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My eVest has given me the kind of security only a true neurotic could love. Like B.C. and A.D. once upon a time, I could rename this era for me as B.e (Before eVest) and A.e.(After eVest), such as 2017 B.e and 2018 A.e.
In 2017 B.e. I traveled through France without an eVest. My days of travel were spent checking and rechecking pants and shirt pockets, constantly padding them down to make sure all my vital items (passport, credit cards, cash, phone, granola bars) were all still safely on my person from my last check five minutes previously. From a distance, the sight of me sauntering down the streets of Europe must have looked like someone using his body like a set of bongo drums.
Carol tried to tap into my recently acquired travel expertise by asking about currency exchange. “When you use your credit card, do you pay in dollars or euros?” I thought it both an astute and practical question. Unfortunately, I had no clue which method was more sound monetarily. “I choose dollars, but I don’t know why,” I replied with an incurious shrug. Carol hasn’t realized it yet – or maybe she has – but she is the resident expert on practical matters for this trip.
Big ideas get tested out in small increments. The same holds true for idiotic ones. It occurred to me one afternoon, after slinging Claude over my back and almost launching myself into the unsuspecting woman standing behind me, that it might be possible to travel for an extended period of time without a backpack. Just my eVest. The more I thought about it, the more ridiculous it became, so the more I liked it.
My second train trip to Portland had a shakedown element to it as well. I’d purchased one of those eVests to carry all my valuables on my person while traveling. This would increase the security of those valuables, as well as making access to things like passport, money, tickets and tablet a matter of unzipping the right pocket on the vest, rather than packing and repacking Claude to get at those things. Smart travel move on my part.