Copyright by John T. Reed

In early March I am going to Auckland, New Zealand and in mid March I am going to Sydney, Australia. I will visit friends, get updated on Sydney which I have not seen since R&R from Vietnam in 1970, and see New Zealand for the first time.

I will also be scouting for possible 90-day-length (max stay permitted on tourist visa) stays in the near future if and when the U.S. becomes hyperinflated such that an extended vacation in a normal “Down Under” is more attractive than taking wheelbarrows of cash to buy groceries here.

The main scouting question is where in those largest metro areas of the two countries can one rent a safe, nice, one-bedroom apartment for 90-days or less for a reasonable rent. For my readers, I figure that would be about $1,200 to $1,500 a month USD. I may also look into more banks that will accept American savings accounts to report to my readers.

Rich Dad Poor Dad

Years ago, Rich Dad Poor Dad became a best selling book. The author went to Australia to give talks. My web site has a lengthy article criticizing that book and author, Robert Kiyosaki. A great many Australians found my critique and implored me to come there and talk as well. I thanked them for the invite but said it was too far and that I knew virtually nothing about Australian real estate—a condition I suspect Kiyosaki also suffered from but ignorance of the topic on which he is speaking does not bother him.

Anyway, my sudden Australian fans argued that it was not too far and a number said they could tell from my lengthy critique of Kiyosaki that I was their kind of guy—a sort of synthetic native Aussie for all practical purposes who somehow had mistakenly been born in the U.S.A. to American native parents but mutated to Aussie-ness. Don’t know about all that, mates. I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy, Yankee Doodle do or die, a real live nephew of my Uncle Sam, born on the fifth of July. Maybe I’m a Cocker Spaniel Dundee or something. (Reading a guidebook, I discovered that my youngest son, who I’m guessing is our most australian family member, was born on Australia Day—January 26th.)

But I have decided to go there finally. Those emails trying to get me to come to Australia and my responses are still near the end of that article

I am sure the excitement about both Rich Dad and my comments about him are long dead, so I will not be expecting any speaking invitations. But if any of my readers in these two cities see any value in my visiting with them during my trip, I would like to hear from them as to why. I already have a schedule and some people to visit, so I cannot say yes to every such person. But it appears I only go to Sydney about once every 42 years and to Auckland about once every 66 years so I feel obligated to mention the opportunity.

Also, I must correct the record with regard to my prior statements that Australia was too far away from the U.S. I am flying to Auckland from San Francisco which is 13 hours. First time I went to Australia, it was a flight from Travis Air Force Base near San Francisco to Honolulu to refuel then to Guam to refuel then to Saigon. Then I left Saigon nine months later and flew to Darwin to refuel then on to Sydney. So you can see why I thought it was too far. Now it’s one, 13-hour non-stop (just 12 hours returning from Auckland to San Francisco).

The lost Thanksgiving of 1969

Also, I totally missed one of the biggest holidays in America when I went to Vietnam: Thanksgiving of 1969. We asked the stewardesses if we were getting Thanksgiving dinner on the plane. “That’s tomorrow,” they said both on the CA-to-HI flight and on the HI-to-Guam flight. But when we asked the stews on the Guam-to-Vietnam flight, they said, “That was yesterday.” We had crossed the International Date Line. I am still pissed about that.

The longest, weirdest day

Had I stayed in Vietnam a full year, I might have gotten two Thanksgiving dinners on the way home. But I left Vietnam on September 6th, 1970. It was the longest, weirdest day of my life—literally—about 38 hours—and it had a surreal sequence beginning about two AM in Vietnam worrying about being killed on my last day or the plane being shot down as it took off—landing in Tokyo to refuel then again in Anchorage, Alaska, still wearing jungle fatigues—lady at the information desk in the airport said “Welcome home”—to Alaska?—it took me a minute to remember Alaska was a state—then to Travis Air Force Base then going to San Francisco airport in civilian clothes to avoid being spit on for being a soldier during the Vietnam war—and ending on my mom’s front porch in New Jersey before sundown—as if the whole year in a tropical combat zone never happened. All’s well that ends well.

Jet lag?

One of the things I feared going so far to give a talk about U.S. real estate investment was gonzo jet lag, but guess what. It is now 10:52 PM here and 7:52 PM in Auckland. So I only get three hours of time change—the same as going from New York to San Francisco. The date changes, but my biological day-night clock doesn’t know anything about that. About a week later, I go from Auckland to Sydney (3 hours and 40 minutes flight due west) where it is now 6:52 PM. Piece of cake, I hope.

Not looking forward to 13 hours on a plane. Stopping overnight in Hawaii might be worthwhile. It’s 8:52 PM there now, so that would subject me to a two-hour time change CA to HI (which is southwest of San Francisco) then just a one-hour change from HI to NZ (which is almost due south of Hawaii). But it would be more total flight time and expense. Maybe another time.

I appreciate informed, well-thought-out constructive criticism and suggestions.

John T. Reed