A solution looking for problems

I have a tendency to look for products and services that could be useful in certain situations, which are not an immediate need. Actually, that's how I wound up on STEEM, which I have now followed onto Hive. My initial thought was censorship...

7 months ago, comments: 0, votes: 10, reward: $0.04

I have a tendency to look for products and services that could be useful in certain situations, which are not an immediate need. Actually, that's how I wound up on STEEM, which I have now followed onto Hive. My initial thought was censorship. Facebook removed a Page post on which I urged people to go vote. There was no mention of a candidate or issue. Yet, it violated their policy. Not a big deal. But, I could see how I don't have much say on my own Page. That's just it. I don't own it.

Censorship resistance led me to Minds.com and Steemit.com for more freedom. I realize that even these platforms have limits. Dan Larimer posted recently that corporations are not free to do as they like. Therefore, users of their websites are not free. I can see how this is true. Still, the sorts of things I might consider posting do not rise to the level of getting shut down on Minds, Steem, or Hive. I am less concerned about being censored here than on the big social media platforms. Ironically, I should be more careful because blockchain is "immutable". A mess-up can live forever. Getting into crypto then presented some possible problems, like where to keep it and taxes. More on that later.

Another solution to which I don't have a problem is with mobile phone service when traveling. I mainly travel domestically in the U. S. A. I haven't left the country in years. My intent was to travel to the U. K. and a few other places in Europe. So, I started looking for mobile service that travels well. At the time, I found Truphone.com. This was years ago. The company offers a prepaid SIM card that works around the world. It has an upgrade that gives me a UK number and a US number on the same account. There is a postpaid version that has local numbers for even more countries. As it turns out, Google Fi is also rather good for travel. I may consider it later. Someday I will travel.

Related to travel, I was concerned about spending money abroad. My first solution was to get an AMEX card, which does not charge foreign transaction fees. Many other credit cards also do not charge foreign transaction fees. However, AMEX positions itself as an ideal travel card. I must admit that they offer some nice perks. However, I have come to realize that the perks come at a cost of having to buy higher-cost options. For example, getting Gold status at a hotel is great until you realize that you are locked in to that brand to use the benefits. In addition, the whole Membership Rewards business can be complicated. Unless you're really tuned in to the whole travel rewards game, you are getting a value of 1% per point or so. Maybe 2% if you're lucky. So, I figure I'm better off finding good deals on the same product. For example, Hotels.com offers a free night, which is a 10% discount. I'm also interested in Travala, which I have not had a chance to try.

The only other concern with traveling abroad then became instances in which I would need cash. Pulling cash out of a foreign ATM did not sound cheap on the face of it. So, I found TransferWise thanks to the Credit Shifu. With TransferWise I could exchange currency at fair rates and have more affordable ATM withdrawals in the native currency. TransferWise lets you keep cash in different currencies. This opened up the possibility of doing business internationally. TransferWise gives me bank accounts for GBP and EUR, among others.

Again, having multiple currencies is not something I need. It's a solution to something I might need. Lately, the problem is somewhat resolved with my Crypto.com debit card, which charges no foreign transaction fees and no ATM fees up to $800 per month on the 500 MCO level. In addition, the Crypto.com account also has multiple currencies, which I have already set up for EUR and GBP. Not that I need them. But, I might need them. I have learned that I can convert crypto into EUR and GBP should I need it when I am traveling.

Then, I just found out about Revolut, which is very similar to TransferWise in the multi-currency department. It overlaps with my Crypto.com card in no fee ATM withdrawals, interbank exchange rates, and airport lounge access, although for a fee. Revolut also adds travel insurance, which I might need. Again, not a problem I have at the moment.

One final instance in which I find solutions to problems I don't have involve emergency preparedness. I started learning about radio communications, getting a GMRS license and later getting an amateur radio license. I also started learning about emergency management and took a CERT (Citizens Emergency Response Team) class at my local fire station.

Having things lined up before needing them gives one a sense of control and calm. When the time comes to travel, I'll have the mechanisms in place to make it less of a chore.

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