Friday Gratitude: Full Circle

I hate hate hate name dropping, but today, I must tell a story I’ve never told before; how I met Mr. Money Mustache. That isn’t the focus of the post though. That is even better.

We were in a bad place at the end of 2012. We had moved to Colorado, but hated our new town. Our neighbors were materialistic and shallow. Within two weeks of arrival, we were determined to move back to Wisconsin, our previous residence.

I love you Madison Wisconsin, but your winters are harsh

At the same time, incredible job stress had started me on road to financial independence. I launched 1500 Days on 1/1/2013 with this post.

In early 2013, we received an offer on our house. It was time to move back to Wisconsin. However, I realized that a part of me didn’t want to leave Colorado.


Close Encounters of the MMM Kind

We liked Boulder, but it was too expensive. I knew that MMM lived near Boulder and he seemed to like his town of Longmont. I threw a Hail Mary pass at Mrs. 1500:

You know that blogger I told you about, Mr. Money Mustache? Maybe life in his neighborhood would be better. I’m going to send him an email. He probably won’t respond, but what do we have to lose?

I sent the email and to my surprise, MMM responded. I was even more surprised when he offered to give us a tour of his neighborhood. We made plans.

Driving up to meet him, I was crazy nervous. I was about to shake hands with the guy whose blog changed my life. Finding MMM was an inflection point and I didn’t want to be let down:

  • What if MMM and his blog are all a bunch of shit? It’s the internet after all.
  • What if I make an idiot out of myself?

I probably did make an idiot out of myself, but after spending the morning with Pete, I knew he was the real deal. And we liked Longmont, so we moved there.

By then, 1500 Days was up and running. However, I didn’t dare mention it to Pete. The last thing I wanted him to think was that I was trying to get publicity. He wouldn’t find out that I was a blogger until we both attended FinCon in late 2013.


Full Circle

The two best parts of blogging are:

Making a difference: It doesn’t happen often, but people have told me that my writing has changed their lives. I have no idea how they see through the dinosaurs and fart jokes, but when I get an appreciative email, I melt.

Friends: I’ve met some of my favorite people in the world through the blog. This weekend, I’m hanging out with Jim Collins and the Wealthy Accountant.

I used to think that I was a loser because many of my friends are folks who I’ve met through the blog. Then I realized that I was no different from my neighbor friend who hangs out with folks from his hockey team. He has hockey, I have writing. It’s all about finding common ground (or ice).

Last Friday, one week after leaving my job, I met up with a bunch of people that I’ve met through the blog. We chatted for a couple hours and then went to my place for dinner. At one point in the evening, I sat back and contemplated* how great it was to have a fun group of like minded people to hang out with. It’s wonderful when you’ve found your tribe. I’m so thankful for it all.

Top: Denver E, Mrs. 1500 with Daughter D, me, Pete, Scott, Stephen 
: Physician on FIRE (doing an ER era, George Clooney impersonation), Zeona


*Attendees, that’s why I may have been seemed distant. It wasn’t just the beer consumption! Oh hell, it was mostly the beer consumption**.

**Note the super-sized can in Physician on Fire’s hand.

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*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.

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37 Responses to Friday Gratitude: Full Circle

  1. That’s awesome that you were able to shoot a note to Mr. MMM and have him personally show you around. It’s amazing what will happen when you ask someone for help. A lot of times people are more than willing to help if you ask. Great post!!!
    Mustard Seed Money recently posted…Guest Post: Keeping Low Standards When It Comes to CarsMy Profile

  2. It sounds like a great meet up. I see nothing wrong with blogging friends. We live ina world where I know more then one person that met their significant other via an online dating site. Those sites contain a profile of maybe 150 words. We’re instead talking about a friend and writing that probably spends hundreds of thousands of words.

  3. Team CF says:

    Interesting fun fact!
    Like these gratitude posts, upbeat reads are a great start of the weekend. 😊

  4. Great story. Glad everything worked out well for you and your family.

  5. Ahahaha! I love that! I always wondered how you encountered the ‘Stache. He seems like a cool dude, though; I’d probably freak out if I saw him in real life though, tbh. Isn’t it crazy how many friends you make blogging? I haven’t met anyone in real life yet but I’m excited for FinCon!

    Glad you made the leap to retirement and I hope you’re enjoying it. 🙂
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…If It Ain’t Broke: Why Throw-Away Culture SucksMy Profile

  6. Cool story Carl. I need to suck it up and start a event or something and find like minded people. Maybe you pushed me over the edge to actually do it…

  7. I’m glad you told the story of MMM. I was wondering if you had been friends with him before or after the blog. I used to live in Fort Collins. I love that area along the front range. And yes, Boulder is really expensive, but I like how close Longmont is to Boulder.

    Can I ask what town were you originally in that you hated so much?

    I now live in Wisconsin, so I did the reverse of you, with about 7 states in between. 🙂 Yes, winters suck here, but we’ve pretty much had our last. in 2018, we are leaving in January for a RTW trip for 4-6 months, and then the goal after that is to leave for 6-8 weeks to go somewhere warm every winter.
    Primal Prosperity recently posted…Why You Need a Balance Sheet for Your SoulMy Profile

  8. Love it! To me, those are the two best things about blogging – making a difference and making amazing friends. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  9. That’s interesting you wanted to move so soon. We felt the same way when we moved from Wisconsin to Tennessee, we wanted to leave and go back, but are glad we stayed. The neighbors are still insanely spendy, but there are tons of benefits to living here, especially with taxes, than living in cloudy and cold Wisconsin.

    Now we wouldn’t move back at all, it’s not even on our radar screen.

    • David Withington says:

      Where in TN? Would you now if you ha d a chance (sorry to get you to think of this) change where in TN? What town?

  10. Kyle says:

    Name drop you did, I knew you had to have met Pete a couple times. This morning I was thinking about how quickly I forget about the harsh winters in Wisconsin after it warms up in spring. I just paid off another old debt an hour ago :D, brewing beer tonight to celebrate. My award winning coffee wheat.

    I find early retirement financial people to be laid back with a dash of hard work ethic lol. My kind of people.

    I heard a couple Wisconsin guys in here, lets get together over some beers. I’m Walworth County.

  11. I may or may not have name dropped last night at a real estate meetup. It happens now and then! You’re forgiven lol.

    It was fun to see the different reactions from the people in the meetup on various social media postings. Reactions ranged from “This is FUN!” to “OMG OMG OMG I GOT TO MEET THESE AWESOME PEOPLE!”. Glad you had fun!
    Gwen @ Fiery Millennials recently posted…Enough is EnoughMy Profile

  12. That’s so funny, because I remember myself sitting with my wife and chatting about moving to CO and I told her about two bloggers I read and about their experience in CO. And she told me, “Why don’t you write ’em an email? Maybe they will share some information about the area”

    And couple of weeks later driving to a brewery and thinking:
    – What if Mr1500 and his blog are all a bunch of shit? It’s the internet after all.
    – What if I make an idiot out of myself.

    And thanks again for sharing a lot of helpful information about the area. Can’t wait to move and ride my bike over there

  13. Divnomics says:

    It’s amazing how much you can gain from having a blog… (or reading them). Great reading how it has enriched your life, and knowing it’s the same for many others out there. Starting a blog can really be life chaining

  14. That’s awesome that you’ve been able to make so many friends in the FIRE community. I always figured you lived in Longmont before Pete became all famous with his “cult”. 🙂
    Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes recently posted…Angry Phone RantMy Profile

  15. MrWoW says:

    I remember reading that post a couple years ago…. amazing how it’s come to fruition.

    BTW – I commented to the Mrs when I read this, “Damn, that guy looks like George Clooney.” Took me a minute, cause I’m an idiot.

  16. Lance says:

    Very cool story! And very cool you’ve met up with some of these other great folks in the blogosphere!

    Madison, WI. Fun city. My son goes to college there, and we’re down the road about an hour. Winters. yeah, brutal!

  17. That’s an awesome group and it’s amazing how it’s so hard to make real relationships these days with the digital world all around us. Congrats on finding your tribe through your blog, it’s always nice finding like minded and down to earth people.

  18. That’s an awesome meetup Mr. 1500. And in today’s world, it’s the likemindedness of friends that matter more than where in the world are they located. Life is easy when you have great friends to share food and enjoy a drink with. I hope my fellow bloggers become good friends because there are hardly any in my immediate physical circle that share my thinking on FIRE.
    Ten Factorial Rocks recently posted…The Dog Years of InvestingMy Profile

  19. zut says:

    Juicy Bits, eh.

  20. That’s quite a story. I wondered if your proximity to MMM was perhaps not mere coincidence. It’s a great neighborhood, and a beautiful place to visit in the spring. Thank you so much for the invite and the hospitality!

    Also, nice photoshopping skills — thank you for that! Note: the 32 oz. crowler can was not photoshopped, but it was shared with all.


  21. Mrs.Wow says:

    I had a similar experience just last month… I was driving to meet a famous blogger at a brewery in Fort Collins and I was super nervous about it. I definitely didn’t want to make an idiot of myself. I mean, his blog was one of the first ones that I started reading and had really made an impact on my life and path the FI. I’m not one to get star struck, but I have to admit that I was (just a little) that night.
    Mrs.Wow recently posted…The Craziness of Real Estate in LAMy Profile

  22. Amber tree says:

    You are right, there is nothing to loose when you ask.

    A lot of bloggers are nice people and usually respond. Via asking is how I started the BelgiumNetherlands meetups with CheesyFinance. I am so happy I did ask it. Haning out with like minded people is great

  23. cool to find like minded people to spur you on and share common interests. I think it is totally normal. My brother-in-law does the same thing with the real estate people he’s randomly met along the way.

  24. Awesome and thanks for sharing. When reading blogs I tend to feel connected to the bloggers, but have yet to reach out directly to anyone. I hope find folks to connected with and hopefully in the near future can meet some of them in person. Looking forward to finding, engaging and building relationships with like minded people.
    FIbythecommonguy recently posted…Net Worth Report #1- BaselineMy Profile

  25. jlcollinsnh says:

    As many of you are doubtless wondering, Mr. 1500 is actually a fine guest. He is even housebroken.

    Yeah, I was surprised too

  26. PoF is so dreamy. I better not show this picture to Mrs. Happy Philosopher 😉

  27. I thought I recognised the guy in the bottom left! Haha!

    Now where can I get some of his super sized beer cans?

    I’ve had a handful of emails or comments saying my blog has helped them out as well – definitely the coolest thing about blogging about this stuff 🙂

  28. Great story Mr 1500, and what makes you think you’re a loser for hanging out with a bunch of intelligent, like-minded people? I just wish that there were more like you guys where I live in Brisbane, Oz.

    If you want to see materialism in action, just come here. I’m sure that there’s something in the water that affects guys in the trouser area because they seem to go out of their way to make up for it showing off their boy-toys.

    I’m heading your way (well Denver) in a couple of weeks so if you take on board that suggestion of a local meetup, let me know and I’ll be there. It would be great to meet some fellow losers, errrr bloggers from your part of the world.
    Martin – Get FIRE’d asap recently posted…Another Guest Appearance. I’m Visiting Mr & Mrs Groovy This TimeMy Profile

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