Australia and Travel Gear

Although New York was the beginning of our trip, given that we had family and tons of friends in NY, Australia has really been the mental beginning. So far so good. The weather here has been a bit spotty, with a mixture of rain and sunshine that seems to switch at a moment's notice. That has made venturing out with Jackson a bit more difficult. It'd be very tempting to just stay inside the apartment anytime we thought it MIGHT rain, but I figure the only way we'll deal with it is by forcing ourselves a bit and dealing with the consequences later.

We are living in an area called Potts Point, which is not too far from the Central Business District. It is right next to Kings Cross, which is a seedier part of town that I remember well because all the hostels and rowdy clubs/bars are located there. The apartment we rented is in a modern high rise called the ikon. As far as we can tell, about 90% of the building is young, gay, male, and yuppy. It's quite a change from the massive Soho loft that our friend S lent us in NY, but it is comfortable. Jackson misses the swing and the view of women strolling out of the H&M across the street though ;)

A few people have asked me what kind of stuff we are carrying on the trip, so I thought I'd post about it.

The first rule of travel, as far as I am concerned, is that if you even ask yourself whether you should bring something, the answer is already No. Otherwise, all the little things add up and make your bags too heavy. Here are some of the things that DID make the cut:

This thing is awesome. It is ultra-lightweight, folds into a suitcase shaped bag that is easy to check in, and assembles/disassembles in about a minute.

This camera is also awesome. With the 20mm lens, it is small (still bigger than most point and shoots, but significantly smaller than a digital SLR), but the image quality is much better than point and shoots. It is basically a perfect compromise between size/portability and picture quality. If you've noticed an improvement in the quality of photos on our blog starting sometime mid-New York, now you know why ;)

Another popular camera on the quality:size ratio is the Leica D-Lux series, which Ev and Sara use. I think we opted for the GF-1 because it has a built in flash, but really I think you can't go wrong with either.

The other nifty thing about it is it has good depth of field, which I've never had before in a point and shoot.. so you can take nice, artistic shots where the background is blurry, like this:

This stroller is perfect for travel. Maclaren makes an even lighter one called the Maclaren Volo, the main difference being that the seat does not recline at all. It was a tossup between the two, but in the end I figured a few extra pounds was worth it if it made a difference to the likelihood of the baby crying versus comfortably falling asleep. The stroller quickly folds up and can be slung over your shoulder.

Before switching to the Ergo Baby Carrier, we used the Baby Bjorn. The Ergo is a bit harder to get the baby into, and when putting the baby in front, is more easily done with two people (because clipping the cross strap across your own back requires some serious flexibility that I lack). On the other hand, the ergo carrier is a LOT more comfortable, and you can put the baby on your back too whereas the Baby Bjorn carrier we had only allowed for putting the baby in front. The other difference is that in the baby bjorn carrier, the baby's feet dangle straight down whereas on the ergo, the knees typically bend. This makes a big difference when sitting down, because on the baby bjorn, Jackson's feet would touch my lap, which started him on some sort of instinctive kicking motion. Not pleasant for daddy. With the ergo carrier, things are much better for everyone. Plus if it's good enough for julia robert's kid, it's good enough for our's.

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