I'm covering a lot of unknowns as this point preparing for this trip. I'd heard so much talk about exchange fees and charges. I was worried about that. Following Bob's sensible advice, I made an appointment at the bank to discuss this and see how these things are handled.
The woman who talked to me was probably in her 40s and she was so excited for me. She had lots of questions about what I was doing, and where I was going, and she listened avidly, even as she gave me step by step directions on how to handle the financial side of things. At the end of it, she said, "You're so lucky...."
She wants to travel too. Months after her father died, she said to her mother, "Come on, let's go! Let's rent a camper and drive across the country. Let's go see the Grand Canyon!" Her mother looked at her and said, "Why would I want to do that?" She looked dumbfounded at simply remembering it. "Who wouldn't?" she asked me.
During the meeting, I know that she said, "Oh, you're so lucky!" at least a half dozen times. Her enthusiasm was infectious, really, and the more she talked, the more enthusiastic I was getting (and believe me, I was happy about it when I walked in and sat down)
I looked at her and realized that I have been her, for years, I have been that woman. Wishing and waiting and working and just wanting...so very badly. It just kept being pushed back over and over and over again. It seems like I have been waiting all of my life for this.
I went from the bank to the car wash to get the salt washed off my car. The temperature was out of the single digits for the first time in what seems like forever. Everyone seemed to have the same idea and the lines were long. I couldn't change my mind because I could not back out to leave the line. I was stuck.
I've been stuck before though. I know all about waiting. I counted out my quarters and daydreamed. That woman at the bank? She was exactly right. I am lucky. I'm so lucky.
It's so good to hear your excitement!ReplyDelete
I am feeling the excitement from over here and can't wait to hear all about the trip.ReplyDelete
Maybe a bit lucky to be born white (that is actually an assumption I should not make as I don't actually know) and had a good enough upbringing, but the rest you have done yourself. While some have worked hard and not made it, you were smart enough to get it all mostly right. You can now relax in to retirement and travel freely, aside from the elephant in the room about travel.ReplyDelete
you’ve earned it for sure.ReplyDelete
I can't wait to travel along with you and to experience it all vicariously! You are indeed lucky!ReplyDelete
Andrew, how peculiar that you would word it so. I am currently reading about Henrietta Lacks. The difference between her family's life and mine is shocking, stark, and plain to see. I've been thinking a lot about it.ReplyDelete
I hope you will send her some postcards....ReplyDelete
That's good encouragement to get for going on your trip. This is the start of many more trips.ReplyDelete
Kris: I have her name and the branch address so that I can do that. It made me happy to think that she might hang them on her cubical wall and feel excited.ReplyDelete
You are indeed! It will be interesting to read your take on the UK!ReplyDelete
It really depends on what airport I'm flying into for my money strategy. If it is an airport that has lots of ATM machines, I just take along my ATM card and withdraw cash in whatever local currency. That way I have money to get from the airport to where ever my destination is. This however really depends on your bank and what endorsements your ATM card has. My old one had lots of endorsements so I was able to get money out of just about any ATM card machines. Some however, especially in third world countries along the Pacific rim, it would take several stops to find an ATM that would work. Probably not surprising, in those countries, they rarely had ATM's in the airport and the money changers there would love to take you for a ride. So if my destination was one of those airports, I would order local currency through my bank. The only problem is that they have a minimum order amount which can be way more local currency than I really need. But in my case, I'm usually seeing my wife's family and so I can leave off any extra currency I may not need.ReplyDelete
Another good hint is if I plan on going back to a country frequently, I take local currency home with me and put it in an envelope and save it for my next trip so I have pocket money already to go.
Something to think about - you may want to turn "roaming" off on your phone while you're in the UK. I have done 12 solos trips since I divorced and the first time I forgot to turn roaming off I got hammered! But have a wonderful time - I know you will!ReplyDelete
Oh, this is so lovely! Sometimes the best reminder of our blessings is to see our lives through other people's eyes.ReplyDelete
Are you taking anything with you on which you can blog while you're there, or do we have to wait until you get back? Wordpress has a good phone app, but I don't know what Blogger offers anymoreReplyDelete
When we went to Germany We notified out cred card company we would be using our card out of the country ans had no problems using it. We gave our daughter 100.00 and she went to the bank and changed i into euros. I am sorrt if this does not make sence, I had surgery for a very large hernis yesterday and still in a lot of pain.ReplyDelete
I will be taking my kindle along. It is sort of a pain in the patoot to type long blog posts on it, but I do plan on posting pictures and short posts.ReplyDelete
I hope your bank clerk finds a way to go travelling herself soon. Life can be much too short to wait for the right moment. It's wonderful to hear your excitement about your trip and I feel you will have a fantastic time. Lucky? You are lucky but you've worked hard for this moment and you deserve it. Take care.ReplyDelete
Ed, you know, that's exactly what the woman said, "Just hang on to any extra currency for the next trip. That made me feel all happy inside too. :)ReplyDelete
Ellie, you poor thing! Take care of yourself. I hope you have someone to help you!
My gosh. I don't even know what roaming is. Off to google some more.ReplyDelete
Traveling is so much fun. An adventure for sure! We live in NE PA. We have gone South to Florida, West to Indiana and Illinois, and North to Maine and Canada (Canada for our honeymoon!) All of our trips were family related and with kids in tow. Someday.... we will go without the youngins! -- Enjoy yourself!ReplyDelete