My lovely wife and I have already been talking about what we are going to do next winter. Will we be able to travel next winter? It all depends on what the world's going to be like by then. There are lots of wild cards out there.
Michael Ruppert expects the collapse of industrial civilization within 6 months. Now I respect Mike. He's put it on the line. His predictions have often come true, but who knows what will really happen?
As far as he's concerned, the Japan disasters have broken the camel's back. He's not the only one. George Ure at Urban Survival sees where Japan's problems have impacted the just in time production model. There are industrial plants all over the world suspending operations due to problems with parts availability.
My guess, is that if everything else stayed stable, the shortages could be worked around. Other countries could ramp up production. Parts substitutions could take place. Production could be re-engineered to use more available components. Japan itself could bounce back. They have a lot of problems right now, but they are a resourceful, intelligent, and organized people.
All things aren't staying stable. We hear about revolutions in the Islamic world. Oil supply concerns are pushing prices higher all the time -some say high enough to kill any sort of economic recovery. We shall see.
Looks like food is going to be in short supply in a goodly part of the world. That can't but help fuel unrest. There's the old saying that no country is more than 3 meals from revolution. It's a fair bet that at the very least, we'll be paying a lot more for a lot less food. Just look at the shrinking food packaging and it's plain that's already happening.
In the middle of this all, my lovely wife and I cruise around Florida and dream of renting a little place right on a canal. There are some amazing deals out there. Of course, cruising the neighborhoods, seeing a good 1/3 of the houses empty is quite the experience. Even some occupied property show the results of sever income contraction: peeling paint, dead cars in the back yard, boats for sale, and lawn care ignored. Right next to them, however, may be an immaculate mini mansion with a quarter million dollar sailboat in the canal out back. Something tells me things have a ways to go before they shake themselves out. Who knows how the pieces will land? At the very least, I personally wouldn't buy anything down here. A buddy of mine bought a place for 57% of list, and admits he probably paid too much. He doesn't mind, as he can afford it and is taking the long view.
So . . . what do we about next winter? We keep our options open. I'll make sure that we could spend the winter home if need be. The wood pile gets rebuilt and insulation and weather caulking gets an upgrade. At the same time, we check out our travel options. Maybe we'll do a mix of camping, staying with friends and relatives, and sailing like this year -perhaps altering the mix. We might do something we've never done before, because that's what we do anyway. We don't need a hard and fast plan -we need options.