Go West Young Man

asia.jpgI'm off for China on Thursday with my son, Henry. As you've probably figured out by now I love to travel. Last year I was lucky enough to visit Egypt, Australia, and France, but going to Asia has been a lifelong dream. I was a Chinese Studies major in college and yet I've never been closer to China than a one week trip to Singapore a decade ago. I began planning for this trip last year when Neil Bauman of Insight Cruises asked me to go on MacMania 9. I love these Geek Cruises but I've been so busy building up TWiT that I haven't had a chance to take one since 2006. When Neil told me the itinerary included China, Korea, and Japan I knew I couldn't miss this one.

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I've been working on four lectures for this cruise: 60 iPhone Apps in 60 Minutes, 60 Freeware Apps in 60 Minutes, Using a Mac mini as a Home Theater PC, and Using Social Media for Fun and Profit. They're far from done but that's what trans-Pacific flights are for, right?

The cruise itself is pretty quick and we only get one day each in Cheju, Korea, and Fukuoka and Nagasaki, Japan, so I opted for a one week land tour of China in the week before the trip. There's no way I was getting that close to China and spending only one day there. Eight days is not nearly enough to see the vast Middle Kingdom, but Don McAllister of Screencasts Online, Henry, a half-dozen other intrepid Mac fans and I will get to hit the highlights: Beijing, Xi'An, and Guilin.

I've posted my full itinerary on Tripit.com - what a cool site. You can forward your confirmation emails to them and they automatically build your itinerary, plus there's an API so a number of third party programs can also use the data.

IMG_0043.PNGThere's a free Tripit app for the iPhone but I'm using Travel Assistant Pro instead. It updates flight information and helps you store checklists and notes. Plus there's a cool presentation mode you can use for check-in at hotels and airports. Friends can view my itinerary on Tripit, too - and I can share details with other members.

I hope to post regularly from Asia. I'm buying an International Data Plan from AT&T for my iPhone and the hotel has broadband. I expect to be using the full social media toolkit including Brightkite, Twitter, Facebook, Smugmug, and Flickr. All of it pipes right into Friendfeed so that's probably the best place to follow my trip.

Dom't worry, TWiT will continue mostly intact while I'm gone. There won't be much live video, but we pre-recorded all The Tech Guy, Security Now, and Daily Giz Wiz podcasts. Additional shows were recorded for FLOSS Weekly, net@night, and Windows Weekly, too. John C. Dvorak will host TWiT on July 5 (tune in early at 5p Eastern/2p Pacific for a special wine Q&A with John). I'm not sure yet who will host on 7/12.

There will also be some special events on TWiT Live. July 15 Chris Marquardt will take over the studio with a full day of photography interviews and information. I hate to miss that! And Alex Lindsay will be in (new baby willing) on many other days to host shows.

I'll be back live July 19. See you then!

UPDATE: Don McAllister has one-upped me with a lovely iWeb page he'll be using to post from the trip.