I’ll let you in on a secret: I really don’t enjoy writing.
If I did, there’d be ten times as much content here as there is. It’s also why there’s way too many errors on this website. I figure people come back for the quality of the content, so please accept my apologies for the errors, or other shortcomings of my website. That said, I do enjoy learning, researching, discovering, and sharing interesting things, so that’s why I continue to write. I love travel and tech, and the website and books are a project that keeps me in touch with those things.
A while back, I came across LifeStraws in a camping shop. I was familiar with the product, although I hadn’t seen them anywhere in a few years. You’ve probably seen the pictures… there’s a guy in the outback leaning down to drink toxic swamp water that is being purified by a filtration straw.
Well, over the years they’ve added more products to their line-up, including water bottles and other filtration packs. It’s a truly innovative product. But they’re not cheap. So I went online to check some reviews. Eventually, I came across an in-depth review on a travel blog that turned out to be just what I was looking for.
Beyond all of the detail and quality research in the review, the blogger made one powerful statement that, upon reflection, should of been completely obvious.
What he said stopped me in my tracks about my potential purchase decision, completely shifting my thinking. In essence, it went something like this:
Do you really want to be drinking swamp water?
Yes, it’s truly amazing that you can filter toxic water through a tiny straw, and make it (generally) fit for human consumption. (I say generally, because as the reviewer says, the technology cannot remove many viruses that could be present in the water. So, there are cases where the water may actually not be totally safe to drink.)
However, if you have a choice, would you really choose to drink purified swamp water?
In the case of an emergency, the answer would probably be, yes.
Under normal circumstances though, you could take with you a bottle of quality mineral water, with all of its essential trace elements and minerals. Consuming that water would hydrate and nourish you. Why then, would you choose to drink filtered water made drinkable by some (incredibly) nifty technology?
In that moment, I realised that’s what’s great about being able to read self-published content like that review on the Internet. Its the kind of thinking that I want to inform my purchases and workflows.
Its also the kind of article I want to write.
However, I also know how much time articles like that take to write.
And so I wasn’t totally surprised when I looked through other articles on his website to see he’d taken more than a year off writing… and maybe had stopped for good.
I totally get that.
It just takes a crazy amount of time to create good content.
And as an author and writer, you don’t tend to get a lot of feedback as to its impact.
In this sense, I see part of my own work as ‘paying it forward’ for all of the great resources I’ve found online as a result of the hard work of others.
Likewise, I hope others find that kind of value in my work.
Today is my birthday, and as a way of saying thank you for reading and supporting my work, I’ve made my Siri travel book available for you to download at no cost. You can do a lot more than you would have thought with Siri, and I hope you enjoy the book.
What I did end up buying on this trip, was a Platypus.
The Platypus is an attractive, super lightweight, BPA-free plastic water ‘bottle’ that I can fill with high quality water. I take it on my hikes, day trips, or when I want to minimise the weight in my bags. So far, I’m really happy with the purchase. I had previously been traveling with BPA-free plastic water bottles. However, this bottle is smaller, weighs around 90% less than the bottles I’d been using, and takes up virtually no space in my bag. Its perfect for the carry on traveler, a person who loves to hike, or do lots of day trips. While you can buy it in one of several modern designs, it does tend to attract attention. A few nights ago at the airport, a really young girl pointed at me and yelled (as they do), ‘Mummy, look, he’s drinking medicine!’ Imagine what she would have said if she’d seen me drinking swamp water!