|This pond in the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve was filled with a variety of birds.|
Yesterday, after we uploaded the post, we decided to review our expenses through January 2018. With several cruises upcoming, including the pricey Antarctica cruise, which begins on January 23, 2018, and ends on February 8th, we’ve had to be extra frugal this past year.
Once the Antarctica cruise ends and, after we pay approximately $4600 for our two airline tickets from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Mpumalanga Nelspruit, South Africa (with a layover in Johannesburg), we can breathe a sigh of relief that several huge expenses are behind us.
|The border of trees along the edge of this pond provides additional habitat for the birds.|
Fortunately, living in Africa, which is less costly than many other parts of the world, we’ll have plenty of time to regroup and “lick our wounds” over the outrageous expenses of the prior 12 months or more.
Also, our final months in Australia were costly, followed by two cruises, including the 24-night cruise back to the US, followed by the Alaskan cruise, and then the nine weeks we spent in the USA, six of which we stayed in a hotel, dining out for most meals. Also, during the six weeks in Minnesota, we replenished our wardrobes (no sales tax on clothing in MN) along with many of our dwindling supplies.
|This pretty duck was paddling at full speed when I took this photo.|
We’ve paid down the pricey Antarctica cruise, which started at $34,500 (for two) and is now down to a balance of $13,875, which is due in full by October 16th, 80 days from today.
By September 18th, we have to pay off the back-to-back South America cruises beginning on November 23rd (Thanksgiving Day in the US), totaling $7,988, on which we’ll embark before the Antarctica sailing on January 23, 2018.
|One of the smaller of the eight ponds.|
In addition to the above, we have yet to book the one-month gap in Buenos Aires between December 23, 2017, to January 23, 2018, which we’ll put together once we’re settled in Costa Rica in the next few weeks.
On top of all of these, we’ll have monthly living expenses, including a few one-night hotel stays, transportation, groceries, tours, and miscellaneous. When we add all of these expenses, it’s a daunting number.
By figuring out all of these totals, we’ve determined this is all doable over these next six months if we really continue to tighten our belts. We must add all of these numbers to our anticipated living costs over the next six months, most of which we’re paying in advance.
|No doubt, the cloudy day had an impact on the quality of our photos.|
When living in a permanent home instead of our constant lives of world travel, typically, one doesn’t pay their mortgage payment, rent, or any other expenses six months or longer in advance.
Typically, the only pay-as-we-go expenses are groceries, tours, and local transportation (if we aren’t using a rental car which always requires advance payment in full, often for three months or more upon picking up the vehicle).
In each case, when renting a vacation home, we must pay good-sized deposits well in advance. To book cruises, deposits are required even if they’re booked two years in advance. However, over this past almost five years of world travel, we’ve become more comfortable waiting to book certain situations.
|These two birds were too busy preening to look up as we passed their habitat in the utility vehicle.|
When we’re often asked how we manage money, it’s always through careful frequent analysis and planning to determine we’re staying within the range of our overall annual budget.
What’s thrown us off this year has been the Antarctica cruise which, once completed, leaves us with no costly plans for the future, certainly not to this magnitude.
Why did we stretch ourselves for this cruise? This cruise may not be suitable for some as they age. It requires medical certification months in advance (which we’ll handle in Costa Rica) and a certain degree of physical stamina and endurance. We have no guaranty, as hard as we may try, that we’ll be in such a position in the next five to ten years.
|I saw several Grebes during my tour of the facility.|
This particular cruise is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially for us with our strict budget and obviously advancing age. For us, it may be a now-or-never situation. We chose to take it on to enhance our world travel experiences further.
When we began our travels, we’d made a list of a few special experiences we wanted to ensure we’d experience; the Panama Canal (done, with another transit upcoming in November); Africa (done, with more coming beginning in February 2018) and of course, Antarctica (where we’ll be getting off the ship onto the Zodiac boats to step foot on ice floes and glaciers with thousands of Emperor Penguins and more).
I’d planned to visit Susan today, but as it turns out, we have several calls to make to complete some necessary tasks before leaving the US in four days, all of which require weekday calls. Today is the only logical day to complete these tasks. As a result, I’ll visit Susan tomorrow, Saturday, for the last time before we leave on Tuesday.
We’ll be back with more tomorrow as we wind down these last few days in the USA. Please check back! Have a fabulous weekend wherever you may be!
Photo from one year ago today, July 27, 2016:
|We rented this car from the property owner. It was a little rough but served our purposes over the remaining days until we left Thailand. For more details, please click here.|