You can have interesting conversations with complete strangers whether you travel or not but they do seem more likely when everyone looks like a potential conversation rather than looking for one’s friends in the coffee shop or pub. The other day while enjoying an iced coffee and some online catch up at a local cafe, I struck up a chat with an older gentleman sharing the view from the window seats. It started with the usual introductions, where are you from, what brings you to this part of the world, how long are you staying and so forth. Anybody who has travelled anywhere including the next town knows the script. Always congenial, with the varying level of details and rarely includes controversy such as running from the police or evading a debt to some drug cartel.

Somewhere in the prelude the conversation moved on to finances for travel, how each of us manages to stay away from the old home country and how to manage everything while away. Apparently, he has been enjoying an early retirement. The real interesting part here was how he has his money working for him through international banking. He manages his investments and makes adjustments as needed via the internet or by the telephone when things are less than secure or consistent for accessing the web. Based on how he talked about his money management it was obvious that he has been doing it for some time and has experienced success with his investments.

While I’m not at the point to be able to retire and live on a nest egg, I am also not using credit cards and hoping for the best in the future. I have put away a modest nest egg for “just in case” and “special treats”. The “just in case” happens enough that it always something to consider. I know several people who have made significant changes to their travels due to illness, and not often their own. It is more likely for an older loved one back home may take a turn for the worse and it is more important to be home than away at those times.

But back to the nest egg, well really more like a quail’s egg rather than an ostrich egg. I don’t have any major investment scheme worked and prefer some form of offshore savings. When I considered some of the banking troubles over the last five years, I wanted to keep the precious little egg somewhere I will feel confident and know I can get to it when I need to make a course correction. My conversation partner concurred.

It isn’t everyday that I wake up thinking about money and investing but it is good to know that I have educated myself enough to not feel like a deer in the headlights when I chance upon the conversation.