I’m writing this partly to remind myself I have made it and or done more than simply exist on my own. Another part of this is something to point to and say hey look you arnt dealing with some shut in fresh out of the coop.
Things not on this map and some old school travel tech tie ins:
By 2010 I had been to Europe 3x. Once with the high school french trip (2005), where my hp biz class work station notebook (intel centrino laptop,) a bluetooth headset and a vonage software sip phone enabled everyone to call home with out international long distance fees.
then backpacking 45 days alone in summer of 06. I grabbed a eu rail pass and prepaid gsm sim and took off. Stayed in mostly hostiles and a stay in pau france with a friend of and the family I had stayed with for one week during the school trip the year before.
My next trip to europe I planned part of a trip with my parents to Sicily to visit my cousin. She was stationed at Naval Air Station Sigonella. When the trip ended for my mom and dad I hopped a train over to France for a bit longer to visit old friends.
on the highschool french trip and backpacking trip through Europe I had thought ahead enough to also get my gsm handset sim/carrier unlocked and purchase a local sim ahead of time.
even before turning 18 I had flown alone. My dad had a surgery in huston my sr year of highschool. I couldnt take off the week he needed in the icu for recovery. As soon as he was stable I flew back to MN alone.
oddly enough the sr year band trip was to San Antonio and while that was obviously a supervised function… I had a handspring Treo 650 and my laptop with on the bus trip. On the way back one of the adults asked if I could map quest something. I had the phone set as a Bluetooth modem to my laptop and an extended battery. We visited the site of the Oklahoma city bombing solely because I was able to get the directions from the moving bus. Something we take for granted now but was relatively new in 06.
actually about 02-03 I not only had mobile web in my pocket but had invested in Ericsson corp when I read they were key in developing Bluetooth. between a Sony Ericsson t68i and a Compaq ipaq I could blow peoples minds with “how do you have the internet on that thing” some of my friends are old enough to remember acoustic couples, i guess ill say im old enough to remember irda and Bluetooth modem profiles 😀
strictly on tech for a moment: ive had great luck with hp biz class notebooks. There are some downsides that are ridiculous (see uefi hardware locks) but they have proven tough as a brick house time and time again. Im typing this on an ebay sourced Elitebook 8570w. I had the first gen i5 14inch for roughly 8 years before that.
During mold hell that unit was about 7 years old and 3x took liquid damage to the point no lights would come on when power button pressed. Each time a tooth brush and 99.9% isopropel alcohol managed to revive it. It could still be brought back if I replace the power port. I think I paid $1800 for that unit fresh from hp. I had upgraded hdd to ssd and then another ssd upgrade and maxed the ram. It was also with/went to Europe in a backpack on the Sicily trip. I’m not exactly easy on my hardware the fact that it lasted as long as it did is a testament to excellent design on HP’s part.