Friday, 11 May 2012

How many miles is it worth?

Ok, I didn't manage to update as quickly as I intended to whilst waiting in Damascus, but have I got some stories from this little town...
However, before I share them I wanted to talk about a new understanding I had come across with the valuing the worth of an item, I call it a 'Mileage Cost' (MC).
'Why MC?' You may ask, and 'Why would that be a more accurate valuation technique for a hiker compared with traditional techniques such as money?'
Myself as an example, money is important up until the point of acquiring everything you really need. Past that point money is only good at buying things that you want, luxuries or upgrades. Sure these things are nice but their worth to you aren't nearly as important as the things you need and so your financial estimation of their worth may be iffy at best. That and compiled with the fact that if you have more money than you need then you are prepared to pay inflated prices for things as money loses its worth to you.
The concept of Mileage Cost however came to me when I was 3.5 miles out from the hostel I had stayed at and realised I'd left my watch behind. Then the stark realisation came to me that I would have to walk 7 miles (3.5 miles both ways) to get it back. Now my Mum may not believe this seeing as I never wear a watch back home but I went through some serious deliberation over whether I should go back for the watch or just pick up another later on the trail.
Seven miles = around 2.5 - 3 hrs walking.
Seven extra miles would mean I wouldn't get to camp on a river just outside of a town and eat pizza, shop and have a wash.
Seven miles meant I would lose almost half a day on the boys up ahead of me because I would be doing my town shopping during the day (the next day), instead of that night and setting off on the trail straight away the next morning.
The watch I had left behind was worth around $20
Now I don't know if this an old wives tale or a fallacy but I remember reading once that if Bill Gates dropped a $1000 it wasn't worth his time picking it up because in the 4 seconds it would have taken him to do it he would have earnt the same amount.
I'm no Bill Gates, I walked back and got my watch. The main reason I decided to walk back to get the watch is because I got it when I went to the World Cup with my old man and it continually reminds me of that trip so I now know that watch is worth more than 7 miles to me.
This got me thinking about the other gear I was carrying and how far I'd walk for them and surprisingly the MC didn't really relate to their financial cost. Things with sentimental value accrued a much higher MC than expensive but replaceable items.
So I ask you, is it really worth the miles?

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