Thursday, July 10, 2014
TRANSITIONS: Part 13E: A Few Recent Around the World Trips
Around the world trips are not cheap. Even in economy class, the minimum would be $5,000 for the airfare, plus your living expenses. If you can somehow survive on $100/day, then the total cost of a 30-day global adventure would be at least $8000, enough to buy a car. Business class is roughly double economy and first class is double business.
I've done this, probably, a dozen times, more than half after I retired. My Ultimate Global Adventure (MUGA) occurred last year. Here is another MUGA summary. What I did not say was that the airfare was around $23,000 and total cost at least double that for 52 days of travel, taking me 39,000 miles. I calculated what those legs would have cost if you had to pay for each separately, and the total approached $50,000. So these around the world fares can save you quite a bit of money. The highlight might have been a gold carp at Matsumoto Castle.
This year I particularly enjoyed My Ultimate Fantasy Adventure (MUFA), a journey which was covered in this daily blog, but without the fantasy part. I visited the above gold carp again. All things considered, MUFA was my most intensively satisfying trip of my life. Perhaps the days on the Crystal Symphony might have been the most memorable.
In November I board the Crystal Symphony in Honolulu to Auckland. First, this is a special segmental price, so the price is low. Second, Pearl and I were placed in the penthouse of the Crystal Harmony from Auckland to Honolulu in the 1990's, so this trip is nostalgic to close the remembrance.
At one time I was planning to have a "final" splurge, first class around the world: Auckland, Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul, Munich, Barcelona, London, New York City, Las Vegas, San Francisco and back to Honolulu. However, this was just too, too expensive, so I instead was able to use miles in business class: Auckland, Seoul, Bangkok, Tokyo, one week Green Car Japan Rail Pass to visit the change in Fall colors, then back to Honolulu, the last leg in first class...with the air portion essentially free.
After Pearl passed away in 2009, I decided to drop her ashes off mostly at places around the world she wanted to visit, but didn't, because I did not want to go there. This sense of guilt resulted in several around the world trips:
I've now just about laid her ashes at 50 sites around the world, and might soon begin writing a book on this effort. This one will only have a few words and a lot of photos. It will be an e-book, for a hardcover version will be too expensive.
Tropical Storm Neoguri only is bringing rain to Honshu. A new storm popped up far east of the Philippines, will soon become a typhoon and, at this time, seems headed for a region north of Manila.