Saturday, May 9, 2015

Sacrificing today, for a better tomorrow

In frugal living, we always say that procrastinate your expenses till they become absolute necessary. There are various day to day expenses that cannot be avoided. They can definitely be minimized but cannot be avoided. However, there are various other expenses that are good to have and can be post pone for tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. The expenses in this list can be like buying a high end car, upgrading your furniture, building jacuzzi in your bathroom, tours and travels, expensive gadgets and so on.

Out of this, tours and travels finds special mention.

Nainital Lake (credit: my own camera)

Over the period of time, I have started believing that this (travel) expense should not be post pone infinitely or till retirement. I have tried to list the reasons for this thinking below:

Your place to visit depends entirely on your age. Today, I may want to go to Disney Land. However, at the age of 40, I may not have liking to visit place like an amusement park. So at that point in time, I will regret not going to Disney Land when I had the urge.

Most people retire by 55 or 60. If they defer all their travel plans till 55, they will have a huge list of places to travel. At that time, it would not be physically possible to travel so much.

Age takes a toll on your body. By the age of 55, you can no longer trek like an 30 year old. So off goes trekking.

Age takes a toll on your mind too. You may appreciate a beautiful garden at 30 years of age. However, the same garden will not be appealing to you at 55.

The money that lies in your account may influence your decision. So at 55, Mahabaleshwar is no longer interesting. Switzerland is the place to visit.

At 55, your children are in late teens. So they will influence your decision. If you want, Kashmir, be prepared for Singapore.

At 55, you are less likely to explore the places. The tours would be branded tours and all the places would be visited like 'touch and go'. In your 30s, you are more likely to plan your vacations on your own. You will spend more time on places you loved and less likely to roam around. Example: My wife and myself went to Nainital. Out of 5 days, we spent 3 days in Nainital city and market. Both of us have no interest in seeing wild animals. So Jungle safari around the same area was out of question. This was planned by us and hence we had liberty of choosing where we are going.

At 55, your social status too would come into play. Frankly, I do not care where my friends or family go for vacations. Today, if I can afford X place, I go there, if not, NO. Simple. However, things may get complicated till the time you reach 55. Friends and peers will influence your decision. "Sale itne saal baad jaa raha hian, Australia to banta hian". At that time, you cannot say, "bhai, maine abhi tak Ambernath nahi dekha".

Only a hard core (vegetarian) foodie like me will appreciate this point: At 55, you cannot have anything and everything that the place has to offer. Example: When we had been to Udaipur, the hotelwala guy asked me, "thodi mirchi dalun kya, muh khul jayega". My response, "Han bhai, de do". At 55, you will have to think before saying yes. Your BP, diabetics or something else will not allow you to enjoy the food. Dal-Bati-Churma was amazing and must have.

You may exhaust your savings on your offspring's marriage or education. Nothing wrong or right. It is just that you will not have money for travel. Or you may have to compromise on the location.

Psychologically, you will need a break. You cannot keep on working without taking leaves. These days, the company will not allow to carry forward certain amount of leaves after a threshold. So instead of wasting leaves, plan some trips. If money does not permit Kashmir, so what? Plan for Mahabaleshwar, Matheran, Konkan, Goa or some other nearby places applicable to you.

Travel allows you to meet new people, explore places, taste their food, wear their culture, appreciate their living, appreciate what you have in your own life when you see poverty, capture snaps, capture moments, re-live those moments after X number of years and have fun.

On a special note: I am not paid by makemytrip or Veena or Sachin travels to encourage travel. It is upto you, as always :)