Man, is it me, or are the headlines getting scary? Banks collapsing, Wall Street collapsing, Mexico collapsing, Marie Osmond collapsing…
What if all that happens? We had all better get good at managing our pennies. I’m no expert, but I do have experience. Because I traveled halfway around the world on ten bucks.
It was a long time ago, in a land far, far away. Subic Bay, specifically, back when Subic was Subic. I had to meet my ship, which was to make a port call in Darwin, Australia. To do that I would need to get to Manilla, fly to Sydney, and catch a connector to Darwin. Wherever that was.
The only problem was, Subic being Subic, I had blown almost all of my money. I didn’t have a credit card, and the world had never heard of an ATM, so when I got ready to hop on the bus, all I had left was ten bucks.
Luckily, the Navy had purchased tickets for me, and got me all the way to Darwin. I was on my own from there.
No problem – I hailed a cab, handed him my ten American dollars and told him to drive me to the port (I was hoping there was a port), or as far as my ten spot would take me.
We didn’t make it.
Somewhere in town, he pulled over and said, “That’s as far as it goes, mate.” I pulled out my bags and stood there, penniless and lost.
I was destined to die alone in a town a million miles from home, and no one would even know I was gone.
Then I heard cursing – the sweet, melodious cursing that only comes from American Sailors. Sure enough, two crew members had emerged from a smoky bar right behind me. They saw the uniform and offered me a ride. By nightfall I was sleeping soundly in my rack, aboard my new ship.
So I’m not concerned about the banks collapsing, because I know you can get by on ten bucks. All you need is a little “can do” attitude, some self-discipline, and maybe a bit of help from shipmates when the going gets tough.
And a credit card.