As of this writing, we're probably in the earlier phase of our various world travels, even though we've been to all kinds of places so far.  But, I ws just looking back at some old Facebook posts related to traveling, and was reminded of something we've mentioned to various people.  It strikes me as somewhat unusual, yet also understandable, that a lot of people think we're rich just because we travel a lot.  Maybe we are, in the grand scheme of things. I mean, they say that if you have a safe home, clean water, and your basic health, you're essentially rich right there, as compared with everyone living on Earth right now.

That all said, I was just thinking of two specific things that cause this reaction:  One is that we travel a lot, and another is our super-nice camera. But, both of these things, in reality, are completely unrelated to any riches we do or do not have. Here's why:

Traveling:  This one's easy. We're able to travel for two main reasons. First, we both have jobs that allow us to work on computers. So, we can work from anywhere there is an Internet connection. In this day and age, that's not too terribly uncommon. There are probably millions of people who could say the same thing. Many work for other people, and many (like us) are self-employed. Second, we rarely pay more than $80 for plane tickets to other places in the world.  I know that sounds crazy to others, but it's true. And, we do that through very conscious efforts in the world of "travel hacking" -- which is a subject we'll cover more on this blog, likely via stories written by Wendi.  But, in short, it's a way to take advantage of credit card company incentives related to airline miles.  We've earned millions of air miles in this way, and we plan to continue doing that. (And you can probably do this, too! So, watch out for more articles and advice here on that topic!)

Our Camera:  Really, it's not *that* expensive of a camera. But, I was just reminded how, at least a few times, people have looked at us as though it were some hugely expensive model.  The funny thing is:  We *found* it!  During our first trip to Chiang Mai, we hopped into a "songthaew" (pronounced "song-tau") and there it was. No ID, no information we could use to find the owner -- although we honestly tried for a long time!  But, after a long while, we figured we may as well learn to use it -- and so that thing has been all over Asia, Europe, and North America (so far). It's a real workhorse camera, too. We actually still feel bad for whomever lost it, of course. It's a good reminder to always put some kind of ID or something on your gear, in case it's ever lost, as we definitely would have loved to have returned it.

So, there you go. Two representative items, and two explanations of how they're actually zero- or low-cost.  And, by the way, you know what else is low-cost and will help you with your travels?   Friendship and being nice to others.

The story of finding that camera reminded me of how we found out about songthaews in the first place. We were in Thailand and knew nothing of how to get around affordably. But, early on, we'd struck up a conversation with a woman there, and she told us about the red pickup trucks all around the city. That one small piece of advice saved us untold amounts of time and money, as those red turcks would take you almost anywhere for about 20 baht (~$0.60 USD)! If you're going to Chiang Mai, or Thailand, by the way, read up on these things here:

Photo by Marco Xu on Unsplash