Turtle Shell Living by The Cruising Shutterbug

As with most words and stuff that I toss out into the world wide web, this is another one of my habitual #NoteToSelf thingies to help me remember, to save me time and Googling or Yahoo-ing or Bing-ing minutes, to help me keep my simple nomadic life simple, to share information that may be useful to someone else, and whatever other reasons people have for keeping notes.

Scroll to the bottom for The Cruising Shutterbug’s favorite things for Turtle Shell Living. 😉

Mobile Me


Traveling By Plane

Note to self #1:  Next time you have a layover of over 12 hours, get a hotel room! Duh.

A little travel time is fine. Just find a hotel that has shuttle service from, and to, the airport. Ask for a wake up call. Most importantly, be back in the airport early.

Oh yeah, no need to lug around luggage.  If it’s JFK airport, leave them at Terminal 4 Baggage Storage and just keep your carry-on with you. (Info as of 2011)

Note to self #2:  Thou shalt not book flights with connecting flights less than 2 hours apart!

You got lucky at DFW.  You may not be so lucky next time.

If necessary, book flights for the following day, i.e. after midnight.

Mobile Phones

Note to self:  You might think the simple, no-name, generic China-made phones are a good deal and may do fine for basic calling and texting, but don’t be lured by the low price and the dual-SIM feature.  You were not satisfied with the first, you probably won’t be happy with the next. Heck, my very first Nokia 2010 mobile phone was more pleasant to use.  So don’t buy another.  Ever.

SIM Cards

Roaming SIMs, which are Prepaid SIM cards from what I think are virtual network operators, many of which use the callback technique, are no good. Not for me, that is.

The SIM with an Icelandic mobile number that I bought from GoSIM some years ago didn’t last.  It just stopped working, without any warning.  And that happened just after I had added credit to it.  The worst part?  GoSIM refused to refund the credit on the non functional account and stopped replying to any correspondence.  Crooks.

So then I tried GYMSIM.  It uses the call-back system, which to me makes calling a little tricky.  On the operational side, the company seems fine.  They keep their customers up-to-date on issues that arise now and then — e.g. when roaming is unavailable where, when service has been restored, which networks to avoid using while roaming in certain territories to save money, etc.  They’re actually okay.  But I just think it funny… nay, unacceptable… that something called Global Yacht Mobile SIM would not work on cruise ships.  Sad.

Then one day, while at Starbucks in Southampton, I saw a Vodafone store across the street and thought I’d try their SIM and use it to Twitter tweet on the go.  The SIM card was free anyway.

Well, my Vodafone.co.uk SIM has served me well, so far.  I still have that SIM.  It works in just about any place I’ve been to – including ships out at sea, but not including Columbia, I later discovered.  No big deal.  I’ll keep it for as long as I can.  Only problem with it is I can’t TopUp through the website or by phone with a non-UK credit or debit card.  I have to physically be at a store to do a TopUp.  Oh well.  Can’t have everything. 😀

When I did Alaska cruises in 2011, AT&T’s Pay As You Go (GoPhone) $2 Plan was really great.  Unlike Vodafone, there was no way to only get the SIM card, so I had to get a $10 AT&T phone.  Calling and texting only cost me $2 on days that I actually use the phone — and that covered Twitter tweeting and sending SMS to home.  The down side is that the SIM card won’t work with my existing phone, and Pay As You Go only had international roaming in Mexico and in Canada.  But it really was useful to me at that time. 😀 (Info as of 2011)

The Cruising Shutterbug’s Favorite Things For Turtle Shell Living

Some favorite things that Evelyn takes with her as she wanders from here to there…


Thank God for…

  1. my new Sony Xperia mobile phone which mainly serves as my productivity gadget
  2. my old Nokia mobile phone which is quad band, has Ovi maps and GPS function, and also serves as my alarm clock and MP3 player
  3. my still alive and still useful little Acer netbook with WinXP and long battery life. It also functions as a charger to some gadgets that can charge via USB (no need to bring the adapter chargers)
  4. my toy (an iPad 2) which is a gift from my big bro and is really great as an e-book reader, learning tool with podcasts and apps, and mini entertainment system
  5. a cord-free optical mouse which my hand very much appreciates
  6. a Logitech clip-on laptop speaker which I got for free, with Asiamiles
  7. a nice, long, hooded winter jacket that serves me well in rain or snow
  8. impermeable winter and rainy day boots
  9. a trench coat (with pockets galore!) which serves as my “travel jacket” an SeV Chloe hoodie with pockets galore which is now my new “travel jacket”
  10. non-slip, oil-resistant work shoes and rubber shoes (like Crocs, Safe-T-Step and Shoes For Crew)
  11. a solar-rechargeable, waterproof, digital Casio watch which tells time in all the time zones, has a snooze alarm, stores a few phone numbers, and more
  12. a handy steam iron for steaming out the wrinkles on clothes
  13. my very portable Hario ceramic slim coffee mill. No batteries needed! 😉
  14. my single-serve Bodum coffee press
  15. my very low maintenance “pet” that doesn’t slobber or drool or pee or poo or shed fur
  16. and… my “turtle shell” backpack 😉

Other necessities for The Cruising shutterbug

  • ponytail band, comb
  • hat, spare glasses
  • moisturizer, sunblock
  • lip balm
  • a little rouge
  • hanky
  • pen


error: Ps 27:1