Travel to Europe

Roger Ebert tells this little story in his article taking down Sarah Palin:

And how can a politician her age have never have gone to Europe? My dad had died, my mom was working as a book-keeper and I had a job at the local newspaper when, at 19, I scraped together $240 for a charter flight to Europe. I had Arthur Frommer’s $5 a Day under my arm, started in London, even rented a Vespa and drove in the traffic of Rome. A few years later, I was able to send my mom, along with the $15 a Day book.

This looks to me like a generational thing — Ebert is old enough to have benefited from the years in the early 70s when the dollar was still increbibly strong against European currencies. I have a friend who travelled to the South of France several summers in a row, at a time when he was making about $5,000 gross income per hear. I have always really envied that, because by the time I was that age (just out of college), the era of the strong dollar and cheap travel to Europe was simply over. Palin is two years younger than I, and she wouldn’t have had that opportunity, either.