Travel is important to me. Especially as a Minnesotan. The ability to take a break from the long dark winters, or at least to plan a trip (hypothetical or a trip that will be realized) is critical. This past winter went on for a long long stretch and I couldn’t help myself. I snapped up a particularly affordable flight to Dublin, with a connecting flight to Rome, for October. It was over half a year away, which seemed like an eternity at times. Now I’m counting down. Less than two weeks until departure. And I’m traveling alone, again. I’ve done this a fair bit. And I’m always looking for ways to pare things down to the bare essentials, without checking any luggage. Traveling simply is the way to go. This trip I’ll have my compact roller suitcase and a backpack but I don’t plan to use the backpack much. Especially not in Rome. I have an even more compact bag for the big city. That will hold a new compact camera. As much as I adore my DSLR I dreaded the thought of lugging it around, along with all the lenses and other accessories. So I ponied up for a new point and shoot. But when it arrived I realized the user manual is 294 pages long. TWO HUNDRED NINETY FOUR. That’s a lot of information for a “simple” point and shoot. And I’m just getting to know it. Yesterday I figured out how to set it to capture raw files in addition to the smaller jpegs. The image quality can’t compare with my DSLR, of course, but is better than my phone. I hope.