For the next three weeks, this space will be devoted to GRACE--the Asian Edition.
It's not my intent to bore folks with a travelog and I will try to keep my focus on the financial aspects of foreign travel during a recession. I'm also thinking it will be interesting to watch the US election from foreign shores. (Yes, I already sent my ballot in.)
This trip is a dream for me, but the timing could have been a whole lot better.
Fortunately, I did save for it. Unfortunately, I may not have saved enough. We'll see.
My airfare was prepaid last March. My sister gave me a $500 prepaid VISA card for "fun stuff." I have $1600 of my own to cover lodging, train travel, food and expenses. I'll be gone 18 days, but lodging is covered by my travelling companion's relatives for six of those days. To the extent there is a cost for this, it's $180, my share of two Pendleton blankets we're bringing as gifts to the two families taking us in.
The most important thing, for me, is not to become obsessed with how much I'm either spending or not spending. That's my tendency, and it can ruin a vacation if I let it.
The Japanese Yen is very strong against the dollar. That's good for the Japanese, less so for Grace. I bought $800 worth of yen yesterday at a rate of 97 yen to the dollar. Two days ago, it was 107 yen to the dollar.
The Japanese know about recessions. They were in one for ten years and it destroyed the retirement plans of many individuals. So I don't begrudge them their current prosperity. In fact, I'm eager to see it.
Sayonara for now. Watch this space.