I recently returned from a week in Oaxaca Mexico. Like most adventures, I now plan my destinations around other humans and not places. This may seem strange, but when you understand the origins of happiness, it makes perfect sense:
The surprising finding is that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence on our health,” said Robert Waldinger, director of the study, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too. That, I think, is the revelation.”Read the whole article here.
So, I ended up in Oaxaca because of an email from my friend Katie Donegan.
As you know Alan and I went nomadic in 2020 (worst timing ever!) and have loved the freedom. It has been an incredible adventure that we wouldn’t swap for anything. The one thing we have missed though is community. The people to hang out with and connect with. Every time we move place we reset our community and it takes time to rebuild.
We have realised that we want to be surrounded by people like you. That we can hang out with for coffee, breakfast, do cool projects with or nearby, generally connect and chat.
Based on this we are going to run a mini-experiment this year to bring together a small group of people…
Because of COVID, the group was small. But that didn’t stop the adventure. We took in Oaxaca:
I ate mole at every opportunity:
Oaxaca Chocolate makes Swiss Miss taste like sh*t:
But the best part was seeing old friends:
In between mole and Mezcal, I spent time with Alan Donegan as he worked on his Rebel Entrepreneur podcast. Alan is an inspirational speaker and human being who always seems to be working on something amazing. Sometimes he’s collaborating with JL Collins helping to organize Chautauquas. Other times, he’s giving his time to help others get better with money And I’d be a terrible person if I didn’t mention his wife Katie who is amazing in similar, but different ways. I’m so fortunate to know both of them.
One thought I had as I watched Alan work his magic is how different his life would be without financial independence. There is no way Alan and Katie would be living the life they do now if they had formal jobs. The next thought I had is how many of my friends are in the same situation:
- JL Collins wrote what is perhaps the best-received book in the financial independence community: The Simple Path To Wealth.
- Mad FIentist Brandon released a freakin’ album: https://www.madfientist.com/album/
- Jillian Johnsrud created an amazing retreat: https://www.jillianjohnsrud.com/retreat/
None of these folks would have done these things if they had not found FIRE. However, the best stories are the least glamorous ones.
I was talking to local friends on Sunday. They recently had a child and the wife had already left her job. The husband was considering going part-time (or no-time) to have more family time. I can’t think of a better justification for FIRE than this.
Only Boring People…
I achieved my money goal a year before I left my job. I delayed pulling the trigger because I was terrified of being bored. Life has turned out quite the opposite. In between running around town with the girls and entertaining random friends passing through town, I’m practicing pieces on the piano, learning Spanish (thanks Oaxaca for the inspiration!), and preparing for another talk in November at EconoMe.
I once heard a very snarky comment:
Only boring people get bored.
I don’t think any human is a boring person. It is true that some of us have a harder time figuring out what we want out of life, but all of us have amazing dreams. Sometimes, we just don’t know what they are yet. For the really fortunate, those dreams are fulfilled by their work (if this is you, that’s awesome! You can just ignore the RE part of FIRE). Others will have to leave work to figure it out.
I’m deeply grateful for the life I get to live. No two days are the same and the uncertainty is wonderful. I’m a better person because I have time to work on myself. Hopefully, my children will be better humans because of the time I get to spend with them. Hopefully, the world is a bit better because of the different ways I’m able to give back.
Life is good.
Your journey won’t be the same as mine, but I hope you find what you’re looking for, even if you don’t know what it is yet.
More 1500 Days!!!
You can also find me (and the dinosaurs) at:
Mile High FI podcast:
- EconoMe: Hey look, I’m speaking at EconoMe later this year!
- Facebook: Facebook group and page
- YouTube: My channel is mostly devoted to home improvement, but I have some other material coming up soon too.
- Instagram: Pretty pictures of dinosaurs, sunsets, and nail guns!
- Twitter: Spontaneous, often insane, ramblings
- Coworking space: On the surface, MMM HQ is a coworking space. Look a little deeper and you’ll see that we’re really building community. The members of MMM HQ are some of the finest people I know.
Other resources I like:
- Camp FIs are amazingly fun! I hope to attend Rocky Mountain and Joshua Tree this year. See you there?
- Need to learn how to invest? The Simple Path to Wealth is all you need.
- New to FIRE? Need some FIREy guidance? Check out Fiology and the accompanying workbook!
Join the 10s who have signed up already!
Subscribing will improve your life in incredible ways*.
*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.