In today’s world where information technology has advanced so much, the ways by which we talk to one another has definitely changed. Before there were not too many options as to how to contact other people, today there are various choices you can choose from. Before there was only the telephone; but now with the existence of the Internet, we are allowed to contact others via chat, electronic mail, video calls, Internet fax, among others. Mobile phones also provide us with more convenience in the way we reach other people.
In business, the ease in how we communicate with others can prove to contribute to increased productivity and overall success of your enterprise. And particularly, Internet phone technology can definitely help small businesses as this makes it possible for phones services to run via the Internet instead of a regular telephone line. Termed as virtual PBX (Private Branch Exchange) systems, business phone services provided through the web can give small business owners many advantages.
One thing is that it is low-cost compared to traditional phone services. There is no need for maintenance or technical staff since the service provider is responsible for maintaining the system. Further savings come from not needing costly cable lines as well as different hardware or equipment, and the fact that you only pay for the extensions that you use. Another point is that, with a VoIP-based PBX system business expansion is cheaper because installation of additional telephone lines is free of charge.
Since this system runs over the Internet, it provides more flexibility than other phone services. As your business grows, your business phone system grows with it. You can control this service expansion by simply choosing what functions and tools you need and the VoIP-based PBX system will follow through.
If you have to make calls from different locations, this phone service can do it for you since it runs over the Internet. Regardless of geographic limitations, calls can still be made and business transactions can still be conducted. For instance, if your business has more than one office, you can integrate it into one phone system using cloud-based PBX. This then can connect your multiple locations and all the staff together so business proceedings can be managed efficiently and productivity will be raised.
Another advantage of using a cloud-based PBX system is that it is mobile. With this, if you decide to change locations and bring your business with you, the phone system can go with it. Or if an employee has to change location, he or she can remain integrated into the system without changing phone numbers. Aside from these features that online PBX systems have, it also has services both standard and advanced phone systems have like voicemail, call routing and forwarding and caller ID.
Now that you know the advantages of switching to a VoIP PBX system for your small business, you must be careful when choosing the right service provider for you. There are various service providers out there which can suit your business needs. It is important that you do your research, ask business colleagues for their best practices, and check out different services. I advise that you take advantage of the trial period that they offer so that you can thoroughly examine their services before finally choosing the best service provider for you.
This is one of those phrases that can frequently be heard from businessmen; most especially from those who own small businesses. When you’re focusing your time, energy, and funding into making your business grow, certain tiny but essential details can be overlooked. You definitely wouldn’t want to spend your time answering phone call after phone call, transcribing documents, booking flights and arranging personal appointments like calling for babysitting services and scheduling doctor’s appointments. These are little things that big bosses can’t seem to be bothered with but can’t exactly do without. Naturally, if things are becoming too much for you to handle, you get help. Or in this case, hire help.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
Typically known as VA or virtual office assistant, a virtual assistant is a generally self-employed professional who provides administrative, technical, or creative assistance to clients, typically from a home office.
Now, some of you may think “I can just hire an actual in-house professional to do those things for me”. Well, here are a few things which may persuade you to reconsider getting a VA.
The thing about having an actual assistant is that there are so many items that you have to spend for. First would be an actual space for the person. That space can be allotted to other essential uses, like an expansion of the production area. Second thing that would cost you would be the furnishings dedicated for the space. Next would be equipment like a personal computer complete with the basic office tools, teleconferencing software and hardware. Now, if you hire a virtual assistant, you don’t have to invest in any of that. Furthermore, you are not responsible for any employee-related taxes, insurance, and/or benefits. An additional expense would be a subscription to a VoIP service for making local and international calls. If the VA is not a US resident, the least costly way would be to buy Skype credits for him. Some clients of MyOutDesk do just that. MyOutDesk, a virtual office, hires and trains VA’s from the Philippines then “deploys” them to different clients.
Most VAs are flexible in terms of payment arrangements and schedules. Furthermore, with the ever growing industry of work-at-home professionals, it’s easier nowadays to get a virtual assistant for any job. Contrary to popular belief, virtual assistants are not just mindless secretaries whose only purpose is to transcribe documents; you can choose a VA who specializes in a certain job. Different types of VA are:
Executive Assistants Normally take on internet research, editing, database creation, and overall receptionist work
Editing Assistants Proofread and edit print media
Marketing Assistants Responsibilities vary from creating slogans to posting ads online.
Graphic Design Assistants Freelance graphic designers who are employed and limit collaboration online
Website Design Assistants Same concept as Graphic Design Assistants, but their expertise is in web design
Translating Assistants Translate documents to a client’s requested language.
Real Estate Assistants Draw up legal documents, type, design flyers, manage social media accounts, and make calls to homeowners and potential homebuyers
Accounting Assistants Take on payroll and other financial statements
Medical Transcription Assistants Transcribe medical reports, patient information charts, and other documents.
Legal Assistants Spend most of their time filling out legal documents and may be required to do some documentation for the law firms they work for.
It’s not as hard as you think!
It’s easy to communicate with a VA using email and VoIP services. Just make sure you hire someone reliable and hardworking.
You insist that you just need a massage or a hot bath, but you know that it just won’t make you feel good in an instant. You try to enjoy work, but waking up is already a tedious task every work day, and you are literally dragging yourself to the office. It’s not inspiring anymore, and you think of your boss as the bane of your existence.
These are some of the things that are running through your mind when you’re having burnout from all the work that you’re doing and you are not really happy with your career now. You deny it to others and keep saying that you’re okay. But you can’t hide it to yourself, especially if you see these signs:
You ‘reward’ yourself with food, alcohol, or other things
You’ve ever heard of emotional eaters? Don’t wonder why you keep going to McDonald’s every morning to buy everything from their menu, because it might be your way of trying to make yourself feel better when everything’s going bad at work. Sometimes, people turn to alcohol or go on a shopping spree to forget their work problems, and you have to be careful of there because there are consequences when you ‘reward’ yourself too much.
Is your brain bombarded with thoughts of the last minute PowerPoint presentation you need to send your boss tomorrow morning? Are you dreaming of your monthly targets that you need to meet? Then you might be experiencing psychological stress, and it’s something that you should take seriously. Consider taking a break from all these work-related problems. Get a week’s vacation or schedule an overseas trip that you can look forward to. Delete all your work apps from your smart phone. Bringing your work everywhere might be taking its toll on you, so once you get out of the office, forget about your job. Get your RingCentral and Outlook apps out of your phone. Your work isn’t everything, and you have to make your life matter too.
You’re stuck in the same position for a long time
It’s been ten years and you’re still not promoted—that’s a pretty understandable reason to be depressed and experience burnout. You don’t feel rewarded and you don’t get what you really deserve after all those years of service, and it can be painful. Consider talking to your boss about this if you’re really confident that you’re doing job properly and efficiently, and he might understand where you’re coming from.
You’re always in a bad mood
This is one of the early signs of burnout. You yell at everybody, whether you’re at home or in the office, and it’s making you look bad. If you are feeling disappointed with your job, avoid taking it out on people around you. It might cost you your relationships and your career if you keep on doing it. Try to keep a positive outlook on things and be thankful that you have a job.
One of the biggest challenges faced by every person nowadays is living a healthy life. Even as our society moves forward in science, technology, and medicine, it’s still quite easy to fall off the tracks of healthy living. We are exposed to more junk foods, a more relaxed, sedentary lifestyle, and working conditions that doesn’t really promote significant physical activities. Once we hit adulthood and start working on regular jobs, we get fewer activities that would burn calories, and we consume meals which are far from healthy because it is the most convenient or accessible item to munch on. The following are some tips that you could consider to bring more health back into your life.
Start your day with a glass full of water
The first thing that you should do after you get out of bed in the morning is drink a glass of water, at least an 8-ouncer to get your metabolism going. Coming out of deep slumber, your body is running low on H2O, but you don’t really feel this since your bodily functions are just starting up. A glass of water will make you feel satiated, thus decreasing your chances of overeating come breakfast time. That amount of water is also enough to keep you hydrated if you choose to do your morning exercises before anything else.
Be the first to order, but the last one to finish eating
After some of your daily activities, you would naturally feel hungry and thoughts about food could easily cloud your mind. You may still be in the middle of a meeting or at your desk making some VoIP calls when the need to eat arises. Think about what you want to eat before going out with your colleagues, and be the first one to order. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy a healthy, hearty meal without getting affected by other people’s order. You could even influence what they get to eat when you order something healthy. When your food arrives, resist the urge to eat fast, because it can leave you dissatisfied, which i turn could lead to eating more just to compensate. Eat slowly by chewing your food longer, perhaps twice as long as you normally would. This not only breaks down the food into easily digestible portions, but also gives you time to savor and appreciate what you eat.
Always find time to exercise
Okay, so you’ve been sitting for 8 hours in front of your computer, and you feel tired as your work day ends. That doesn’t give you the right to be lazy about taking care of your body and giving it the right amount of exercise it needs. If you don’t have enough time to exercise in the morning because of your tight schedule, you can always fit in a couple of minute of physical activity after your work is done. If you commute to and from work, perhaps you can get off a block or two before your house. Brisk walking is a great way to stretch your muscles and fill your lungs with air. It’s a good way to cap your day, and you’ll have a more fulfilling sleep afterwards.
Make reading (about health) a habit
Since you are in front of your computer for several hours a day, you might want to squeeze in reading a fitness or nutrition article or two in between work. It is not only a way to break the monotony of what you’re doing, but is also a good way to educate yourself about living a healthy life. The more you know about it, the more you’re inclined to apply it in your life. You get to learn about healthy recipes, quick and effective workouts, and other things that could set you on the right path to good health.
The other day, my friend Maggie told me that her little daughter Liz refuses to throw a birthday party because she “doesn’t have any friends anyway”. When pressed, the 7-year-old explained that no one at school liked her because she got good grades, did well at “sports”, and always recited in class; everyone thinks she’s a teacher’s pet. Most off-putting to her mother is the matter-of-fact way she put it, as if it were expected that people will dislike Liz for the sole reason of her wanting to do well in school. Meanwhile, Liz’s older brother Will had no such trouble for being an A student and athlete.
People may think that this is a one-off thing but, as it turns out, there are other examples out there revealing a rather disturbing trend: people squelching ambition in girls while encouraging it in boys.
The social stigma of achievement among girls
I know how Liz feels. Growing up, few things thrilled me like getting a high score on everything – video games, school tests, and the like. I loved getting gold stars from teachers, enjoyed finally getting a dance move right, and even winning at Scrabble. I was, as my grandfather once told me, a “natural-born winner”. I was also rather friendless.
At first, I didn’t think much of it. But one day, a schoolmate left me a voicemail at my home line saying that I “thought [I] was better than everyone else” and that I “deserved to get knocked down a peg or five”. The next day, I heard her talk about school heartthrob Tony Johnson – a boy who achieved even more than I did – and gushed about how awesome he is. In many respects, Tony and I were very similar; we both liked to win, and we were reasonably affable. But I think that the fact that I was a girl who LIKES to win made me “a bad person” in the eyes of other girls. Boys who win? They’re heroes.
That’s why, when I moved to a new school, I made sure that I only got good enough grades and that I suppressed any desire to win anything. Guess who suddenly had lots of friends? Yeah. Me.
The need to catch up to the times
It took me several years, a good dose of Oprah, and some (ongoing) therapy to get to a point in my life where I’m okay with wanting to get the gold stars. Thankfully, the guilt of wanting to succeed didn’t get in the way of my actual success. Thankfully, there are many successful women out there who are honestly enjoying the fruits of their focus on ambition and who did not lose friends along the way. But there are still so few truly high-profile female success stories out there – and most of them are still getting flak for it.
For all our talk of “girl power” and letting our daughters “become whatever they want”, we nevertheless still act like the success of one female is a conscious, malicious attempt at establishing hierarchies. We think that the goal of every successful woman of our acquaintance is to personally put us down. We feel that women celebrating their achievements are gloaters, and thus we find ways to put them down. Worst of all, we teach our DAUGHTERS this sort of attitude.
Ambition has a high price for little girls because we ALLOW the price to exist. Does it need to be there? No. But we’ve gotten so used to the idea of having fewer opportunities than boys and competing for those opportunities that we’d rather tear each other down than be happy for each other. It’s sad.
Don’t you just hate it when all you could do in the social media is “like”? Things would probably be a lot more interesting if there’s a dislike button you could press, right? But because liking is the only default reaction you can make regarding posts in the social media scene, there’s a rather limited opportunity to express yourself. This is what Jake Banks thinks so too. That’s why he created the Hater app. As the name implies, it’s a social networking app that allows you to share all the stuff that you don’t like.
Banks told Mashable that “It's really an answer to everything out there in social media. All you can do is ‘like’ things”.
“I don't want to be the guy pretending to be someone I'm not. I want to be real and say, ‘I’m sitting in traffic and I hate this,’” Banks further explained.
Dislike All You Want
It’s a refreshing alternative to the mostly positive social media scene we see today. While social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram do allow you to vent out, nothing’s as good as a social networking site dedicated to just disliking, venting, and ranting. It’s giving you the freedom to be more real. Share something that you hate in Hater app and others will hate it for you as well. And what do users click to show you their support? It’s the thumbs down button, of course! What else could it possibly be? It’s actually refreshing to see that it’s right there for you to press and not just the overrated like button.
Upload What You Hate
Aside from using words to vent and rant in Hater, you can also post the photos and videos of the things that you hate. Don’t like waiting in line for your early morning caffeine fix? Take a photo of that long queue at Starbucks, upload it, and hate it all you want. Feel like vomiting every time you see any Taylor Swift music video? Share the link on Hater and hate it all you want. Sick at seeing a Facebook friend touring all over Europe while you’re stuck at work? Grab a screenshot of that friend’s photo, post it on Hater, and dislike it to your heart’s content.
Therapy and Stress Reliever
Hater is not such a bad thing if that’s what your initial perception is. It’s not all negativity and pessimism. In fact, it’s actually going to be a therapeutic app to have on your smartphone. With Hater, your smartphone will no longer be just a tool for your virtual office, but a &ldquounching bag” as well. Most Americans who are overworked will find Hater useful since it offers a platform where you can honestly express yourself and vent, allowing you to effectively manage stress and anxiety.
The Hater app was unveiled in time for the SXSW and is currently a free app for iPhone users.
The Android version will roll out in about 2 months’ time.
Everyone Tags: Posted: Mar 27, 2013 1:03am
Mar 21, 2013
So, are you one of those people moping for the lack of someone to cuddle with on the most overrated, highly commercialized, tackiest day of all? Well, fret no more because you’re not alone. Believe it or not, there are many people spending their V-Day single. But single doesn’t necessarily mean alone or lonely. For one, you have other single friends to hang out with. You can still have a great time despite the absence of a so-called “special someone” on the most superficial day of the year. How? Why not do some anti-Valentine themed activities?
For one, you can go watch a movie. But rather than choosing a romantic film that’s kind of expected on this day, why not go for something anti-thematic instead? Why not watch something creepy and terrifying? Why not watch Mama instead?
Mama, the 2013 horror film, is directed and co-written by Andrés Muschietti and produced by Guillermo del Toro, the same guy that directed The Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth, Blade 2, and Hellboy. Mama was released and shown in theaters on January 18, 2013. It stars Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones).
The Synopsis (No Spoilers)
The movie revolves around 2 young girls (Lilly and Victoria), how they were left abandoned in a cabin, and how they received foster care from an entity they call “Mama”.When found, the children showed feral behavior due to years of isolation. But the therapy and their return to the custody of family, mainly their Uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), have somehow helped the older Victoria regain her humanity. But Lilly, who was left abandoned at a tender age of 1, was understandably having more difficulty shedding off her animalistic behavior and letting go of the entity that she and Victoria call “Mama”.
So what’s the deal with Mama? What makes it the perfect anti-Valentine’s Day movie? Of course, all hell breaks loose when the children were brought back to their Uncle Lucas’s care. When Lucas was hospitalized due to a violent encounter with a shadowy figure, the children were left under the care and watch of Lucas’s girlfriend, punk-rock band bassist Annabel (Jessica Chastain). Of course, scary things started happening when the children were left alone with Annabel.
Annabel, who was totally unprepared for her sudden role as foster parent, started sensing the presence of something evil in the house, seeing shadowy figures, having nightmares, and more. But as the power and presence of this entity grew, the closer Annabel got to the children, especially to Victoria. And it is this closeness that eventually makes the entity more ferocious.
Unlike other reviews, I’m determined to stay away from spoilers. I don’t want to give out anything major. But what I can do say about the film is that it gets a 3.5 out of 5 score from me.
The fairy tale-like style in presenting the story worked for me. The awesome graphics, complemented by eerie lighting and set, all the more make the film very anti-lovey-dovey. And the fact that Jessica Chastain looked and acted superb in this film does more for the movie too. Yes boys, she looked smokin’ hot.
But what I didn’t like really is that the hunky Nikolaj Coster-Waldau didn’t really get enough airtime. The guy can Nerdacy (again, please see Game of Thrones), so to not see him most of the film was a bummer, especially for us ladies.
Then again, the story – the plot and the “boo!” factor – makes this movie a definite must-watch. And if you’re finding yourself bored and loveless this V-Day, call your single friends. Go and see Mama and reroute all incoming calls to your voicemail because you really can’t afford to miss any of the scary scenes. Mama is definitely the perfect anti-V-Day movie to see this year.
It’s the battle of the hip hop moguls, or should we say headphone makers, as both Beats by Dr. Dre and Soul by Ludacris go head to head with their celebrity endorsers, specifically their pro athletes. If Beats has NBA star LeBron James on their team, Soul now has NFL quarterback Tim Tebow on their roster of endorsers. And Tebow didn’t just sign up as a mere endorser. He actually has a line of headphones with Soul Electronics that was launched at the 2013 International CES held in Las Vegas.
Soul’s Tebow headphones are called the Combat line which is comprised of high-endurance headphones that Tebow himself helped develop. The Combat collection was primarily designed for athletes but can also be perfect for casual users.
At a press conference held at the 2013 International CES, Tebow explained how the design process came about. “I was so interested in having something comfortable I could practice on the field in before games… So many headphones can feel good and sound great, but when you're warming up, they fall off and that is a big distraction. We came up with these Combat models to help you keep that focus.”
Some say that Tebow is a perfect choice for Soul given that the NFL star is an outspoken Christian. Tebow became famous not just for his football skills but also for wearing biblical verses on his eye black. The 25-year old star is also known for his habit of kneeling on one knee and resting his head on one fist to pray. This act became so famous that the term “tebowing” was coined by a fan to refer to the football player’s kneeling pose.
Aside from the Combat line, Tebow’s collection line of Soul headphones also includes a couple of business-inspired models aptly called “Jet” (Tebow is a quarterback playing for the New York Jets). He jokingly told the press the reason behind the name, explaining that “It's also called the Jet because it's the executive line for people who fly across the country ... and are flying in jets.” Businessmen who frequently travel and use their smartphones or PDAs as their business phone are the main target market for Soul’s “Jet” line of headphones. But Tebow, who’s also become Soul’s brand ambassador for its flagship SL300 signature headphone series, explained that his line appeals to all types of people.
“People who try them out will hopefully believe in them… We have headphones for athletes who want to train and some for those who want to fly or even sleep. They are even great for moms who are doing the dishes and listening to their country or gospel music. Whoever you are, whatever you are doing, we have something that fits you.” [Quotes Source: Mashable.com]
There it is. You’re so close. Your interviewer is not-so-subtly starting to show signs of being impressed by the wisdom your years of experience has brought, and being drawn to your engaging personality. Everything’s going so well; but all of a sudden, BAM! Awkward moment of silence, pursed lips, and suddenly the interview goes off track. You’re there thinking, Why the heck did I tell him that? Dear reader, you might have given your interviewer TMI or too much information.
How much is too much? In an interview, there are several variables that need to be considered. For you to be able to discern how much you can disclose in your interview, consider the industry, the position you’re applying for, and the personality of the interviewer. Remember that in every interview the motto is “Make it or break it”. If you mess up the interview, you lose a chance for a second interview or a job offer.
“You always want to leave them wanting just a little bit more of you… Employers are looking to hire people who generate goodwill for the company and who make a good first impression on those they meet,” says Linda Lopeke, a career advancement expert and creator of SmartStart Virtual Mentoring Programs. And you should do just that. Be smart, make a good impression, and avoid sharing TMI on these topics:
Hobbies, recreation, and vacation
Okay, this isn’t so bad. The problem with this category is deciding which details would be appropriate. Sure, a remark or two about your semester abroad or your international pen group would be okay if you’re applying for a company and/or position which deal with international affairs. Not that you can’t talk about hobbies that have no connection to the job so you can give the interviewer a better sense of who you are. Just don’t fall into the trap that so many applicants crashed into by talking extensively about their free time activities, eating up most of the interviewer’s time. Remember that you’re applying for a job, not a friendship.
My friend in HR once told me that one of her applicants arrived half an hour late for her interview. The applicant immediately started to apologize profusely, explaining that she and her mother fought for the nth time that day. My friend then, with the sweetest voice she could, asked “Sorry to hear that. Does this happen often?” The applicant bitterly replied, “All the time”, and had begun to rant about her mother. She had not only revealed her long standing difficult relationship with her mother, but also revealed an issue that influences her punctuality. And it’s not only that; her rant implied that she expects her employers to be tolerant of the issue. This is one example of why home drama is a topic that should be avoided like a plague during interviews. Your interviewer doesn’t need to hear about your pent up angst over your mother’s peculiar hygiene, or your annoyance at your in-law’s incessant voicemails bossing you around. Darling, you’re speaking to an interviewer, not a therapist.
Health, therapy, and rehab
Speaking of therapists, unless you’re required to disclose psychological treatments you have previously undergone or are currently undergoing, do not talk about it. That, and do not go overboard with your health history. Remember that you are positioning yourself as a dependable and reliable person. You wouldn’t want a potential employer to think that you are someone who will easily drop dead or go off your rocker in times of stress.
Politics, religion, family/lifestyle plans
A lot of interviewers try to break the ice by remarking about the day’s news. And what part of the news do people casually talk about? The scandalous ones, of course! It can range from politics, to religion, to orientation, to family plans. Don’t comment! It’s a trap! Remember that differences in controversial topics can lead to a sour discussion, which may ruin your chances for employment. Just smile, chuckle politely, and strategically switch to more neutral topics of conversation.
Roy Cohen, a career coach and author of “The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide”, shared the experience of one of his clients doing an interview. This man knew that an acquaintance was also interviewing for the position. “He asked the interviewer about what qualities they were looking for in the right candidate, and what the other people they were considering were like,” Cohen says. “He then went on to say ‘Also, I hear you’re interviewing so-and-so for the same role. Let me just warn you, you should do your due diligence before you hire them.’” Maligning anyone in an interview, be it your competition or a former boss, is a bad reflection of your character.
The old Bosszilla
Speaking of a former boss, everyone has had at least one insufferable boss who doesn’t seem to be happy unless his employees are manic, nauseous, or suicidal. But the thing is that no one wants to hear a 10 minute litany of how insufferable the person was. Apart from that, you’re basically airing out dirty laundry from your previous company. That might raise a red flag signaling the possibility of you doing the same thing to your next boss and next company. If asked the question “Have you ever had a difficult employer and how did you handle it?” cautiously consider your responses. There are more appropriate ways of answering that than “Yeah! He was a total nut job and everybody hated him, so I left”.
So remember - if you’re going to share something about yourself, stick to topics appropriate for an interview. They don’t want to know your deepest, darkest secrets. They only want to know what you can contribute to the company and if you are the best person for the job. So please, don’t wait for your employer to say “TMI, much?”
Who doesn’t want to go on a holiday, or at least the idea of going on a holiday? Sometimes, we need to step outside our usual bubble and break up the daily grind for a much-needed rest and relaxation. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul because it allows us to go someplace else and lets us exercise absolute freedom, gets our senses excited, and gives us the feeling of liberation.
Most holiday-makers or vacationers nowadays are into backpacking, a form of low-cost travelling which entails the use a backpack or similar hand-carried luggage. While it remains a viable option for most, there’s a new way of travelling floating around the internet called ”flashpacking.” It’s just like backpacking, but you’re not on a budget and you probably travel first class and book swanky hotel rooms. Simply put, it’s a more flashy way of backpacking. If you’re taking some time out to ‘flashpack’ and free yourself from all the stresses of your everyday life, here are a few must-have items that you shouldn’t fail to bring.
Imagine swimming with Nemo and friends in the Great Barrier Reef on an extended weekend. A sight to behold, isn’t it? Being one with the sea provides such an experience. Having a capable camera to document what you have just seen will be worth every penny. If you don’t mind getting wet and gritty or dusty and dirty, consider bringing a ruggedized camera on your next trip. Today’s common cameras loathe water, dust, and accidental drops – rendering them somewhat useless during outdoor activities. Fortunately, some manufacturers are starting to offer waterproof and dustproof pocket cameras which can handle rough environments. There are also camera housings or cases available to protect the said devices from harsh elements. Flashpacking, or any form of travelling for that matter, is usually synonymous with picture taking and thus, you need one for your next outdoor adventure.
The average flashpacker at least carries a cellphone with him (or her) to remain hooked with the rest of the world. With a mobile phone in tow, you can make and receive voice calls, email, voicemail, or any other means of communication using this indispensable gadget. Try getting a smartphone with satellite phone options or something that allows you to make calls over VoIP. The latter option offered is a much better way of keeping yourself connected to your folks back home because a lot of holiday destinations nowadays offer internet connectivity.
Even if you have the perfect smartphone with you, you still need to lug a laptop because nothing beats this device for someone who has to get some work done while on the road. It should be small size- and weight-wise, durable, equipped with a full keyboard, and should offer a long battery life. You don’t want to fit in loads of translated Google information (maps included) about a non-English-speaking city on your four-inch or so screen, right? Therefore, you need a considerably more powerful laptop to get the job done for you.
However, do note that just because you have all of these tools doesn’t mean that you’re already considered a flashpacker. Even if you have an underwater camera, a mobile phone, and a laptop, you can’t be considered legit if you sleep in airport lounges or stay in budget rooms to save up money. For one to become a true-blue flashpacker, you have to possess the right attitude, swagger, and the all-important Benjamins to boot.