Back in the Saddle….

Sorry for the slowdown at the site.  I got interrupted by the rare vacation.  Things will be back to normal once I decompress and wake up to the reality that is “work”.  But first, some travel thoughts:

  • Asia is an incredible place.  It was my first time there and I can’t say enough good things about it.
  • Chinese immigration and customs are a nightmare.  If you think the TSA is bad you’ve never seen a Chinese bag checker scan every piece of electronics you have – 1 by 1 multiple times.  You want thorough – these are your guys.
  • The Thais could possibly be the nicest people on the planet.  If you’ve never been to Thailand you’re missing out on one of the most beautiful places on earth and some of the most friendly people on the planet.   If I could begin to comprehend the language I wouldn’t have ever come back.
  • After a nightmare ordeal with Chinese airlines and immigration I couldn’t have been happier to see a US customs and immigration agent.  Then he started berating me like I was from Mars and I quickly realized how much I missed the Thai customs and immigration agents.  The berating for non-residents looked 10X worse.
  • It’s amazing to see the undeveloped portions of some nations in Asia.  Americans complain about how bad things are, but the standard of living is comparatively off the charts in so many ways.   I hate to downplay our problems, but many of the developed nations have so much to be thankful for.
  • As I complained about my flights I was constantly trying to keep things in perspective.  I was flying around the world in metal tubes at 500 MPH and staying in hotels in amazing parts of the world.  If you’re reading this you’ve likely experienced the same things that appear all too “normal” for many of us, but are in fact extraordinary normalcies compared to what much of the world has access to.  Odds are, if you spend your time worrying about the concerns expressed on this website you’re in a pretty good place to begin with.  I for one am extremely thankful and try to keep that in perspective.  It’s nice to get out of the US “bubble” every once in a while to help reinforce the point.
  • The mostly cash/coin centric undeveloped countries had my monetary mind constantly asking my fellow travellers annoying monetary theory questions.  As I see the developed countries moving towards electronic money economies I couldn’t help but think that the paper bugs are simply the next monetary evolution from hard money bugs.  And just as quickly going extinct….I guess you can call me an electronic money bug.  Money is fast moving away from being a “thing” and more towards a mere record of account.

My brain is fried.  I’ll be fully operational by some point this week.  And by “fully operational” I mean that I hope to have all 75 IQ points firing on all cylinders.

 

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Cullen Roche

Mr. Roche is the Founder of Orcam Financial Group, LLC. Orcam is a financial services firm offering research, private advisory, institutional consulting and educational services.

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