Mar 23

The new and old writing kit of a Travel Blogger

by in Personal, QT Review, Writing

Asus Eeepad Slider

As a travel blogger, I often get asked what I use to write my articles when I am travelling.  Do I use a Moleskin notebook and pencil? A laptop or old fashioned journal? Well, it depends on how long I am away for and where I am, but here are the two things I use most on blog trips and my travels around the globe.

My Eeepad

I got my latest toy a few months ago and the novelty still hasn’t worn off.  The Asus Eeepad Slider is a tablet with a twist. With one easy movement the screen slides up and a fully QWERTY keyboard appears, giving it all the flexibility of an electronic notebook.  This is invaluable because I can’t write properly for any length of time on a touch screen.  They are great for tweeting, texting, brief emails and all sorts of other things as we know and I would not be without my iPhone (other ones are available!) but when it comes to writing articles or composing a longer email then a proper keyboard is a must.  It’s light and easy to carry in my bag and has a really good battery life, another plus for a travel blogger.  The most I have got out of it so far is almost 7 hours.

asus eepad sliderThere’s loads of memory (mine has 32G) and it’s got a really neat camera which can shoot HD video – mind you, I haven’t worked out how it use it yet!    It took me quite a while to used to the Android system; I have had to tell myself it is not a pc but more like a super-duper phone as it is App-driven. Fortunately the Polaris software is compatible with Microsoft so there’s no problem transferring documents, which I have to do regularly. What I love is the expression on people’s faces when I am using it – it lies there like a regular tablet flat on the table as I scroll through photos, emails, websites etc – then I suddenly flip it up to write something and hey presto – it’s a mini-pc.  Magic!


Mont Blanc pen & inkMy fountain pen

For many people the very idea of writing with a fountain pen is an ancient skill, lost in the mists of time … but for me it is the ultimate way to connect with my creativity, although a very inky one at times.  I’m of the last generation that was brought up with the scratchy old fountain pen and inkwell at school; I can still remember the pottery ones we had in our old desks.  The invention of the biro was a godsend to all but I’ve always loved the flow of ink from a good fountain pen and still use one regularly today.

I have a collection of different pens (and coloured inks) but my absolute favourite and the one I take

The Quirky Traveller Travel Notes on all my blog trips, is a very old Mont Blanc fountain pen with a gold nib.  For those of you not familiar with the pecking order of fountain pens, the Mont Blanc is considered by some to be the Rolls Royce of the writing world.  I bought mine from a quirky little shop in Kendal, run by the lovely Alan Lloyd, well-known connoisseur of vintage pens, inkwells and writing accessories.  He also introduced me to Italian Visconti ink and I have a vast supply of the turquoise – and you’ll often see my fingers covered in it!

Travel Blogger Journal

I write in a journal and in 2011 published The Quirky Traveller Travel Notes, which is a lined notebook with favourite quotes, and I made sure it was designed with a spiral binding big enough to take my favourite pen.  I’ve no idea how old my pen is, but when I use it I seem to be more creative and connected to my thought-process. Long may the travel blogger and others be able to combine old and new forms of communication …

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17 Responses to “The new and old writing kit of a Travel Blogger”

  1. From Zoë Dawes:

    Recently bought a Victorian travelling inkwell (sounds as if it moves on its own!) from Alan in Kendal. It’s so neat and I love the thought of other travellers using it in times gone by …

    Posted on March 23, 2012 at 9:12 pm #
  2. From ThomasC:

    I have been equally enjoying using an eeepad transformer whilst out and about, completely agree on the combination of touch and type! Delighted to hear that the old fashioned ink pen is still in use. My accountant has branded ink pens (sadly not Mont Blanc!) and I have to ‘borrow’ one whenever I visit him, as my son loves using them, mind you, it hasn’t improved his writing style!

    Posted on March 26, 2012 at 8:55 am #
  3. From Zoë Dawes:

    Good to hear from another eeepad fan 🙂 The transformer has a detachable keyboard so can be more versatile, tho must admit I love the slickness of the slider. Maybe we should start a fountain pen revival campaign …

    Posted on March 26, 2012 at 9:23 am #
  4. From Anna:

    I too have a Transformer, it’s so lovely to use. It leaves all other pads in it’s wake IMO!!

    Posted on March 26, 2012 at 9:41 am #
  5. From ThomasC:

    Completely agree. I love the idea of a fountain pen revival. Is very much overdue and a welcome reminder that the fingers can do more than touch type!

    Posted on March 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm #
  6. From Zoë Dawes:

    I think that learning to write with a fountain pen probably helped us to write more neatly as it took more time. My son’s writing is awful too!

    Posted on March 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm #
  7. From briansturridge:

    I’ve had my transformer for ages now…and……………….ITS BLOODY MARVELOUS :)!!

    Posted on March 27, 2012 at 8:54 pm #
  8. From Zoë Dawes:

    Must admit Anna, much as I love my iPhone I think the Eeepad is better than the iPad because of its versatility …

    Posted on March 28, 2012 at 11:09 am #
  9. From Zoë Dawes:

    Ha! With you on that Brian!!

    Posted on March 28, 2012 at 11:10 am #
  10. From Lee Briskett:

    Still love my TF101 and can’t wait to get a Prime next. Slick!

    Posted on March 29, 2012 at 4:55 pm #
  11. From Zoë Dawes:

    Welcome to the Asus fan club Lee!

    Posted on March 29, 2012 at 6:33 pm #
  12. From Alvina:

    Hi Zoe
    the Asus sounds great. I currently use an Acer netbook. But it is getting a bit long in the tooth. I have been put off an ipad because of the lack of a Querty keyboard. Being a 10 finger typist touchscreens just don’t work for me.

    Posted on March 30, 2012 at 8:15 am #
  13. From Zoë Dawes:

    Another plus Alvina is the speed & graphics – which you’d definitely notice if you replace your old netbook.

    Posted on April 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm #
  14. From val:

    thanks for this heads up – i have been toying with the ipad idea, but aware of its limitations. this eeepad sounds amazing! i will research its availability here.

    Posted on April 29, 2012 at 6:15 am #
  15. From Zoë Dawes:

    I’ve just had my Eeepad nicked from Luton Airport Val and am quite lost without it. Completing insurance form and hope to get replacement before my next trip away.

    Posted on April 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm #


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