Posted July 23’rd, 2013:
Let’s say that your desire is to see the world, and all of its cultures … up close and on a personal level. Just for fun, you grab an idea out of the air, and you make a tentative plan to visit at least one hundred different “cultures” …
There are over two hundred different countries to visit, but you know you have limits. You figure if you can visit the better part of half of them, you’ll be the wise and knowledgeable world traveler. How might you do it?
Well, if you’re Bill Gates, or Warren Buffet, you could make a single phone call to your travel agent, and tell your secretary that you’ll see her in a couple years. The last time I checked, a one-way air flight ticket to Tahiti was a couple grand. So, to make the calculations easy, let’s figure that average flight fare would be half of that … on the level of hand grenades and horseshoes. Additionally, let’s make the assumption that you will visit two countries on every flight tick. Probably not realistic, but it’s horseshoes and hand grenades. How much does Billion$ Bill subtract from his account for his earthly enwisenment?
100/2 = 50 tickets 50 tickets x $1000/per-ticket = $50,000
Now, you will require lodging. Let’s figure a week in each two-country set. (Bill did say he was to return in two years, so – let’s not upset his secretary). Most people who have lodged in any other country know that a hundred bucks is too conservative. But, it’s hand grenades and horse shoes. Call it a $hundred per night.
365 days/yr x 2 years = 730 days 730 days x $100/per-day = $73,000 $50,000 (airfare) + $73,000 (lodging) = $123,000 What did Bill get for his $123,000?
Rush, rush, rush. In each place he could spend only so much time, else his lodging bill would (if he were of normal means) – eat him alive. Rush, rush, rush. You/he will not have the time for total cultural immersion. Is that the way you/he would wish for it to be? We haven’t even considered the cost of food. Whether or not you’re in the subset of people who can deal with frugal diets that include pasta, beans, and rice, you’re still up to $150,000.
Now – a RADICAL idea.
What if you were to purchase a sailboat … one that is capable of ocean crossings? Does that sound preposterous?
It isn’t – not really. It’s not even radical. It’s an especially attractive option, for those who’re not of Bill’s means. A few years ago, ocean going yachts were the domain of the very wealthy. But, since those days, the American economy has collapsed. Today, boats that were purchased for a half million dollars are being sold for a fraction of that. A couple on the east coast recently purchased a 35 foot ocean-going yacht for $13,500. New, it was probably purchased for a couple hundred thousand dollars. Really. It has a few items, neglected too long, and now requiring maintenance, but the young couple calculates that they’ll manage the costs, even in light of their relatively modest financial means. They’ve already sailed a thousand miles down the coast in the boat, as it is.
The economic collapse that has driven yacht prices down, has been mirrored in other countries, but to a lesser extent.
Many yacht owners “anchor” a few hundred meters offshore, when they visit foreign lands. The cost of such lodging? Zero (with a few exceptions). Some other sailboat enthusiasts attach themselves to what are known as mooring balls, which are often a bit closer to land. The cost of a mooring ball attachment is usually trivial compared to hotel lodging.
Then, when one wants all the amenities of land-lubbing (cable TV) – the marinas are sometimes less, and sometimes more expensive than hotel accommodations (Marinas charge by the length (in feet) of your boat).
The biggest attraction is the one maybe least obvious. It’s the idea that one’s time can be taken … slowly … for a complete cultural immersion in each place visited. There are sailboat owners who have taken five or six years to do what’s been described here …
Go to page two …