Trying to settle back to the reality of life, so wanted to get back to posting my quote of the week even though I’m not done posting about South Africa yet!
I thought this little gem was perfect that I found on someone’s Facebook page.
I had a conversation with someone the other day about vacations (and travel — but they can be two different things – I love both!) He mentioned how I must be putting off saving money and certainly postponing my retirement by taking all these vacations and big trips. I’m not so sure it was said in an approving way either:)
Yes. Very true. And it’s going to take me longer to pay my mortgage off too.
He started talking about where do you draw the line? Travel is great. You enjoy it, have a good time, make some memories, take a few pics. But in the end, you just have a few memories and a big bill to pay. How much is it worth to have those memories?
He was leaning towards it’s a bit of a waste of money….
Maybe for him.
For me? I know! Isn’t it fabulous that you come out of it with experiences, memories and photos!? That to me IS worth every cent.
I shared with him that my perspective had been shaped by my own life circumstances too.
Both Rob and I had a major setback in our 30’s. Not only emotionally, physically, spiritually… But financially. When you get divorced, everything you have built up financially is pretty much gone. I was lucky that I wasn’t devastated – but still, any equity you had built up must be split. And let’s face it, I had only been a home owner for 4 years, had 2 young kids and taken a year off with each one, so our equity was slim which meant my half of our equity was even more slim.
Rob? Devastated. Starting completely over.
But it’s bad timing! Because now your kids are getting older, you want to experience things with them, but you also want to start rebuilding!
We decided that as much as we wanted to rebuild, we had to come to the realization that rebuilding would take time and neither of us were willing to put experiences on hold while we rebuilt completely. So while some of our friends are paying their mortgages off in their 40’s, we know we have a long way to go…. But it’s our choice. It’s ok. We make sacrifices with some of the little things and make bigger timelines for the bigger things. We are blessed that we both have good jobs and good discipline and agree with what our choices are.
Also, being a blended family means leading a very unique lifestyle. You never are really “alone”. There are always intrusions in your daily life. Other parents’ influence, interactions, negotiations, change of plans. Not that it is all bad, of course, but you are never free to just say “let’s go do this” because you have to consider so many factors. Plus, kids have transitions between homes. When they return, they go through this transition getting settled in. “Welcome back to our home and routine.”
When we travel? It’s just us. We do what we want, when we want, how we want. It’s uninterrupted time. We can get in our groove. We create memories that are not shared with their other family. They are unique to us. It strengthens not only our individual relationships, but our whole identity as the CDFs. That to me is absolutely priceless.
Then there’s the whole travel aspect. Learning new things, experiencing different cultures, seeing the beauty… That to me is also priceless!
Finally, as I sat in that wait room one year ago waiting to see if Rob had survived his heart attack, my mind raced with everything. It’s actually amazing what and how much your mind can think of in one of those moments. Everything races. Our daily life, how we met, what he looked like when I found him, our kids, how the people next to me could be eating fried chicken in this kind of wait room, our sealing, did we do the right thing driving him, our faith, our home, our dog, our sushi nights, would he make it, how grateful I was my bro and sis in law were there, why was my phone dead now, and then tons of flashes of what? Our travel. Seriously! Travel with kids. Travel together. Fun times. Spiritual times. Scary times. Romantic times. Sunsets. Stars. Meals. Ocean waves. Nature. Animals. Hikes. Beaches. Thin places. Hotel Rooms. Loud noises. Silence. Colours. Tastes. Music. Laughing. All these things raced and these kept me going…. Wanting more and the quiet peace that settled over me that we would have more.
Sitting in that range rover, looking at the African sky, surrounded by my kids (who weren’t fighting at that moment but taking it all in too), staring at my husband who is alive and better than ever? That is worth every cent . That memory alone.
So where do I draw the line? I think my line is further than many people’s line, based on our circumstances, desires, values and opportunities. A memory is enough for me. In fact, that’s what I’m after….