No longer as truthful as should be deserved, some names, places and events deliberately vague to protect identities that aren't mine

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

525,600 minutes

No thankfully my flight isn't that long...

It's very weird to think I've only been here a week and a half, and I have 2.5 more weeks to go.  Oh sure the week in Vegas will fly by.  But I've already been to 4 different cities, through 3 different airports, on 2 coach journeys, stayed in 4 different houses, and I haven't even hit LA yet!  Boy when I travel, I sure do travel!

As a random experiement, as I like doing things like this, I've been seeing how far I can get through this trip without actually needing printed paper confirmations.  This mostly started because I don't have a printer at home, and by using my smartphone email, I can usually provide whatever documentation is required if they actually demand to see a copy of it.  Luckily for most places, some for of ID, reference number and/or payment card is all I need.  If you haven't travelled in a while the new suite of airline smartphone apps is amazing.  You can upload your flights, check in, pick seats, search for upgrades, get terminal map layouts, download QR code boarding passes, track your bags, check for delays, get gate numbers in advance, and do pretty much everything imaginable using them.  So far I've crossed 2 international borders (3 if you include the fact I flew over Canada), one ocean and am currently in the process of traversing the entire United States, using nothing more than a QR tag on my phone screen and my passport.  I got my foreign currency by showing them my ID and the card I paid on, I picked up my NY Rangers tickets using my ID alone.  I don't need an A-Z or transit map anymore as I can download it all to my phone using apps for the MTA in NYC, MBTA up in Boston, and I'll get the LA app once I land, just as you can use the tube app when in London.  And now I can write this up, and check twitter, and even get my foursquare checkin, all using wi-fi at 30,000 feet.  Digital Age, eat your heart out.

Okay so we don't have hover boards yet, but the fact I can travel 14,000 miles, including everything else associated with being abroad and travelling, using just my phone to cover everything.  My mum even asked if I wanted her to bring out my travel insurance documents when I see her in a week - I already have them all downloaded in pdf form on my phone.  All my music is on spotify, all my friends are on AIM, twitter, facebook, MSN, Skype, whatsapp etc.  I can log in to Gaydar, Recon, Manhunt, A4A using apps or the web browser.  I can download the weather, load up maps in case I get lost trying to find somewhere, use GPS navigation if we're in a car, I could blog from my phone, I can use word and excel and power point, anything that's not ON my phone is in my email or dropbox, both of which I can get to, I can even apply for jobs whilst I'm away using various apps and the browser.  Pretty much all we're missing at this point is the public retinal scanners to replace my passport as ID, and we're in the future that's written about and on our tv and cinema screens for so long.  The architecture just isn't as shiny, that's all.  This has all been coming together for a long time, but I personally feel like finally, it's at the point where everything is becoming seamless, and I'm starting to be able to do whatever I want, however I want, as it suits me.

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