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Her World

She's Bullish on the Travel Market

July 13, 1986|JUDITH MORGAN | Morgan, of La Jolla, is a nationally known magazine and newspaper writer

I may regret a stock market spin or splurging on a dress without a waist, but I have never regretted an investment in travel.

Every trip I make pays dividends in friendships and photos, in laughter and dreams. I have gained knowledge, perspective and weight. I have lost luggage and horizons. I have not always cared.

In travel, the markets are up early, and I know my dollars have helped. I am bullish on the basket market in Rabat and the cheese market in Beaune.

I was bearish enough in Norway one summer to invest 50 kroner to join the Royal & Ancient Polar Bear Society whose club room is in Hammerfest, far north of the Arctic Circle.

For my investment I received a post card, a certificate of membership, a polar bear lapel pin and an invitation to attend the group's annual meeting on the third Sunday in January at 6 p.m. It will be a dark day in Hammerfest when I do.

I am, by nature, a small spender. I hate to lose much.

Tally of Lost Items

I lost a wooden-handled Swiss umbrella in the Seattle airport--well, I left it behind on a plane. I lost an English guidebook to the Paris Opera House (cost: 10 francs)--well, I left it behind in an airplane seat pocket after reading part of it over Greenland on my way home. In Paris last May I dashed into the Opera House foyer to spring for another. They were out of the English edition, but offered me a deal on the German. I decided to wait.

I have invested in the restoration of the old stone church in Murbach, in the gentle hills of Alsace, by dropping some coins into a wooden box by the door. I have diversified by supporting congregations from Sitka to Kauai, in return for a song.

I have invested in New Zealand by renting a post box at Milford Sound on the rugged west coast of the South Island. Why? Because the place is beautiful. Because the sound is silent. Because it was June. Because I was there.

Emotional Investing

I've never claimed my investments were not emotional.

I have invested in heavy souvenirs, from a Balinese gender to an English stick barometer. I toted the latter home to Southern California where the mercury rarely moves, but the rosewood case rises on my living room wall.

I have invested in Oscar de la Renta toilet water each time I have passed through a duty-free shop.

I invested $7.31 ($6.95 plus tax) on "Cheap Eats in Paris," a 1986-87 guide to 100 inexpensive restaurants and bistros, a paperback that's available by mail from Cobble & Mickle Books, Box 3521, San Diego 92103.

I figure I recouped that investment with one scrumptious meal at Le Pichet, a farm-fresh restaurant with rustic decor and splendid seafood just steps from the Champs-Elysees.

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