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Friday, September 04, 2009

The Price of Travel, part 1

Quite a long time ago, I think in July, I wrote that I would make a post regarding both the cost of travel and maybe some reflections on the experience as a whole. Then I got caught up preparing for the move to Korea, and I didn't get around to it. Here it is.

I left Korea on December 1st and did my bumming until February 9, at which point I started the CELTA course. The cost of those 9ish weeks was $2863.98. That's about $318 a week, or $45 a day. (That's a lot more than I remember spending, actually, but I think about 5% of it was bank fees: $5 every time I withdrew at an ATM or used the card to buy a plane ticket or something). I didn't realize I spent that much, but included in that amount are a flight from mainland Malaysia to Borneo (no boats during the monsoon season), some flights around Borneo to caving sites (accessible only by plane), a flight back to the mainland, a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Siem Reap/Angkor Wat, Cambodia (Thai visa wasn't ready), visas for Cambodia and Laos, innumerable bus tickets, and of course breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks, and acommodation. It does not include the tickets from Seoul to Taipei, Taipei to Singapore, or Bangkok back to Seoul, which I bought in advance for about 1 million won, or $750 at that time.

After the CELTA course, another week and a half in Chiang Mai and Bangkok, and 10 days or so in Korea, I headed back to the states. The bosses were obligated to pay for my ticket, which they did. Between 28 March and 13 July (let's call it 14 weeks), I spent approximately $3312, or $236 a week, or $33 a day. This included bus tickets in California and Nevada, one massive Amtrak ride from Reno to Boston, and flights from Boston to Virginia and Virginia back to Wisconsin. Plus a rental car for one week. It only half-included food (since I spent a good amount of time with family) and included less that $100 worth of hotel/hostel fees (incurred during the Zehornide holy matrimony).

So, if you are wondering what it costs to be unemployed for 8ish months, there you go. About $6000, in my case. This doesn't take into account, of course, the "opportunity cost," i.e. amount of money I could have made during that time had I been working. Then again, to be fair, when you're working, your paycheck doens't reflect the opportunity cost of all those experiences you missed by doing the same crud in the same place day in and day out.


j to the e to the double f stepp said...

I'd like to see a post on the price of time travel.

Mike said...

If you want to know about the price of time travel, you should watch the movie "Primer."

In short, you can make some good money doing time travel but you wind up having to kill your time clones. Or they kill you. Or...is there a difference?