to India was my bible for three months. It gave me an idea of what things should cost, how to reach places, the kinds of facilities that should be included in accommodation, cultural differences to adhere to, the history of different regions, and of course, the important things to see at each stop.
This book (when it was whole) weighed nearly 1kg and shaped like two bricks. That’s bloody heavy when you’re carrying it around during the day with your water, sunscreen and camera. Especially when you’re travelling with a male who refuses to carry a bag.
The book suffered a slow and painful death on our tour around the country, each chapter ripped out as soon as we left town in order to lighten the load.
The weight around my neck has been considerably lighter this time around. All the information I need is in my phone. There are a group of apps I use, some daily and all free. While I think I could get by without them, I’ve seen and done so much more with confidence because of them.