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Old 07-14-2016, 01:31 PM   #141
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In many instances such procedures might be considered 'career enhancing' investments.
Definitely more than just something one can look at.
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Old 07-14-2016, 01:52 PM   #142
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We got seriously into wildlife photography a few years back. Bought some big telephoto gear, similar to what you see on the sidelines of pro sporting events.

We were surprised how many young to middle aged males would walk up to me and ask "how much was that lens". Always guys asking the question... Even more amusing, DW carried similar gear, but never asked. I was never comfortable with these queries, but was amusing to come up with smart-*ss answers.

So, anyone else asked "how much does your (bling) cost?" Maybe, this is the whole point of bling...
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Old 07-14-2016, 02:15 PM   #143
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Travel (especially international) creates a deeper understanding and appreciation of the richness and diversity of the world we live in, and this is something you really can't get without seeing the world up close and in person.
Well let's see, today's peripatetic traveler, vs. William Faulkner who rarely left Oxford Mississippi. Who is likely to have better understanding of life?

Gosh, must be the guy with a filled up passport.

Ha
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Old 07-14-2016, 02:21 PM   #144
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Well let's see, today's peripatetic traveler, vs. William Faulkner who rarely left Oxford Mississippi. Who is likely to have better understanding of life?

Gosh, must be the guy with a filled up passport.

Ha
That could be the new Bling...filled up passports.
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Old 07-14-2016, 03:18 PM   #145
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+1

Well said. I imagine that Bling and FIRE are not absolutely mutually exclusive but must be pretty close. Most folks that I know who get into the keeping up with the Jones's mode are never able to voluntarily turn it off.
+1

TIME is my "bling." Freedom to read my book, under a tree in a light summer breeze. To stay up late, enjoying a bottle of wine with a friend. Freedom to sleep in............or REALLY--and enjoyably--- get ready for a holiday (without cramming everything around a work schedule)........... or babysit the new granddaughter to give her mom and dad a break.

These just begin the list of daily treats available when one doesn't have to show up anywhere, 9-5.

Would I trade these for any "thing"? No way. It just took me three years to purge my house, sell it, and downsize to this lovely condo.......where I only have to deal with "inside maintenance." So when I can watch the moon from my deck, clouds wafting along in the blue/black sky, that's all I have to think about. (Not, "when will I have to mow this grass" or "when will this siding need a power wash?" or "how am I going to pay the c. card bill after that last shopping spree?")

After getting rid of 40+ years' worth of "stuff" (and DH and I were never hoarders or big shoppers), I don't want to have to go through that again for a long time. So shopping malls hold NO temptation!

But TRAVEL?!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now, next to freedom and time, that would be a favorite "bling" to drain away my accounts. And travel I do...........and don't look back on the cost (partly because I'm a Rick Steves/Former Frommer fan).

So, what others may spend on cars, jewelry, technology, fancy handbags, or clothes is money I send instead to airlines, Globus, airbnb, HomeAway, hotels, gas stations, and car rental agencies.

It's nice to help other parts of the world economy! (An excuse?)

No, ER is simply a golden opportunity to make one's life into the "bling" one chooses!

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Old 07-14-2016, 03:20 PM   #146
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That could be the new Bling...filled up passports.

When I was traveling a lot for both work and vacation (company offices in UK, Switzerland and India) I had to have extra pages put into mine. Yes, I DID consider it the height of cool!
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Old 07-14-2016, 03:24 PM   #147
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I admit I love my Tokyo stamp in my passport but unlike my Weber teeth grill and my ginormous breast implants, I don't show it to anyone so I don't count it as bling.
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Old 07-14-2016, 03:59 PM   #148
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I admit I love my Tokyo stamp in my passport but unlike my Weber teeth grill and my ginormous breast implants, I don't show it to anyone so I don't count it as bling.
My favorite passport stamp is from Trinidad where I spent many months obtaining approvals for the construction of a 2,500 MT anhydrous ammonia plant. I don't show it off though as it's in an expired passport.

I am ashamed of my Cheepo Weber grill (maybe I can trade it in?) but always boast about my implanted titanium hip joint and steel plates and screws in my left arm. The TSA guys and gals are always impressed when they scan my body.

One out of three is not bad, I guess.
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Old 07-14-2016, 04:49 PM   #149
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Well let's see, today's peripatetic traveler, vs. William Faulkner who rarely left Oxford Mississippi. Who is likely to have better understanding of life?

Gosh, must be the guy with a filled up passport.

Ha
Travel only gives me a superficial understanding of foreign culture and history. Deeper knowledge requires much reading. I read mostly non-fiction works, and do this more than anybody I know. But to make something come alive, it is easier to be there in person. Perhaps it provides stimulation so one reads about it more (not true with many travelers I know).

My latest passport is so sparsely filled in, ever since I do more RV'ing the last 5 years. I don't recall if they even bothered to stamp my passport at the Canadian border. So, I am now really passport-bling poor.
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Old 07-14-2016, 04:55 PM   #150
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My dad wore a Timex and spent little on clothes, but people didn't talk down to him. They were impressed with the way he carried himself and spoke, and by his general competence. After retiring from his construction job, he got a job as night manager at a rich-widow's-people's condo and was treated with respect by the residents. I visited him in his workplace and saw it for myself.

While I may love jewelry - and I really do - I don't kid myself that it somehow makes up for anything I lack as a person. I do not get respect because I wear a 2-carat diamond or an unusual necklace. To the extent I get respect (or disrespect for that matter), it is because of how I move through the world.

Genuine Respect.
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Old 07-14-2016, 08:14 PM   #151
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I love to travel but I agree with this 100 percent. I have listened to so much travel one-upmanship (mention you're going to Whereverland and they're all "you must go to _____, the coffee is divine" because of course they know all about it).
+1
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:26 PM   #152
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My favorite passport stamp is from Trinidad where I spent many months obtaining approvals for the construction of a 2,500 MT anhydrous ammonia plant. I don't show it off though as it's in an expired passport.

I am ashamed of my Cheepo Weber grill (maybe I can trade it in?) but always boast about my implanted titanium hip joint and steel plates and screws in my left arm. The TSA guys and gals are always impressed when they scan my body.

One out of three is not bad, I guess.


At least you have an expired passport. I have never owned one. Went to Mexico a few times before you needed one and wont be back. Virgin Islands of course does not require one so that is our "out of country travel". A lot of places I would consider going and getting the passport if there were no people there. Thats why I go to St. John. Very few people there.


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Old 07-15-2016, 05:24 AM   #153
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Travel only gives me a superficial understanding of foreign culture and history. Deeper knowledge requires much reading. I read mostly non-fiction works, and do this more than anybody I know. But to make something come alive, it is easier to be there in person. Perhaps it provides stimulation so one reads about it more (not true with many travelers I know).

My latest passport is so sparsely filled in, ever since I do more RV'ing the last 5 years. I don't recall if they even bothered to stamp my passport at the Canadian border. So, I am now really passport-bling poor.

that's me. I think the problem is that for most people travel is not a deep, moving experience partly because of time constraints. How much "enlightenment" on french culture and life does one get from 6 days in Paris?? when I was working even with 5 weeks vacation the most I could take at one time is 10 days. I've actually wanted to drive and visit every national park but never pursued it because no way could I drive from NYC to Yellowstone in a week. I'm hoping that now that I'm retired I'll be able to spend more time at a destination.

My late husband was Portuguese so my kids actually have better passports than me from spending summers in Lisbon when they were younger and my in laws were alive.
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Old 07-15-2016, 06:16 AM   #154
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At least you have an expired passport. I have never owned one. Went to Mexico a few times before you needed one and wont be back. Virgin Islands of course does not require one so that is our "out of country travel". A lot of places I would consider going and getting the passport if there were no people there. Thats why I go to St. John. Very few people there.


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About 36% of Americans have a passport. So you are in good company. The percentage of Canadians holding a valid passport is 57%. A little surprising given the fact that Americans are generally wealthier than Canadians. Maybe you could draw the conclusions that Americans are more content with their home Country than Canadians? Or that Canadians value international travel more than Americans?
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Old 07-15-2016, 06:23 AM   #155
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About 36% of Americans have a passport. So you are in good company. The percentage of Canadians holding a valid passport is 57%. A little surprising given the fact that Americans are generally wealthier than Canadians. Maybe you could draw the conclusions that Americans are more content with their home Country than Canadians?
Any stats as to the utilization of these passports? I suspect that a fair percentage, (absolutely no idea how many, and certainly not all), of Canadian passports are used primarily to enter the US, (and/or Mexico/Caribbean in the winter).
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Old 07-15-2016, 06:41 AM   #156
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Any stats as to the utilization of these passports? I suspect that a fair percentage, (absolutely no idea how many, and certainly not all), of Canadian passports are used primarily to enter the US, (and/or Mexico/Caribbean in the winter).
I believe the percentage of Canadians that have passports have increased a fair bit since the rules changed requiring passports to enter the US. A much higher percentage of Canadians travel to the US than the corresponding percentage of Americans travelling to Canada. This would seem to explain some of the difference for sure.
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Old 07-15-2016, 08:01 AM   #157
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Yesterday I had an interesting "bling" experience. I pulled an Indian tunic out of my closet that I rarely wear; it's festooned with a lot of spangles and rhinestones. Two women (receptionist at an office building, my dentist's hygienist) commented on my "nice bling". The first time, I'd assumed it was my jewelry, which included a gold Austrian ducat on a chain, 22k gold earrings and a bangle from India and my Rolex. The second time I realized- it was the fake stuff on my tunic!


I suspect many people assume my jewelry is fake since the rest of my dress rarely lives up to it. I'm happy if they think that!
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Old 07-15-2016, 08:09 AM   #158
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...my ginormous breast implants...

Useless without pics...
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Old 07-15-2016, 10:44 AM   #159
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I believe the percentage of Canadians that have passports have increased a fair bit since the rules changed requiring passports to enter the US. A much higher percentage of Canadians travel to the US than the corresponding percentage of Americans travelling to Canada. This would seem to explain some of the difference for sure.
We have two sets of Canadian friends who have been here over 10 years. They are making the U.S. their permanent residence in retirement for a lot of reasons, one big one being medical care going forward. I don't find that surprising since the Canadian system appears to be having difficulty with doctors participating and other issues.

I would suspect that many Canadians come here just for medical care when time is of the essence and that may contribute to the large percentage of passports being issued.
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Old 07-15-2016, 11:41 AM   #160
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There are a few items of bling that I do covet a little bit - generally moderately priced designer clothes like Tory Burch or Equipment silk blouses that are a few hundred dollars. I say that these are items I would buy if I had $5M.
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