HLO Day 8: A Burst Of Spontaneity In Ballarat

ballaratMost of the Hand Luggage Only itinerary has been planned out in advance to the nth degree, but there's still room for events that definitely weren't on the original itinerary.

By nature, I'm a heavy forward planner, and I've grown used to criticism from people who argue that my packed-to-the-minute work and holiday schedules don't leave any room for last-minute decisions. Today, though, I indulged in a positive cornucopia of unplanned events.

roamingmelbournehloFirstly, I caught up at lunch with Anthony Caruana, tech writer extraordinaire and mastermind of the excellent Pocket Mojo blog which we've referenced here at Lifehacker quite a few times. The whole thing was organised at the last minute entirely via Twitter, another reminder that the micro-blogging service does have practical applications.

I had an afternoon meeting scheduled in Melbourne, but then a long gap before I was due to board the boat to Devonport. It suddenly occurred to me that rather than just working in a cafe (my original plan), I could jump on a V-Line train and briefly stick my head into a corner of regional Victoria. A quick scan of the timetables later and I was on the 1408 to Ballarat.

The upside of this was that I got to check the mobile signal coverage (poor for the most part) and had a guaranteed warm seat to work at. The downside was that I had only 15 minutes after hitting Ballarat before I had to jump back on the return train — which meant I couldn't take up some of the useful suggestions Twitter produced for what to do in the town. It's just as well I like to travel.

Throughout May 2009, Lifehacker Australia editor Angus Kidman will be travelling throughout Australia with just one carry-on bag for the Hand Luggage Only project.


    You could save a bunch of weight by dumping the pull along and trying something lighter, less conspicuous and more capacious like http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/500/TB0940.

      After snapping several shoulder straps, I've come to the conclusion that wheels are a necessary requirement for my carry-on, even outside the context of this experiment. Also, while I like having lots of compartments, it ultimately means you can fit less stuff in, as your range of options for arranging your gear is more limited. (Obviously I'd better do a post on how I chose the bag during the month).

      And as a side note -- $US200 for a carry-on bag? Ouch!

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