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Getting into the Travel Mood

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008


Well, with that out of the way (or rather abandoned, for now) I’m free to focuss on my next trip, which VA assures me is ca. 3 days and 16 hours away.

I’ve finally relocated a (fleeting) reference to the place where I’ll most probably be staying, or close to it. Seems that even in PoS you can find somewhere under 20$. *Phew*

We got lucky with cheap accommodation near Gatwick too. Yes we—John will follow me that far 😉

I’m still watching the dollar rate, but for now it looks like I’m going with a wad of sterling and only enough dollars to pay for the first night. Risky strategy, I know. Riskier still if my debit card decides to disappear into the maw of a cashpoint. It has never happened yet, but my heart stops every time I’m withdrawing money abroad. The Dollar cashcard was meant to take care of such worries, but the ridiculous exchange rate means that I’m going with no backup except for a paltry $160-odd in traveller cheques which were kicking around in my money belt. I knew I should have taken up busking.

So, tomorrow when there is more light around here I’ll be checking my (overpacked) backpack. The jury is still out on the tent, but I’m inclined to bring it.

Meanwhile, The Rum Diary has been downloaded and printed (watch out for it: it’s going to be a major film with Johnny Depp in it!), my writing stuff has been backed up and transferred to the EeePC (note to self: delete all personal details and passwords!), I’ve started to use self-tanning lotion without visible success and I’ve had a root-around my summer wardrobe (most of which no longer fits).

I’m ready to go!

Holiday Money :(

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Somebondy explained it to me before, but I still fail to grasp why—if the Americans landed us in the economic shit in the first place (and everybody else is just copying them)—the dollar is going from strength to strength.

I’ve been moaning about this before. If memory serves the pound stood at $1.86 back then. It’s unstoppable rise has something to do with the sale of US assets, a process that—once completed—will have the dollar crashing down. Not that the pound will be soaring, but the situation won’t be comparable to what it is now.

Whis is why, for the first time, I’m not changing any money prior to departure. Nor will I buy a travel currency card. I’ll have to bring wads of cash instead, something I last relied on in Africa, I think.

I’m also bringing my tent. Forget travelling around Trinidad, seeing the sights—my budget has shrunk by 25%. That means I’ll be on the first ferry out to Tobago, looking for a cheap place to stay and only moving if I find a cheaper place to stay. The problem with travelling in the developped wold is that expectations are too high. Everywhere has aircon and sattelite TV. All I want is a basic beach shack, but preferably with electricity (see, I’m doing it too. Sigh).

The financial situation has already led to quarrels, but for me there isn’t even a question of going. I’d much rather be down-and-out in Trinidad than depressed in England.