A Family RTW Travel Adventure (2008-2009)
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Low Cost Bidder


I was standing next to a young American from Denver, waiting my turn to speak to a representative from a Queenstown tour company.

We had reached New Zealand’s adventure capital and wanted to review our options for getting an adrenaline rush. Jet boats. Quad bikes. Something called the “Canyon Swing.”

The man from Denver, however, knew exactly what he wanted.  He was looking for Queenstown’s least expensive bungy.  He’d been to three different companies already and was not satisfied with the prices he had been quoted.

“They want too much.  I know there’s a cheaper bungy in this town,” he told me.

When it was his turn to talk to an agent, I overheard parts of the conversation including his last words: “It’s a rip-off.”  He walked out, still searching for the elusive low-cost bungy.

Then it was my turn. I made my inquiries, picked up a few brochures, and left to go back to the hotel to talk through our options with Dani and the kids.

Walking back along the unimaginably beautiful Queenstown harbor, my thoughts turned to John Glenn.

Glenn served in the U.S. Senate for many years, but before that, he was one of the original Mercury astronauts and the first American to orbit the earth. Today we take space travel for granted, but Glenn was a true pioneer.

According to legend, once Glenn was strapped into his space capsule, just before the countdown was to begin, he was asked if he had any final thoughts.

“I’ll tell you what I’m thinking about right now,” he said.  “I’m thinking about how I’m sitting on several tons of highly explosive material, about to be shot into space – and this rocket was built by the low cost bidder.”

I could only laugh. And part of me wished I could remind the young man from Denver that sometimes you get what you pay for.

Our pictures from Queenstown – and New Zealand’s South Island – are posted here.


1 Still Life in Buenos Aires { 12.05.08 at 8:30 am }

My thoughts exactly! 🙂

I understand frugality, but cheapest bungee? I mean…really?

2 ST { 12.05.08 at 11:02 am }

Near the end of her life Reynolds Price asked his mother what she regretted. She said, “I only regret my small economies.”

3 Nomadic Matt { 12.06.08 at 4:51 am }

Alice Springs is VERY hot this time of year. Prepare for some serious heat!

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