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Measuring price in travels

April 24, 2008

Just after high school (and into the first part of college), I worked in a trendy and overpriced retail store in the mall, a brand that everyone in my school liked to wear.   At the time, I sometimes would measure the price of things in clothing.  The pay was horrible, so after a short shift, I’d joke with my friend “I earned a sweater today!”  It was mostly true, too.  Most of my meager earnings went to clothing.

When I did a semester abroad, my friends and I took a lot of vacations (to brag:  Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Bali, Thailand x2 and several trips to mainland China).  I also had some friends with expensive tastes, and we were browsing the Louise Vuitton store one afternoon.  Well, I was browsing, they were actually shopping!  My friend picked up something small, I think it was an ipod case or something like that, and asked if I thought it was a good deal.  Of course she was asking the wrong person if she wanted encouragement to buy designer goods, but my answer was something like “No way.  You could go on a vacation to Vietnam for that price.”  I measured the price of things in travels.

Now, I simply measure things in dollars.  Maybe even more boring, I measure it in savings.  If I want something, I think, “that is $X less for my emergency fund!”

T and I both want to go abroad when he is done with graduate school.  He is gunning for Europe (wavering between France and Italy), but my heart belongs to Asia.  South Asia (Inda, Nepal),  Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia).  Traveling would be best in a cheaper area of the world, though I’ve yet to see much of Europe.  I suppose Europe may be easier for our careers, but secretly, I kind of want to throw off the career for a few years and teach English.  Maybe that would be too much of a derailment though.

I don’t dream of owning a home.  I probably will someday, for financial and security reasons, but I just don’t dream of it.  I don’t dream of owning my own business.  I don’t dream of a nice car.  I just don’t care much.  I dream of traveling.   I’m considering reducing my E-fund contributions and slightly upping my T-fund (I just invented that nickname for it) contributions instead.  I think, someday soon, I’d like to measure things in travels again.

For now, it is the 8-5 routine and getting the most out of southern California…

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 24, 2008 5:05 pm

    That’s pretty funny. One of my friends in college used to measure time with cigarettes. So answers to things like “when are we going to hit up that party?” or “when are you gonna get off the internet?” turned into “in 5 to 6 cigarettes”.

    i also like the T-Fund idea…good thinkin’

  2. April 24, 2008 7:28 pm

    lol…(both of you).

    I actually found that I was losing the concept of what “a lot” of money was for a while, just because I was dealing with huge dollar amounts at work, so for some time $1000 didn’t seem like much. (I know better now, hehe.)

    It’s funny how people’s dreams can be so different. I’d say I’m about the same age as you, but my dreams couldn’t be more different. I would like to travel, but I also dream of owning a home and “belonging” somewhere. Just thinking about not being rooted down somewhere gives me the willies!! (Wow, I’m such a bore!)

  3. April 25, 2008 1:32 am

    I now measure things in a similar way – mortgage repayments. I might say that would knock 1% off my mortgage or that woudl take 6 months off the period of my loan.

  4. Gypsie permalink
    April 25, 2008 5:33 am

    I have the travel bug. I have an ING account just to save up to travel. Every year Mom and I leave the husbands at home and travel. I am 28. I have been to:
    Mexico (Baja and Mainland)
    Cananda
    Germany (lived there for 5 years)
    Switzerland
    Austria
    England
    France
    Holland
    Luxemburg
    Belgium
    Denmark
    Italy
    Turkey (lived there for 4 months)
    China
    Thailand
    Costa Rica
    Honduras
    Belize
    Taiwan
    And I have seen (as in been close enough to step off the boat and onto) Myanmar and Vietnam.

    Mom has already picked out our next trip: 21 days in Cambodia and Vietnam, with a quick stop in Phuket.

  5. April 25, 2008 8:07 am

    I love traveling, I completely agree that for me I’d rather save $100 then spend it on a purse. And I also measure the price of something compared to where that money could go (normally savings or my travel fund).

  6. May 1, 2008 5:14 am

    Holy moly Gypsie! Thats one awesome list!
    When I was living in England I had a friend who measured money in phone cards–being away from home (for her anyway) meant she spent a lot of time on the phone with the people she had left behind. Myself I measured money in hostel stays while I was in England (as in “I could stay in Florence for an extra three days or go out for pints with the girls”…viva Italia!!). Lately I am more likely to measure my money in more general future plans–I can’t decide which need is more pressing, having an adventure or having a home to come back to, but I’d love to think I could do both someday!! I think in general I just love having a “plan” even if it is completely amorphous!

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