M.P Island

23 May 2011

by Marc Passion

The Digital Drifter

As a kid I was lucky to have seen a small part of the world and a large portion of Australia. My Dad travelled to Europe for 2 years in 1970-71 and then returned with my Mum for another 2 years from 1974-75. I guess the travel bug was passed on through their genes or at least a passport, where my Dad would have said “Now Son, don’t waste it, this bit of paper with your ugly mugshot will take you further than you could ever imagine. You just have to take that first leap and never look back.”

Enter 2002. I was 22, had finished my trade and was just floating around Sydney in a vicious cycle of work, drink, sleep. Sound boring? Well it does to me, now. In a way I was pushed to go to London by my parents. And even though I’ve probably never told them thanks for getting me on that plane, I am now. Travelling is in my blood.

The years after that my Dad used me as an excuse to travel. Before I went any where I had to phone him and say where I was going. The response was I’ll call you back in 5 minutes. Ring ring: “Hi Dad”, “Hi Marc, so I’m on the 10am flight to Cairo. See you there in a week.” Now at first I was hesitant to travel with my Dad but as time went by I learnt that time with him was invaluable and the way he travelled was the way I should travel. There were no fancy hotels or restaurants. There were no tours or guides. Instead, a long line at Cairo train station where holding your position was a skill in itself.

The following years saw us meet up in Switzerland, Peru and Colombia. Currently my Parents have retired and are travelling the world. Although with a little more comfort, they still hire a car and go where ever they want to.

So I began travelling when I was 22. Thats 10 years ago and boy have I seen some changes. Changes in the dynamics of travelling, the ease of jumping on a plane and landing in your new found adventure within a matter of a few hours. But, one major change is ME. I have become wiser, I know what I want and I know what I have to do to get there. This includes the way I pack and the contents of my bag.

You see the same question asked by many bloggers: ‘What is the best backpack? Or Backpack vs Suitcase? I think the best response to that is what is most practical and how can I avoid having to wait for my backpack to come off the plane.

A little about me: I DO NOT CHECK BAGS IN (Another trait from my Dad). I use that time to begin exploring sooner. You might think it’s only half an hour more to wait but in my case, I’ve already found my accommodation, showered and am busy stuffing my face at a street vendor all the while you’re still at the airport.

So what do I pack? The least items possible. I have a Caribee Fast Track 45 Backpack which can be used as a backpack but also has wheels. Small enough to go in the overhead compartment but large enough to carry everything I need. I also have a suit bag to carry my ‘Travel Extraordinaire Suit’.

My other profession of working in the mines has enabled me to save money faster and perhaps to not worry about carrying everything but the kitchen sink. I only take one pair of shoes and if I have a blow out, I buy a new pair. I take a few t-shirts and shorts. Anyone who has travelled for an extended period of time will know how trashed clothes get with sweating and hand washing or maybe not even washing for a few days. I head to a market, pick up a few things I need before tossing the old clothes into the bin.

With change has come a new style of traveller. Move over backpackers, move in flash packers. I’ve been a flash packer for sometime now. The main bulk of my backpack contains everything I need to film new videos or write a new post. Thats whats important to me (ever since I can remember, my Dad had the latest camera or stereo, another trait passed on). Just think, an extra camera lense has far more worth than an extra pair of shoes.

So I’m calling myself the’ The Digital Drifter’. I’ve got the latest gizmos that are perfect for me.

My favourite is the GoPro HDHero. A video camera built for; rugged terrain, under water, high speed and once you see it,you’ll see the list is endless. The size of the camera means it can go any where with you and won’t take up a whole lot of space in your bag. Since I bought my first GoPro, they have since improved on their accessories and I’m amazed at their capabilities.

The other part of my kit is a HD JVC video camera which we used in our early days when we first filmed in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. With it I have an external mic and light, lenses and spare batteries. These additions were added as we went and our needs became greater. You learn fast when filming daily on a 3 month trip what you need.

The last bit of my kit includes Sennheiser Headphones and an Iphone. These days I lean towards producing more videos than stills and although I have an SLR, it stays at home and the Iphone gets used for my happy snaps. And as a Digital Drifter, theres no way a mole skin is getting used either so the Iphone comes in real handy for making notes and storing information. The Sennheiser Headphones are my prized possession though. My last pair went for almost 3 years and the new pair I recently bought are even better. I chose these over the Bose as they are slightly smaller and more compact.

Thanks to the old man not only have I seen the world, but I’ve seen it off the beaten track. None of this jumping off a bus, taking a photo and jumping back on. Instead using my super cool gadgets, I now capture my adventures and share them with you.

Are you a Digital Drifter? Whats in your bag of tricks and did you parents play a part in influencing your travel habits? Tell us your stories?

Related posts:

  1. Travel Money Cards
  2. Passion to GoPro


  • http://www.marcpassiontravel.com Marc Passion

    On writing this, my parents reminded me that on a trip to the Northern Territory where we visited Ayers Rock and Kakadu, I was not liking the trip one bit. But, I did get top marks in my geography project not long after returning home. And I have done well in geography ever since. Thanks Mum and Dad.

  • Jess

      “Now Son, don’t waste it, this bit of paper with your ugly mugshot will take you further than you could ever imagine. You just have to take that first leap and never look back.”

    Love this quote! Sounds like your parents were very influential and raised you just right!

  • sapix_

     I really like your post bro!!  got some of you gadget ons my back too!! =)

  • Gchristodoulou

    Hey, really great blog post… I’ve enjoyed reading through
    your blog because of the great style and energy. I actually work for the
    CheapOair travel blog. If you’re interested, we would love to have you on as a
    guest blogger. Please send me an e-mail: gchristodoulou(at)cheapoair(dot)com, and
    I’ll  give you more information. Looking
    forward to hearing from you.

  • Hugh Jaarz

    Wonderful info, very helpful. Although I might add that you’ve spelt genes incorrectly in the first paragraph. Hope you don’t mind me being a pest and pointing it out.

  • http://www.marcpassiontravel.com Marc Passion

    Hi Hugh,

    Cheers for the comments. Did you have any influences fro your old man? And the spelling error….nice work. Changed.