I feel like a time will come when I donít have to work full time. I sure hope that time comes soon.

Adam did me the great favor of cancelling a climbing trip so he could go hiking with me on Saturday. We went to Hawk Mountain. Itís the typical PA ďboot killerĒ terrain with lots of rock scrambling. Right before the summit, thereís a boulder scramble. By this time, youíve been hiking awhile, over rough terrain and have seen few, if any, people. It gives the impression of isolation and harsh wilderness. At the top, you peek over the edge of the boulders to seeÖ old people in wheel chairs and children eating ice cream. Thereís a handicapped accessible path to the summit, as well.

I think itís hilarious, like something out of a comedy. Adam calls it ďanti-climactic.Ē

Anyway, the hike was good. A lot of our activities are with other people. Itís nice for us to get out and do something with just each other once in awhile.

Yesterday, we went to Sunday morning meditation, we hadnít done that for awhile, either. On the way home, we stopped to pick up some groceries. After we returned home, we made lunch, and then played Frisbee in the park across the street from my house. After Frisbee, we went back to the house, picked up a blanket and some books and then headed back to the park. We found a spot under a tree to lie down. Adam napped. I read a little and then watched the clouds for the rest of the time.

The rest of the day was the typical Sunday evening stuff; dinner, etc.

Next Sunday, weíll be leaving for California. Weíre going to stay at a Buddhist monastery in the mountains for a week. Weíre both pretty excited.

Weíre flying in and out of Oregon (easier access to northern CA) and weíll have an extra day at the end of the trip, so weíre planning a day hike in Oregon before we leave.

The hikes look so fantastic that I feel like we need another week just to spend it in the mountains of Oregon.

This morning, I received another message from my brother. While reading it, it occurred to me that maybe it would be possible for me to visit him in Japan. Before, I was paying off my trip to England so I felt that I couldnít go. After it was paid off, I felt I couldnít go because Adam is saving up for school and canít afford to go, himself. Today, I realized, do I really have to wait until he can afford to go, too?

Heíll probably die of envy, but at least before his death, Iíll have someone to watch my house and cats.

If I decide to go, I wouldnít be surprised if he found a way to scrape together the cash, as well. I know that itís definitely on his to-do list.

I asked my brother if he knew what time of year flights were cheapest to Japan. The next time I can schedule vacation time will be over Christmas or sometime 2010. That really isnít as far off as it sounds (itís already June!).

While thinking about a possible trip and the possible expense, I remembered that I actually went into debt to go to Europe. Granted, I did not go into debt to buy the plane tickets, but I had to pay for hotels, food, travel within the country, etc. which amounts to more money than youíd think because everything costs twice as much in England, despite the fact that I was travelling cheap, but still not skimping to the extent where I felt like I wasnít making the most of the trip.

Iím an independent enough of a traveler where I donít need someone to hold my hand from location to location and will do things as much like the locals as possible (always the cheapest way). Being vegetarian and non-drinker, food is always cheap for me.

Iím not saying that Iím any savvier than any other average Joe. Iím not on the level of finding free room and board because Iíve become so well-loved by the natives that they are gifting me with everything I could possibly need. Anyone can travel cheaply, as long as they are confident that they can travel cheaply. I guess the main thing for me is that as a non-native and not necessarily all that travel savvy, I take for granted that there will be times where I will look stupid (and/or lost), and in all of the places Iíve gone, thatís the biggest danger. Unless, of course, Iím hiking some place remote and the biggest danger is being eaten by a bear, but at least then, thereís no danger of looking stupid (except in your obituary).

All of this is to say that, yes, I went into debt to leave the continent, the last time I left the continent, and I donít regret one penny of it.

So, given that, does it make any sense to put off another trip now that Iím back in range of affording it?

This time, I wouldnít even have to go into debt, I donít think. There are house-related things that my money could also be spent on, depending on the frequency and necessity of repairs (you can never really predict, can you?), the trip could cause me to go into debt indirectly.

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Monday, Jun. 15, 2009 at 3:33 PM