Monday, August 20, 2007

Going walkabout

I need to save $4,000-5,000.

This is how much cash I want to have available for a 2-3 week trip to visit friends in Australia in April, 2009. If my calculations are correct (it's Monday so there are no guarantees), starting when I next get paid, I need to save $210-263/month for the next 19 months. Crikey! Can I do it? Eh...maybe? Will I have to eat Ramen noodles two meals a day every day? Most likely. Will I have to forgo such luxuries as coin operated laundry facilities and seasonal soft serve ice cream windows? Probably. I suppose I'll be too busy cleaning my clothes against a rock in a stream to even think about dairy confections anyway.

The reason for this out of the blue savings frenzy is a visit over the weekend from said friends from Australia. Long story, short(ish): In 2003, I took a trip to Spain, Portugal, and Morocco with a tour group. I was the only person I knew. Luckily for me, there were a large number of Australians traveling with the tour who adopted me as one of their own and great fun was had by all. Australians, if you don't know this, are amazing travelers. Partly due to the number of vacation days they get, partly due to the fact that if they want to go anywhere else but Australia they have to travel vast distances so they better make the most of it, and mostly because they have such open, boisterous, interested personalities. Who doesn't love Australians? Whenever we went anywhere and they'd answer, "Australian," to the locals' question of, "where are you from?," the questioners would beam and smile and pat them on the back. I'd mumble, "United States," apologetically and hope not to get spit on. (For the record, I wasn't, and everyone was perfectly pleasant.)

Anyway, I have kept in touch with one couple I met and have consistently told them that anytime they are in the States they were welcome to stay with me. They finally took me up on it this weekend and we had a wonderful time visiting and touring my area. Half of the time they spent convincing me I must go to Australia and stay with them. As if I needed convincing. I mean really? Free accommodations in Australia? Near the beach. With koalas and parrots in the tree in their yard like squirrels. How much convincing do you think I needed? Not bloody much.

So there you have it. I need money for flights, rental cars, food, any extra accommodations, and peace of mind. I'd have a kangaroo loose in the top paddock if I let this opportunity go by. I already missed out on trips to visit friends in China and Kenya so I'm not going to let Australia slip away. Down Under here I come! And, oh yes, Friendster Guy is invited as well.


ineffably said...

I hope you are a better saver then I am!!! You should consider a Term Deposit or something you can deposit into without being able to withdraw from!!! Good Luck!!!

arf said...

If you haven't looked into it yet, you can open an ING savings account online and they pay decent interest. so your money can work for you while you're saving it.

Sassy Pants said...

Good call arf. I've been thinking about an ING or other on-line account. I think that will be the first step on my journey of 18 bazillion miles. Or however far it is from the east coast USA to Australia.