Its Been Awhile since I’ve Posted (Sorry for the long Post)

Its been awhile since I have posted to tumblr, since then….

1) the markets crashed to 6500 and subsequently returned to about 8000. Originally, I wanted to buy as much as I could afford with the Dow below 7000. With the Dow at 8000, stocks are still relatively cheap and I think there are some true winners.  With that in mind, I am going to put another 1,000$ in the market. I know in the grand scheme of things this isn’t alot, but at least it is something. When I make the stock purchase, I’ll post the stock I decided to buy. I have several companies in mind, but would like to put the whole $1,000 dollars towards one stock instead of splitting it up among 3-4 different companies. I don’t plan on cashing these investments out for about 2-3 years. Whew…now that I have talked about the market a little bit, I can move on to the next topic 😉

2) Round the world trip / Travel update. I am continuing to save for a round the world trip that I hope will last 6-12 months. I am partially hoping that some of my stock purchases pan out to help fund this trip as well. My goals are to be free from student loan debt before I go on the trip and be able to travel comfortably. I’d like to get above 10,000$ in cash saved up for the trip this year. I still have a ways to go to get there, but there is still alot of time left in the year. Ideally, the trip will be in 2-3 years. (I’d really like to make it a 30th birthday present to myself, but I don’t think I’ll be ready to make that happen) Realistically, I will probably be planning my trip for 4 years from now.  My strategy is to purchase the actual ticket using a combination of points and miles. This will probably empty out my various points accounts, but I see this as well worth it. I believe I will have enough points to get a round the world trip award ticket in business class. If not, I guess I can survive coach class as well :). I am also looking at revising my itinerary based on which individual countries I am able to visit before the big trip itself.

The other thing that I am considering is partially working my way around the world. This would extend the trip, but it could also help reduce the costs at the same time.

This year my big trip is to China. I will spend 2 weeks between Beijing, Shanghai, and Xian. When I take my RTW trip, I will be able to cut out these cities from the itinerary and  go to different places such as Hong Kong :).  I have started thinking about next year’s trip, but so far have been all over the place ranging from different parts of Africa to more of Asia. It’s very hard to make a decision when there’s so many places that I’ve never been to! Alot of the decision making will be a factor of cost. It’s easier to go to more expensive places while you’re still employed.

3) Job Update. My job is still going very well. I have been working on a very important process improvement for my team. I spent a week out in Cypress, California putting finishing touches on process flows and coming to agreement with my colleague on how the revised process should function. We will be presenting our proposed improvements this week and will hopefully be well received.

4) Technology Update. I recently sold my desktop computer, LCD, and computer speakers. I just didn’t have a need for a desktop anymore, plus the speakers were nice but overkill. The next thing I need to sell is my Laser Printer as I don’t have a need for this anymore. I hope to get 30-40$ for it.  I still have my T61 laptop as my primary computer. In the Fall, I’ll take a look at either a new T series laptop or Apple macbook. I am trying to determine my requirements and hope that significant updates to my T61 materialize between now and the Fall. If I go the macbook route, I’ll keep the T61. I want to have at least one PC in my possession! I’m also shopping for a digital SLR camera. I am leaning strongly towards the Canon XSi. I would like to purchase it before my trip to China in August.

5) Liabilities Update. In February, I was able to pay off my car. It’s really nice to have no car payment. I hope this will drive my insurance rates down even further. Currently, my vehicle has about 108,000 miles on it of which I have put about 25,000 miles. My intent is to continue to drive it until at least 200,000+ miles, then make a decision about a different car. I continue to make payments on 2 outstanding students loans – one with Wellsfargo and one on my consolidated federal loans. While the interest rates are very low, I don’t want to keep making money payments especially if I am traveling. I anticipate paying the wellsfargo loans off within the next six months.

That’s about it for all the updates right now. I will try to do better about posting and sharing interesting links. I am finally getting re-motivated (again).

Thanks for stopping by.

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