Mon 6 Feb 2012
Like most people, I have a few things I like to make sure I have with me when I travel – from my iPod to extra Chapstick to chewing gum. However, after many years of traveling, I have determined that the single most important thing to have in my carryon bag is a good pen. Inevitably you need a pen at some point and there is never one around, so bringing one with me every time is the best idea.
It amazes me that at many international airports – where you have to go through passport control with some form or another filled out – there are never any pens. People end up walking around like zombies asking if they can borrow one. Heaven help you if you ever show up at the border crossing window without your form properly filled out in block letters in pen.
I remember being at JFK on a layover between flights from Boston to Buenos Aires last year when I realized I did not have a pen. I feared I would arrive in Argentina in the queue for passport control and customs and not have my forms filled out, but also having no idea how to say “can I borrow your pen” in Spanish and then end up in an embarrassing pantomime.
So I went into one of those bookstores in the terminal that sells a little of everything to find a pen. I was just about to settle on a novelty pen with the Statue of Liberty on the end of it when I spotted a pen on a rack behind the register. I asked the clerk for one of those pens and it was the best decision I have ever made – despite it’s rather pricey $8.95.
That pen ended up being the Pilot G2 Pro Retractable Gel Roller - and it is awesome. I have been carrying that exact pen around ever since and have just purchased some more so I will be ready for that inevitable day when the ink runs dry.
The Pilot G2 Pro is just great, it is easy to hold and writes so smoothly that you realize not all pens are made equally. At a average retail price of around $5, you can find the Pilot G2 Pro for less than what I paid at the airport. There are many fine pens that cost much more, but even the pens that cost hundreds of dollars that I have used over the years are not as smooth as this baby. So it certainly worth every penny.
By the way, now when I travel I try to bring a couple of extra throwaway pens with me – this way I can share a pen with someone else in distress without giving up my Pilot G2 Pro – best – pen – ever