Living within our means…More new Port Douglas photos…

A small pier for boaters at the marina in the Port Douglas harbor.

As we near the end of sharing our photos of Port Douglas, we begin to think about where we’ll visit next.  Quickly, time is marching on as we approach our final month in Trinity Beach when our departure date is September 7th (son Greg’s birthday) and arriving in Sydney. We’ll stay overnight in Sydney, departing the next day on September 8th, (daughter Tammy’s birthday) for Fiji.

We spotted this kilometer distance meter at a scenic overlook which illustrates distances to various cities throughout the world.

If we didn’t see another tourist attraction we can leave here happily knowing we experienced quite a bit and knowing we’ll be touring the entire perimeter of the continent of Australia via six upcoming cruises over the next less than two years. 

Buoys in the water off the beach in Port Douglas.

With seemingly endless ports of call on those six cruises, we’d like to leave a few of the highlights for the cruises, especially when we usually meet people with whom we’ll most likely enjoy touring the various points of interest.

Another Banyan Tree along the beach.

Another factor we must consider at this time is the fact that we’ve had to lay out enormous sums for upcoming vacation homes, cruises, and medical care resulting in the necessity of “tightening our belts.” We’re like the rest of the middle-class world, we must monitor our spending to ensure we don’t get in a tight spot.

A view of the Four Mile Beach from a steep road we drove above the town.

Since we live entirely off of our monthly income, laying out thousands of dollars in any given month makes us very mindful the next month or so. We use credit cards for all of our payments and expenses, attempting to pay them off entirely each month. 

At first glance, we assumed the red color in this tree was flowers when in fact it was the leaves changing colors.

In the past few days, we paid off all of the credit card balances except one. Next month we’ll pay off that balance. We feel more secure when we have no balances on credit cards which occurs a few days after the first of each month with a few exceptions. Then we start charging again for all of our living expenses and future travels, racking up big balances again.

View from an overlook.

Most people don’t pay a portion of their rent or mortgage payment as much as two years in advance as we do. Often vacation rental deposits are as much as 50% of the full 90 day rental with the balance paid in full before arrival. 

Most recently, we’ve had to pay in full in advance for the river cruise on the Viking Mekong at a rate of US $6598, AUD $9440 which doesn’t sail until July 8, 2016, and huge sums for future bookings. Last month, we also paid out over US $2800, AUD $3694 for a variety of upcoming airline tickets.

Low tide changing the entire scene at the beach.

We chose to pay in full for this particular cruise since it offered a 2 for 1 sale if paid in advance which was irresistible. Neither of us could imagine laying out twice that amount for a cruise when soon we’ll start saving for the pricey future adventures we’re planning to book down the road after we leave the South Pacific.

Most piers are packed with tourists and locals enjoying the views.  We were surprised that no one was walking along with us.

When we start investigating some of the tourist attractions in this area, including train rides, gondola rides, and boat tours, we see how easily we could eat up another $1000 on only a few attractions.

The pier in Port Douglas has a stairway for boaters or an area for fishing.  We were the only visitors on the pier.

It’s the nature of the beast. We recently saw a lovely story on TV about a younger Australian couple that had been traveling for a few years, occasionally stopping to work to make money in order to continue on. Also, at times, they stayed in campsites sleeping in tents, stayed in hostels, sharing a bath, or staying for free in other people’s homes. They’re young and this works for them.

Low tide created an eerie view.

We don’t want to take odd jobs along the way, sleep in tents, or share a bath in a hostel although, we commend those who do. It’s just not for us. Instead, we prefer living comfortably, living life on our terms. Choosing to do so has a price tag attached to it which we’ve chosen to bear. 

This private catamaran was anchored in the sand at low tide.

That price tag includes us making some sacrifices and often this comes in the way of the “entertainment” category in our spreadsheet which we always include in the budget, which often is used for unexpected expenses.

In Australia, we’ve used that designated entertainment budget for all of our medical exams, dental appointments, and the prescriptions we purchased to last for an additional six months. It quickly added up.

A boat anchored in the bay.

Thus, for the remainder of our 35 days in Trinity Beach, we’re reliant upon continuing to find sites to see that don’t include fees and expenses. This isn’t too hard to do in this beautiful area as we continue our search.

We realized when we began this journey that our priority to see as much of the world as we can, for as long as our health holds out, had sacrifices associated with it, not only in what we left behind but in the quality of life we live each day. Doing so requires that we live within our means. For us, doing so is a small sacrifice in the realm of things.

So, we won’t go on a train ride or take a sunset cruise on a charter boat.  We don’t mind at all.  Each day of our lives is a treasure whether it’s last night’s moonlight, today’s Kookaburra sitting on the fence, or the simple beauty of a flower blooming. Or, for Tom, it’s beating me at Gin two games in a row!

Who’s complaining? Not us!

                                             Photo from one year ago today, August 3, 2014:

A smaller Statue of Liberty stands proud in Paris. We couldn’t believe that we were seeing the familiar sites we’d only seen in print. For more details and Paris photos, please click here.

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