A bundle of paper for the road (unwanted baggage)
I work at a museum where one of my roles is to review and edit publications produced by the museum. But I am often heading offshore for fieldwork, and am faced by the inconvenient convenience of ubiquitous communication... by phone, fax, mail, and hotel network.
Instead of getting out and into the places I am visiting, I have to hold onto that bundle of paper, read it though, think about it, write about it, respond, and get back to the museum by one means or another. Really - I carry paper, because it requires no buttons or electricity and can be written on directly.
It seems like efficiency, but in reality it means that I am not using the time out to creatively produce original new work based on original new observations and experiences.
The distraction:creation ratio is too high.
All I can do is try to get through as many tasks as possible before the trip, so that I can devote more time to being in the place, in the place. Over the years, I have learned how to minimise the physical bagage. That's the easy part.
Leaving behind the mental baggage and paper bundle is the hard part.
I'll be in the Philippines from Nov 26th to Dec. 8th, meeting people and botanising as much as possible.