My new friend Trish, her travels, and her Airpocket

I do love the internet for so, so many reasons. Just recently on Facebook, a friend in Canberra mentioned her friend Trish was about to launch a Kickstarter campaign to produce this new thing called an Airpocket. She described it briefly – it’s a small but special carry-on bag for the plane that (crucially) fits into the pocket in the seat in front of you, and it’s designed to put all that essential stuff you need for your flight in there, so there’s no losing stuff, no scrambling about for stuff, no going back and forth to the overhead locker a billion times.

The Airpocket by Trish Smith

Trish’s swish Airpocket prototype. Yes, I want one!

My mind instantly flipped back to our recent flights to and from Bali. As usual, I was the designated “do everything” person, which included looking after three passports, three boarding cards and (the most annoying task) filling out three immigration cards. I was the up and down to the overhead locker maniac, because even though I’d thought ahead and kept the passports and boarding cards on hand (riskily stuffed into that pocket of the seat in front, possibly never to be seen again), I certainly hadn’t got as far as a pen, because I’d been answering the incessant questions of a certain four-year-old and goodness knows what else. So yes, I could instantly see the point of an Airpocket and I wanted to know more about this Trish lady. Our mutual friend introduced us (well, “virtually” at least) and now I have dug much deeper into this whole story and interviewed Trish – and I was not surprised to discover that she’s an avid traveller with plenty of tales to tell.

Trish, tell me about one of your favourite trips …

Trish: I have been fortunate to travel a bit, but there are still many, many places I have yet to see – entire continents, in fact! My favourite trip so far was in 2010, and it’s my favourite for two reasons – the places I visited, and the circumstances that led to me being able to go.

I have wanted to go to Copenhagen my entire life. It’s just always been the destination at the very top of my bucket list, but I never imagined I’d get to see it without first winning the lottery.  Anyway, I had been writing a personal blog for about 7 years, focussing on food and cooking, photography, and stories from my life.  One day, out of the blue and on a Sunday afternoon, I received a phone call from someone who worked for a marketing agency. She introduced herself as the account manager for Thai Airways and she wanted to know if I would be interested in writing blog posts for their soon-to-be launched ‘Travel Bloggers’ website.  She told me that she had seen my blog and liked my photos and stories, and then asked if I’d ever been to Thailand.  Then she asked me if there was anywhere else in the world I would like to go, so of course I said “Copenhagen.”  To which she replied “ how about we send you to Bangkok, then Oslo, and you can pop across to Copenhagen from there?”  Then, I fell off my chair.  And that was it – a couple of months later I was on a flight to Bangkok where I stayed for five nights before going onto Oslo, then Copenhagen and even a quick stopover to visit some Australian friends living in Sweden. It was crazy.

Norway by Trish of the Airpocket

Gorgeous images of Norway from Trish’s trip there

 

Copenhagen was amazing but Oslo was my favourite part of that experience, and I hope to go back again on a trip I’m planning to take with my whole family when the kids have both finished high school (end of next year). It’s a beautiful city, the surrounding landscape is spectacular and the people I met there were so friendly and so proud to show me around their city. It was just a wonderful experience. I took the ‘Norway In A Nutshell’ tour which included a train ride through the beautiful countryside,  a ferry ride up one of the fjords and a stopover in Bergen. So in the end, I guess I did win the lottery!

Amanda: How cool, Trish – that really is winning the lottery! (I’m guessing it felt a bit like my frequent flyer points win last year!) I haven’t returned to either Copenhagen or Oslo since I was in Scandinavia as a nine-year-old but would absolutely love to. And I keep hearing about this Norway in a Nutshell tour recently – it’s the thing to do!

What would you be really sad to leave behind on a plane?

Trish: My camera bag. Even though I know my photos would be safe (now that it’s possible to save everything into the Cloud) I would be really sad to lose my camera. It’s a Canon 7D and I’ve got a couple of really good lenses. Obviously they’re all replaceable but I learned how to shoot in manual on that camera and we’ve been through a lot together! I almost left it on the seat beside me in a restaurant in Oslo, but a little voice told me to turn around, so I got it. Now, whenever I leave a bus, train, plane, café, or anywhere that I’ve sat down for longer than five minutes, I always turn around and check to see if I have left anything behind. I’ve saved a lot of umbrellas and coats by making that a habit!

Amanda: You’re so right, Trish, that turn around to check habit is essential! It reminds me: way back in 1990 I was in Berlin on a school trip, and being a typically distracted teenager, I left my purse in a McDonald’s. When I realised about ten minutes later, I was terrified. I sprinted back to the restaurant (of course the whole incident is probably karma for eating somewhere like that!) and a very nice employee there said somebody had handed my purse in and then she gave it back to me. I had never been so relieved in my life (at 14!), and it instilled that “checking” habit with me to this day.

Airpocket by Trish Smith

Tell me another big advantage of the Airpocket

Trish: Unless you are one of those people who travels for business every week (on flights that have probably been booked by a very efficient Executive Assistant who handed you your passport, tickets and hotel vouchers as you ran to your waiting taxi!) the prospect of going on a trip and having to be responsible for all the little details which – if forgotten – could leave you literally grounded, can make you feel pretty stressed-out.  The huge advantage for me has been in creating a bit more of a routine around getting ready for a trip – I pack my Airpocket at home, there’s a place for everything, and I leave for the airport feeling confident that nothing has been left behind. And then of course it’s really easy to access everything, from inside or on your carry-on bag, and from in the seat-back pocket during the trip. It would be lovely to have an efficient Executive Assistant to take care of all this for me but alas, it’s just me, so anything that helps reduce the likelihood of me leaving things behind, either at home or on the plane, is a huge advantage.

Amanda: Yes! I want an efficient Executive Assistant too!

What’s the next destination for you and your Airpocket?

Trish: We have friends who recently quit their jobs, sold the house and bought a six-berth catamaran. Now they’re sailing around South East Asia and have invited us to come and join them, whenever we can and wherever they are.  It’s an offer too good to refuse, so we are hoping to spend a week with them around the middle of the year. Of course we made those plans long before I launched the Kickstarter campaign, so now I’m at the mercy of my production schedule! As soon as it’s possible to take a break, we’ll be going.

Amanda: I want to have friends like that too – good on them! I hope the success of the Airpocket doesn’t mean you can’t spend some time sailing with them – definitely an offer too good to refuse. 

If you’re interested in Trish’s Airpocket …

I should point out, this post isn’t sponsored and Trish didn’t ask me to write it, I just thought it was a great product and I’ve already pre-ordered mine through Trish’s Kickstarter campaign (a crowd-funding platform, if you haven’t seen it, and well worth a look – lots of great stuff to get involved with). If you’re interested too, then you can head over to the Airpocket’s Kickstarter page and watch Trish’s video, see the various levels of rewards and even secure your own Airpocket. If you’re reading this after the campaign finishes, you can find out more at the main Airpocket page. Thanks for the interesting interview, Trish, and good luck!

Comments

  1. great post! I too was introduced virtually to Trish and have helped fund her Kickstarter campaign. I’m going overseas next week and want my Airpocket NOW! I guess I’ll stick to my usual plastic file for my paperwork. I’m trying to learn patience…

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