Then I hit upon a new strategy. I would limit European visits to carefully planned "surgical strikes," no more than 21 days at a time. I would then alternate trips to Europe with visits to cheap third-world countries. I became fascinated by pre-Columbian archaeology, so that I visited all the leading countries, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. I stayed in whatever hotels I wished to and in general enjoyed gracious living.
Then in the mid-eighties the dollar soared again. It was off to France, over and over again. A decade later things changed again, so I became more choosy. Now, it looks as if Europe is pricing itself out of the market again. But never say never.
I forgot to note that beginning in the seventies I sought another type of balance, I would travel in the US. Eventually I visited every state except Alaska. These trips were very useful in combatting the onset of Gothamite chauvinism.
I suppose that there are two lessons. 1) If the opportunity beckons, take it. It may be a while, if ever, before the stars are favorable again. 2) In travel, as in all else in this capitalist world, it is essential to do an ongoing cost-benefit analysis.
Labels: travel optimizing