Yes, electronics used to be simpler, and used parts more easily salvageable for reuse. By the time I was 15, I could read resistor color band values at a glance.
My early knowledge of electronics later paid back big time. In a university class, while my classmates were toiling with understanding the difference between PNP and NPN transistors, I already taught myself to read S or h-parameter characterizations (had no understanding of this when I was 15). I did not even bother to go to lectures, only read the textbook and went to class to take exams. Needless to say, I had the highest score in class, and impressed the heck out of the professor and the class.
But again, I digress.
Originally Posted by stepford
This is actually a point of contention between DW and myself. I really don't like tours. Every side-trip, every photo carefully pre-planned for maximum tourist enjoyment. I call it the synthetic experience. I'd much rather bash around, make mistakes and let life happen. This does, of course, require more time.
Yes, doing everything yourself takes more time. But in ER, we have time. The difference is we are getting older, weaker, slower, and I am already thinking of a time in the future when we have to take a tour if we want to do foreign travel. Better hurry up and be going soon, I guess.
The OP talked about the wisdom of doing things like travel early, even if it may cause delay in your ER. My niece and her fiancÚ took time off to travel by bike in Europe for a month. Of course they did not have enough vacation time, and had to take time off without pay. When we were young, we never thought of doing that.
We have always liked to travel, and did quite a bit even when we were still working. We both travel for work too, but it was not the same. I spent many nights in Clearwater, FL, spread out over many trips. But to visit Orlando, Cape Canaveral, Ft. Lauderdale, or Key West we took many trips with our own time and on our own dime. We have been to SF for leisure so many times I lost count, and I would not count the couple of times I was there on business, and once spent all the time at the Moscone Center. Or I have been to the DC area (Bethesda) several times on business, but still made two separate trips there for leisure, such as to visit the Mall and the museums. And no business travel ever took us to any National Park. I was once in Haifa, the high-tech town of Israel, for a week and had time only to take a 1-day tour to the Dead Sea and Jerusalem. If I were there for leisure, it would not be so rushed.
So, if one likes to travel, he will always have itchy feet. I guess a time will come when the hassle is too much for the pleasure, but I still have a few years left in me.