Going off the grid for a couple of weeks

I'm about to go off the grid -- mostly -- for a couple of weeks. Friday morning I'm pulling Paige, my 15-year-old daughter, out of school and heading for the airport, where we'll board a flight to Atlanta. From there it's on to New York, then a long flight to Mumbai, India, where we'll arrive after 10 p.m. Saturday.By Monday we'll be in Goa, the old Portuguese settlement on the western coast, where I'm speaking at a publisher and CEO conclave organized by Ifra. After the congress we'll fly back to Mumbai, then take an overnight train to New Delhi, where we'll stay five days. We'll hit the obvious tourist attractions, including the Taj Mahal, but we'll also do what we can to experience local culture.The Internet, collapsing space as it does, has transformed India into a source of low-priced labor for everything from call centers to software development. However, that doesn't translate into affordable mobile phone and Internet service, so we'll be limited to occasionally connecting from hotels and cybercafes. To save on weight, I'm not even taking a laptop. We'll make do with my Nokia N800, which gives me email, the Web and Skype when I can find a wi-fi signal, but it'll mostly be turned off.The trip will be good for my daughter, whose worldview will undoubtedly be broadened by the experience. She'll have to write an extensive report for school about what she sees, and self-publish a photo book through Shutterfly.But it also will be good for me. I can no more turn off the pseudo-news channels on cable TV than I can pass up a Chick-Fil-A sandwich. And neither one is particularly healthy. The U.S. presidential campaign has, sadly, deteriorated into the same lopsided barrage of lies that we saw four years ago. I've noticed that yelling at the TV doesn't seem to make it any better.