I have 32 hours before I leave on vacation. It’s the first vacation that I’ve been on where I’m going laptop-less since I can remember. I haven’t had a vacation where I wasn’t working since right after college, and to be honest, and as silly as it sounds – I’m a little bit nervous about leaving that glorious machine behind.
It’s okay, though, I’ll have my phone and my iPad Mini. And maybe a VR headset if I have the room in my backpack.
I’ll be off to Belize in the middle of the night tomorrow night, and I could not be more excited. So, what does Liv do to prepare for a vacation?
- Mentally prepare for an email-free week. That means setting up Out of Office memos scheduled for next week, and responding to as many as possible. My week will probably not actually wind up being 100% email free, but my goal is to stay off as long as possible, a task that is surprisingly daunting!
- Attend the awesome HoloLens hackathon kickoff. I’ll be working a 10 hour mentor shift tomorrow at the San Francisco HoloHacks, so if you’re around there, come say hi!
- Install my shiny new Nvidia GTX 1080 and spend an hour playing VR games instead of cleaning the apartment or packing
- Buy snacks. Too many snacks. I have Celiac disease and buying food internationally is like life on hard-mode sometimes. Snacks keep me from turning into a horrible person.
- At some point, over pack clothes and forget at least 2 mission critical things
For this trip, I also spent a lot of time preparing my Kindle, and by “preparing” I really just mean “going book crazy and buying too many things”.
Belize Trip 2016 Reading List!
Tim Ferris: The 4-Hour Workweek
I’ve had this book for a while, and it’s sat at 50% read for a while now. I tend to get really motivated about ten minutes into reading a section, put down the book, and then get distracted taking whatever advice I just read. I’m hoping to finally get a chance this week to finish it, especially since I won’t have my laptop with me to be a distraction!
This book is a collection of short stories inspired by Microsoft technology. It’s also totally FREE! I’m looking forward to seeing what the authors wrote about, especially if there are any stories inspired by HoloLens.
Jim Blascovich and Jeremy Bailenson: Infinite Realities
This is another one that I’ve been working my way through for the past couple of weeks when I get a chance, but even though I haven’t quite finished it, it’s still one of my favorite books to recommend to people just getting into virtual reality. The authors cover a lot of really fascinating user research studies around behaviors in virtual environments, and it explores some of the ethical and moral considerations around VR experiences, too. I’m really looking forward to finishing up this one, because I find myself turning back to the research quite a lot in conversations when people ask me about some of the ways virtual reality impacts us as human beings.
Wil Wheaton: Just A Geek
I’ve been inspired by just about everything Wil Wheaton does and I really enjoyed Felicia Day’s memoir, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), so I was actually surprised I hadn’t tracked this down sooner. It’s probably going to be one of the first ones I read on this trip, because I might be weird and pretend that one day Wil Wheaton might play my VR game. Hey, I can dream, right?!
Chris Hardwick: The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level (In Real Life)
You might notice at this point that most of my books on this list are years old. I’m a little behind on my reading, I know. I’m not proud of it. I get a kick out of Chris Hardwick on @Midnight and I’m always looking for ways to level up, so I figured: what’s one more impulse buy? Awesome, that’s what it is.
Dave Eggers: The Circle
I’ve been recommended this by a coworker and it seems to be a dystopian book about working at a major technology company that has questionable morals. That’s honestly about as much as I know about it, but I’m not gonna lie, I’m looking forward to reading it. A lot.
I’m also looking to expand my collection of VR related books, so hit me with your suggestions for the trip! I’ve read Ready Player One & Armada (not suuuuper VR but… Ernest Cline), Snow Crash, Neuromancer, The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect, Learning Virtual Reality… and I’m totally blanking on the rest, I know there’s more… but if you have a recommendation, let me know!