Financing a life of travel

Imagine if this stack of money was real and yours!

Ever wish you had an endless stream of income that would finance your traipsing around the world? Wouldn’t it be nice to not worry about how to pay for making the journey? Well we’ve read quite a fair bit of bloggers writing about getting around the world in the cheapest way, seeking out activities that are free to do etc. There have been quite a few who journeyed around the world on bike or foot or public transport too (here and here)!

To us that is all well and good.

But would the journey to Pisa be the same without paying for the climb up the tower that leans? Would one really climb all the way to the Great Wall instead of taking the cable car? Hmmm….. Some things in life are indeed free to enjoy, but many of the experiences would probably not.

Today though our post is not just on the boon and bane of traveling on the cheap.

It’s about financial preparedness. And it is applicable not just for paying one’s travel journeys, but also the journey we call life. When we were young (and your heart was an open book), you might say live and let live…. heheh… sorry cannot help it because it was ringing in Mel’s head (for those G&R fans out there!). Before one get carried away by the travel bug and “squander” one’s youth away, would it not be wise to look a little ahead? For we have said repeatedly; time is but the only thing one cannot claw back or keep in store for later use. You do only live once, but you are also only young and energetic once.

Having a portfolio of assets that repeatedly produce income would be wonderful don’t you think? Like the proverbial goose laying a golden egg everyday. We call our finance independence theory the “Golden egg Goose” concept. You heard about it here first. What do you think?

Look at that flag counter

Sometime last year, we added a free flag counter to our blog. The purpose, as most of you who do the same is to “track” how many people visit our blog and from which parts of the world. If you click the counter you will be brought to the actual counter page.

There are additional attributes that feature details of which state in the US the visitors come from. This feature is free for the US and Canada only, and you will need to pay if you wish to get even more ‘granular’ information about visitors from other large countries.

But today we are not promoting the use of the flag counter.

Rather it is the flags in the counter that we are focused upon. When we look up the flag counter site every now and then, we look at the number of countries that have been captured based on where visitors to our blog came from. And it surprises us to see the names of countries that we don’t even recognize. 196. In case you were wondering how many countries are there in the world. Good as of this year we guess unless we have more secessions…

So by the personal record, we are still around 74 short… heheh. Talk about collecting flags we are also short of 1 state in the US. For some reason we do not have anyone from North Dakota visiting our site. Oh why?

Did not know that there are so many countries in the world? Well, watch out for the handprint stories we are posting on micro states in Europe! Without looking it up, how many of the flags do you recognize and can tell which country it represents?

Reduce, reuse and recycle

Oh wow. Talk about the 3Rs. Shocking were the words used for this story on the web a few months back. Can you imagine drinking a glass of wine poured from this bottle? True. True that there could have been good reasons for doing so. And perhaps readers who know better can comment. But today our focus is on airline waste. So maybe the attendant was not wrong in doing what she apparently did.

You’ve heard about the amount of waste we (ie humans) have generated. There are many a statistic, and one claims that we purchase a million bottles of plastic every minute! Wow. Can you imagine the volume of trash that is building up. This reminds us of the animated feature “Wall-e”. Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth. The story is that by the year 2805 the planet is contaminated with too much waste.

Think we’ll last that long?

There is a guardian article (here) that suggests that 5.2 million tonnes of airline waste is generated every year. And that some airlines are finally attempting to help reduce this load. A wonderful development in our opinion. Here’s a thought. While we do not support budget airlines with no frills at all such as catering, how about making it mandatory for passengers to choose their meals and drinks ahead?

It may sound draconian, but packaged and marketed appropriately (heheh, occupation hazard) this can become a ‘feature’. That way, airlines can work seamlessly with catering companies to prepare the right meals, reducing the “buffer” stock of meals they need to carry with them on the plane. We probably can’t bring back the use of metal utensils on flights anymore (perhaps except in business and first), but perhaps a move towards bio-degradable ones could help?

Wouldn’t you support efforts to reduce waste from your flying?

So long as we shall live

One of the privileged things in life is to have found a partner and soul mate with whom one can navigate the often challenging and chaotic journey called life. And when one does so with quite some (not all) like-minded interests, that would indeed be a godsend.

We know not many enjoy the Dailymail’s content, but this link might make you shed a tear or two. It’s about how couples who have been together for decades still exhibit the same love they had for each other when they first set eyes upon each other. We’ve written about how our lives can be a honeymoon all your life (here), and till today are still traveling together as if each journey was the first we are going together.

That’s really the secret. When you feel you are on a journey with someone for the first time, you tend to be more considerate, careful to give an impression. Sort of being like on a first date. Apply that to all  your journeys together too and we are sure it will make a big difference. The trick is to keep this up!

The world is always changing, nothing stays the same. But love will stand the test of time. Cherish the life! Who sang this song?

And we extend this to our daily lives too. What are your secrets to ensuring your loving relationship stays strong?

How many travel photos have you taken?

Don’t quite know what to call this post. It’s kind of a reminisce but also a rant. Perhaps this is just one more of our directionless musings…

About what you curiously ask?

Photos. Pictures taken from one’s travel journeys. Not the ones at home with family, friends, colleagues or acquaintances. Real travel photos. Pictures of places you visited, even if it is your own home base. Do you know how many have you taken?

We’ve read posts about de-cluttering our lives through the ‘purging’ of unwanted stuff. Ok that’s generalizing it a fair bit, but you get the picture (no pun intended)? Because this question popped up one day (about de-cluttering), and we got curious about how many photos we actually have of our travel handprints. You might know that we are part of the generation that straddled the film and digital eras. So that’s tricky because we have albums of printed photos too.

Hence we defined for ourselves that for film, the number of photos would be how many we have scanned into digital form. Yeah we hear the howls of disbelief from our film refugee peers, but hey you gotta start somewhere right? How does that look like? The graph below (yeah occupation hazard) illustrates:

Travel Photo Statistics

Did you notice how the spike in the number of photos started from the advent of digital photography? Yes, digital storage is virtually free, or at least very (very) low cost. Granted there are personal reasons in the stats too (such as number of journeys in each year). We know what we have might pale in comparison to some of you out there. But the point is – the average has clearly risen!

Are we alone? Of course not. So can you imagine how many pictures had been taken around the world by folks and possibly shared? Think millions only? LOL. This brings up an interesting point. There is so much sharing in social media of photos. Is it time to de-clutter?

How many travel photos have you taken? Do you organize them? Do you need to ‘de-clutter’ them?

Orchard Road, Asia’s premiere shopping

Heheh…really? Some of you dear readers might ask.

No. This is not a post of our Singapore series. Rather, it is a deeper dive into an interesting discussion about this so-called iconic shopping belt in the little red dot. Now we know that you dear readers, assuming you came to our sunny island before, would have had Orchard road on the itinerary?

What do you find exciting about this stretch of road?

In the last year, we’ve read and heard about a flurry of reports about how the road can be revitalized. This all suggests that there is something amiss. Perhaps it has lost its allure? Yep. And you also have articles such as this and that postulating the reasons for the decline. Things appear to be getting a little hazy for the strip, like the featured image of this post.

We’ll be honest. That it was actually hard to do a write up about this supposedly famous shopping street. That’s why we were sceptical enough to start this post with a rhetorical question. The ‘fact’ from our view : is that the street has lost its place. In the sense that to us whether this street is iconic, vibrant or not has become irrelevant. Like cities around the world swimming with strip malls even in suburbia, our little red dot has so much of the same in every shopping center.

Even if one is to do some ‘window shopping’, there is probably one just around the corner of an MRT station. And of course we are speaking from the perspective of high dense city living. For those who have visited Singapore, do you think there is anything special about Orchard Road?

How important is shopping to you when you travel?