Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Favorite Things, Volume IV

Maintaining YOUR routine, your "normal" while traveling is the single best way to manage the mobile life.  Previously, we've looked at different methods and devices that have become some of my favorite things because they support me being able to maintain my "normal."  Another device that I alluded to in my first installment of this series is a tech-tool called the Slingbox.

Essentially, the Slingbox is an IP device (internet protocol) that connects to your existing home TV/cable configuration and home broadband network (wired or wireless).  Your network assigns an IP address to the Slingbox device then, using a unique sign-on code and password from any internet connected device (PC, notebook, iPad, or smartphone) you connect to Slingbox from ANYWHERE ON THE PLANET!  In doing so, you take control of the home TV/cable device connected and can control whatever setup you have at home from basically anywhere.  In my travels, I have used the conventional TV, DVR, and On-Demand functions with no muss or fuss.  I can even program my DVR to record a favorite program if I forgot to do so before leaving.  Even though Amsterdam and Frankfurt are 7 hours ahead of Texas this time of year, I can enjoy the TODAY show at 0700 local time using Slingbox.

Setup and use are simple.  During the setup process, you indicate what type of remote control you use at home and Slingbox duplicates it on your remote screen.  Everything is guessing.  The cost of using Slingbox is all up-front:  you buy the device and install it yourself.  There are no monthly subscription or "per use" fees.  We've had ours for about 5 years and it's still doing the same great job it did on Day 1.

Once your entertainment habits have been fulfilled by Slingbox, finding sleep can often be a challenge when traveling abroad.  While it may seem a controversial recommendation, I STRONGLY recommend the use of a prescription sleep aid on the first night away from home to help regulate your circadian rhythm.  Otherwise, finding a comfortable sleep pattern (where you sleep at night and are awake during the day) can take days or even weeks.  The feared habituating side effects of sleep aids require much more than an occasional regulating dose.  

And don't forget to be kind to your body while getting acclimated:  hydrate, Hydrate, HYDRATE!

Did I mention that you should HYDRATE?!

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