And Now, the end is near

Indeed, we did it our way. You might have read about us (here). And we mentioned that in life we did it the way we liked. Not necessary the outrageous but not exactly the conventional either.

When we started this blog just over three years ago, we were full of energy churning out a post every alternate day. In fact, you might have read about us scheduling posts ahead – sometimes months ahead… (including this post). Yep, that was the amount of energy and commitment we put into this.

But you know situations change.

And just like how fashion trends come and go, new fads and attractions come up. So the new focus in our lives is to concentrate on the last hurrah to accelerate our quest to be financially independent. We had touched on this subject on occasion, but it gets more ‘urgent’ as one hurtles towards the sixth decade of their lives. Yeah, cost of living is going to be higher and career cycles shorter. Time to sharpen those claws and go hunting. And strengthen the streams of income we have outside of having to labour away everyday.

But we are not stopping our writings. You might have read our earlier post that we do an enormous amount of it. Just that ~98% are not shared. Because we are also too cheap to buy space with wordpress to load all of our precious writings and pictures. Plus now that we have a renewed focus, our energies are channelled in another direction.

So it’s not really goodbye as the picture below might suggest, but farewell. Hopefully some the words in our past posts do not fade away for you.

Farewell

 

Compass gets you lost – seriously

Did you know that the physical north pole of our spinning blue planet is not the same as its magnetic pole? Heheh… for that matter do you know what the magnetic north is? In case you really needed it, here’s a Wiki on this subject.

If this article is accurate, then you might want to update that iPhone of yours soon.

Assuming you read the article in the link above (could be a stretch), you might recall we wrote about the alphanumeric signs painted on the tarmacs of airport runways here. Honestly, after reading this article we are not sure if we are that ‘grounded’ afterall. We mean that the earth beneath us appears to be not only dynamically moving and churning, but at a seemingly rapid clip too!

At the time of writing this post, we had read of large oar fishes (that live at a depth of 200-300m) had turned up on the coasts of Toyama Japan. Their appearances had been associated as being harbingers of impending seismic events. Coincidence or not, Mother earth surely acts in mysterious and many ways. So many things and events are interconnected.

Got you worried. Don’t be. It’s all part and parcel of living on this beautiful blue marble that spins around the golden egg that is the Sun.

How much do you carry on journeys?

Everytime we make a journey, a lot of work has to be done. Evaluating and selecting clothing that we’d take with us. Thinking about the accessories and toiletries that should also be brought along…

We were inspired to write about this after reading ths post. Now you might have read of our tirade on the payment for checked luggage in the past especially on journeys across the US. And we have also shared how you can try to sneak up more as carry-on luggage here.

Perhaps we are biased, but our own observations were for a gradual decline in the amount of luggage “allowance” a passenger gets on flights over the past 20 years. Only in recent years have we witnessed a slight turnaround in our national carrier. Not that we are advertising for them, some of their peers are also doing the same. It might be that elsewhere in the world the trend remains in motion to have passengers granted less kilos…

But today we revert to the considerations in the first paragraph.

That is – to the question we posed in the title of this post. How much luggage does one carry when embarking on a journey. Sure, for shorter journeys we’d expect a lot less. But are there basic things that you will find ‘compulsory’ to bring along regardless of the length of the trip?

Snail mail is still cool

Yes we think so too. Because wherever we go, we try to buy postcard(s) and post them to ourselves and our friends. Today we fondly look through these cards that we have “collected” from around the world.

This article (here) though speaks about the seeming herculean effort that is required to bring the mail down from the top of a 12,000+ feet high mountain to send it all around the world. But you know we don’t focus our posts on these linked stories.

Instead we refer to the fact that as pen and paper goes the way of the Dodo, a chapter would have passed when we can physically hold a piece of memory in our hands. As opposed to having all of it on our digital devices. We don’t know about you, but we surely feel different being able to flip the post cards and reading our almost illegible and faded handwriting. On a sunny afternoon, sitting together looking out from our little box in the sky (ie apartment), we enjoy leafing through these memories.

Call us old school. Who cares?

The only disadvantage is that with the fading, these old cards and documents do have a limited life. Whereas digital supposedly keeps them for perpetuity (read our VR views here). What are we to do?

Do you still send snail mail?

Changing money

Reading this post some months back we were inspired to write about our experiences trying to obtain local currencies in the countries we traveled to. Now bear in mind that our little red dot has a high density of money changers. They stock currencies from around the world and can even procure some for you if you give them some lead time.

The downside though to obtaining currency notes from these changers, is on some occasions we were given old versions of notes that were no longer valid… not that the changer did that intentionally, but they too were caught unaware…

Or the other consideration that if you get damaged (not even torn) notes, most folks will not accept it for payment or exchange. This is true whether one gets the note from the home country, at airports (where they apparently rip you off) or at bureaus in the country you head to. Which makes e-payment so attractive. Some day, we will all seamlessly have access to payment platforms in the countries we visit without the need for currency notes…

Perhaps exchanges and paper notes will become mostly obsolete?

Tell us. When you travel to a foreign country, how would you like to be able to make payments? Do you prefer good ole fashion paper currency or e-payments?

Free guided tours

You know there quite many posts out there recommending where to go and what to do for free. For the budget traveller, this can be both boon and bane. Why you might ask? Well hear us out.

If one is tight with money while out on a journey, having free guided tours as now common in many cities is definitely a plus. What better way to get to know a place then having a knowledgeable local point you the way? Ask the right questions and that can help you plan the rest of your time in that city better. Obtain tips from the guide in a variety of queries. That, at least on paper is the selling point of getting on such tours.

But what about the opportunity cost of doing so? What do we mean?

You see, what one sees and is shown on these tours depends on the guide. It also means your frame of mind could have been influenced by the tour. Because the explanations may not be fully accurate and if one makes a decision base on that, one might go off tangent. Or is that paranoid thinking?

Have you been on a free guided tour before? Share your thoughts!