Monday, September 13, 2010

Travel Tip #007: Surf Wisdom

Dear Readers,
okay, I'm back now. For real this time. This has been the summer to end all summers with my travel schedj/busyness level, but that's no excuse for neglecting you as I have. Thank you for your patience with me, and I promise never to abandon you again. At least... not until next summer. 

Given that I grew up in Southern California, have long, sun-bleached blond hair, occasionally use the word "gnarly" in earnest, and take every opportunity available to get a suntan, it's no wonder that I frequently get asked the question "do you surf?" Given that he grew up in Boston, wears a suit most of the time, and can frequently be seen carrying copies of the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times in his L.L.Bean tote bag, and occasionally uses the word "chuffed" in earnest,  it's no wonder JM does not frequently get asked that question. But, come on, people, didn't your mother ever tell you not to judge a book by its cover?

While I prefer to build sandcastles and read US Weekly on the beach (how tan can you get in a wetsuit?), my ever-unpredictable husband has taken up surfing, and, as is the case with everything he does, he has thrown himself in headlong. And it turns out, thanks to impressively large big toes, and a lifetime of ice skating and skiing, he has better-than-average balance, and a natural affinity for the sport. Within days of his first lesson last winter, my Google searches started auto-suggesting "used surfboard, nyc", and copies of Surfer and Surfing magazines started showing up in our mailbox (yes, those are two different magazines- there's also Surf, Gold Coast Surf, and Eastern Surf, it turns out). And while I have mostly been content to stack these by his bed, or shove them into the aforementioned tote bag (along with the Economist), I found myself flipping through this month's issue of Surfer, and, in addition to enjoying the eye candy of beautiful people shredding in beautiful places, it's surprisingly well written and... I actually learned something.

So this week's travel tip comes to us from the editors of Surfer, with our compliments, and wishing them warm waters, perfect breaks, and gnarly sessions, or whatever.

Here it is: Before traveling abroad, scan the important pages of your passport into your computer, and email the files to yourself (my own suggestion would be to also save them to a Google Document, so they are easily found in a pinch). That way, if your passport gets lost or stolen, you will be covered (and lest you think the editors of Surfer have taken too much water in their ears, the State Department website also suggests you photocopy your documents before you travel- but methinks an accessible electronic copy is better than a paper copy you might forget or lose along the way). While you're at it, I might suggest doing the same with your birth certificate, credit cards, social security card, and driver's license (just be sure to make the files private and password protected, and title them something nondescript, like "Travel").  As a bonus tip, Surfer also recommends that you "don't waste money taking a fish to Hawaii," whatever the hell that means.

See? And here you were, thinking all surfers were brainless, and then they go surprise us with this wonderfully clever tip. Boy, were you wrong about surfers.

Well, maybe not all surfers.

photo credit: via rougerouge on flickr.


Eva said...

Very funny blog. Ride on!

Dorsia said...

Showin some love! Awesome Post!

More women need to be like you.

Unknown said...

I would advise encrypting said documents before you post them, lest you want employees at Google to have a 'steal-your-identity' kit kept tidily in their servers. This can be done with TrueCrypt or other free encryption solutions such as GnuPG.

TrueCrypt -

GNU Privacy Guard -