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A Traveler’s Guide to Protecting Your Identity, Accounts, and Information on the Road

If you’re like us, your entire life is on your computer. And if someone wanted to steal your life, or access your bank account, there’s no better roadmap for doing it than the files on your computer.

We carry everything from our resumes to our tax returns on our laptops. It’s hard to understate the damage a knowledgeable criminal could do with that information. And while we’re careful not to store bank account information or passwords anywhere, it is ridiculously easy to hack into many online accounts once you have control of someone’s computer. In a minute, we’ll show you just how easy and how you can protect yourself.

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Two Extreme Climates. One Tiny Backpack. What I Packed.

Hot and cold tops

Hot and cold tops

When I see women traveling with backpacks larger than mine, sometimes I feel a flash of envy. What are they stashing in the extra space? More shoes? A hair dryer? Faced with the challenge of packing for a six-week trip to Hawaii and Alaska in a 40-liter backpack, I almost gave in to size envy and upgraded.

I’m glad I didn’t. Despite the fact that my backpack was purchased for a nine-week Central American trip that required solely hot weather wear, the same reasons I originally selected it still trumped the enticement of another pair of shoes.

First, a larger backpack would mean frequently being separated from it—checking it at airports, surrendering it during bus rides or airport taxis—and I’m kind of neurotic that way. I like arriving at my destination knowing I’ll have my clothes and other essentials in hand. With six flights on the Seattle-Hawaii-Alaska-Seattle itinerary alone, that would be six times a bag could go astray; and since we’re frequently in places for a short amount of time, often only a night or two, reuniting with an errant bag could be difficult.

Second, being on the move so much means having to re-pack every few days. The less stuff, the shorter amount of time that chore takes.

Third, the bigger the bag the heavier it is to tote around.

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How to Build a Mobile Business



Shannon at work in Caye Caulker, Belize; just one of her many temporary offices.

There are multiple paths to a successful mobile business. Shannon’s route to fame and glory reflects her specific skills, interests, and professional network. Your path will be different and should be planned around your own unique abilities and passions. Here’s how to get started:

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Preparing for an Extended Backpacking Excursion (Part II)

Last week we discussed travel bags, vaccination requirements and communication options for extended overseas travel. This week, we dive into money issues, travel insurance and more.

Money Matters

Managing your finances while traveling for months at a time requires far more preparation than for a typical vacation; especially when you can’t guarantee secure internet connections or uncompromised ATM machines. Here’s how we prepared:

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Preparing for an Extended Backpacking Excursion (Part I)

One hundred and six. That is the number of stops we’ve made during twenty months of continuous travel. We move so often that it has become second nature. These days, getting to a new destination isn’t much different than commuting to work. We experience no anxiety, or make special plans. We don’t even really need to give it a lot of thought. We just pack up and go. That is, as long as we’re driving the RV.

Our 107th stop is something else entirely. Shortly we’ll be leaving the RV behind and taking a flight to Belize. From there we’ll spend two months backpacking across Northern Central America. This is a completely new form of travel for us and required a bit more preparation. This is how we got ready.

Travel Bags

We didn’t absolutely need new luggage for the kind of travel we envision, but for ultra-mobility a backpack is hard to beat. The variety of bags available surprised and overwhelmed us, though. Complicating matters is that many retailers only carry certain brands, making comparison shopping a bit of pain. We also discovered that most backpacks are designed with the hiker, not the traveler, in mind. Travelers have special needs, and most bags fell short somehow.

Here’s what we were looking for, and ultimately what we got:

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