Thursday, January 12, 2006

Future Plans

I've been asked a lot about where I'll be headed after Argentina. I haven't thought about it too much, really. But I would like to travel more, than just for a month, otherwise, this whole moving deal really won't amount to much.

I've a few ideas, both of which sit a little bit on the side of expensive. I'd like to do one of two things (or both - we'll see). One of which is to go to Scotland, the other is to trek across Northern Europe (Germany, mainly) and make my way over to Prague, Budapest, etc.

The first results from many descriptions of Scotland's beauty. I've heard tell tales of the amazing qualities of the Northern most parts, namely the Orkney Islands. Perhaps a scotch tour or two would be good, as well - I've always been curious what a barrel of scotch looks like after eleven or twelve years. I'd like to spend a little time hiking around in the highlands, although it would probably not involve overnight stays.

The second option is really from a desire to see more of Continental Europe. Germany is one of the countries I've often lamented not visited on my first whirlwind tour of the Continent. I've also heard wonderful things of the above mentioned cities as great examples of Central European cities, not overwhelmed by excessive tourism (although, Prague as had a surge of tourism in the past five years and is apparently not the great find it once was). If I'm really ambitious, its also tempting to dip into Russia, but I understand that getting a tourist visa is getting a bit more difficult.

So that's a few ideas for the moment. I think either of those should encompass a long lay over in Reykjaví­k, just to say that I've been and enjoyed (great music scene). Apparently there are some really good airfare deals if you take a long stay in Reykjaví­k on the way.

Current Plans Maturing...

I finally leased a storge space yesterday. It seems strange that I should be able to fit all of my possessions into a 5x15x9 space but, according to the mover guy, I can.

This has lead me into packing. That really starts to bring the feeling home that I'm shutting down this chapter of my life. There's a small pang as a result. Minute, really. I'm not terribly broken up by this whole experience. I need the adventure, actually. My life had become to predictable, to blasé.

It also really shows me how much crap acquired over the last three-plus years. I've added half again as many books, too much computer junk to name, furniture by the roomful.[1]

So now begins the joy of throwing things out. I really feel good after moving. There's a purgative effect that really gives one a sense of well being. Now, I have only the things I need.

That is, of course, never the case but, at least, it's closer.

[1] This leads me to wonder about the rate at which we acquire crap. Is there a simple economic formula to this? With consumerism at it's current unabashed exuberence, does the rate of acquisition follow the same rate as that of consumer spending?

Since most people are spend, rather than saving, does this mean that the average amount of crap is on the increase?

Based on the 2003 consumer spending statistics, people spend roughly 10% of their annual income on things that I consider crap-acquiring areas (home furnishings, entertainment, apparel). If a correlation is to be made, that means an annual increase of 10% in crap.

Now, given that I've been acquiring this crap for the last three years, that means over 25% increase in stuff.

In my case, however, I had to furnish 75% of my apartment in the last three years (I had a futon and a TV stand to begin with), so my acquistion level is more like 125% or more.

Wow, it's amazing the number of percentages one can come up with when a few statistics are used.

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