Even though rents can rise and fall, more often than not monthly rental payments are cheaper than mortgage repayments for a comparable home. Renting can thus free up savings which can then be invested.
Or .. if your like me, you can spend it on very worthwhile things like holidays, hot tubs and home brew. Seriously though, as renters you can generally expect to have more cash on hand each month than if you were paying off a typical mortgage.
You can afford more travel, more art or yoga classes, more toys..! All of which can enrich and balance your life far more than what is on offer for the mortgage slaves.
Travel is a deeply rewarding way to spend your savings. Experiencing the diversity of life from place to place and country to country.
I will get the travel blog started, with an account of our recent trip to The Ningaloo Reef in Outback Australia.
First day. The first outbound flight was delayed by 5 hours.Then at an altitude of 11.58 Km, 1 hour off the California coast, the cockpit windshield spiderweb cracked. The in-flight emergency & stopover led to a 36 hour delay waiting for a replacement airplane. Taking advantage of the situation, I spent the time touring San Francisco & the Fairfield, CA area. A lunch of fresh seafood at Capurro’s on the SF wharf is always special. Fairfield’s proximity to wine country make it a good spot for dinner & evening entertainment.
Honolulu, HI was supposed to be the first stopover. I arrived 50 hours late for a much shortened layover, but managed to catch the sunset & have dinner at Duke’s of Waikiki and evening fun at the YardHouse on Lewers St.
I arrived in Darwin, NT at 23:00 Easter Sunday expecting a ten-hour layover. Well the AU Entry Permit paperwork was messed up because of the delays. Easter Monday is a major holiday in Australia & government offices are closed. The wait for the aircrew to get an updated Entry Permit provided another layover delay giving me time to explore the modern city of Darwin, NT. There are plenty of restaurants and shopping downtown.
The first night’s lodging was at the Casa On Gregory Boutique Motel, in the Parap District. A quiet area easily accessible from the airport. The Casa On Gregory is a small tropical oasis with lush gardens & a salt water pool.
I moved to the Hilton Darwin for the second night as the Casa was full. Set in the center of downtown Darwin, the Hilton provides easy walking access to a plethora of restaurants, cafes, shopping, & the waterfront.
Darwin has a fantastic waterfront area that features a grassy park for picnicking & sunbathing, a saltwater swimming area, a wave pool and splash park, a children’s playground, many restaurants, & access to the wharf and its great food court.
Approaching Learmonth/ Exmouth, WA by air provided an aerial overview of the peninsula and surroundings. I was given a glimpse of the vastness of the Outback. Exmouth, WA is a small oasis surrounded by thousands of sq./km.s of world-class fringing reef & red rock landscape.
Overview of Ningaloo
Stretching over 400 km from the turtle sanctuary near Quobba Station to Bundegi Beach is the Ningaloo Marine Park a truly unique and pristine ocean landscape. Twenty-one sanctuary zones define the distinctive conservation zones and reef areas.
The Shire of Exmouth, WA is vibrant and friendly. Tourism is their livelihood and they do it well. As a remote outpost, Exmouth has a host of services including dive shops, boat & car hire, marine repair & supply, & outfitting. The local dining features the area’s unique cuisine. The prawns and mussels are delicious. Eucalyptus trees, kangaroo, & emu make it unmistakably Australian.
Southwest of Exmouth is the smaller shire of Coral Bay which is solely geared to walkabouters & tourists.
Coral Bay Beach
Located in the southern reaches of the Ningaloo Marine Park on the Indian Ocean, Coral Bay has a prime location on a small inlet with the Ningaloo Coral Reef 10 meters from shore. The Ningaloo Marine Park has the largest, & most colorful coral. The fish and sea-life in the coral are amazing. A snorkeling trip to Ningaloo is an adventure of a lifetime.
The mountainous spine of the Exmouth Peninsula and Cape Range National Park is also an awesome hiking area. Access is easy from Charles Knife Road or Shothole Canyon Road on the bay-side and Yardie Creek Road on the ocean-side.
Charles Knife Canyon
The red rock of the limestone mountains with numerous fissures and caves give the area a moonscape appearance. Dusk is an ideal time for spotting wildlife and catching a world-class sunset. Standing near the canyon rim one can hear what sounds like cascading water of a waterfall, but there is no waterfall only a dry creek bed. The sound comes from the gulf, 10 Km away, echoing through the canyon. With having to drive from Learmonth to NCS Holt, I started most days here well before sunrise.
Sunrise over Exmouth Gulf
The route follows the coastline north along Exmouth Gulf. Each sunrise was spectacular and no two were ever the same, painted in vibrant red, orange, & yellow color.
Tidal pools at Pt Murat
The Surfer’s Beach area at Point Murat is a great place to explore the tidal pools. At low tide one can wander across hectares of tidal rock looking for sea urchins, anemones, starfish and crabs.
The array of wildlife in far Western Australia is amazing. There are emu, grey kangaroo, and dingoes as well as whale sharks, humpback whales, manta ray, dolphin, & 3 species of turtles. Ningaloo Reef boasts of having 220 species of coral and 500 species of fish.
The people of Exmouth & Coral Bay make the trip special. They are a lively friendly bunch of mates eager to help, offer advice, or have a conversation. definitely have this area on your radar when planning your Australia walkabout holiday.