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Who inspires you?
A friend? A family member? A public figure? A writer? An artist?
Someone who is walking the walk and living their purpose or at least striving for living a more meaningful life? This is the type of person(s) that currently inspires me. I am finding that to be inspired, I need to surround myself with people that are challenging themselves.
Taking on challenges is hard, scary, unknown, which can keep us from moving forward. We can get stuck in the rut of our lives. Sometimes the rut is so deep that to climb out feels insurmountable. To be inspired by another who has walked a similar path and come out the other side is inspiring to me.
The saying, Be Inspired, is another quote from my Vision Board and my experience at FI Chautauqua really represented this inspirational week.
FI Chautauqua is a group of like minded FI people that really want to have deeper conversations and be inspired by others. We are all looking for a community where conversations about money, meaning and purpose are normalized. The funny thing is, most of our conversations during FI Chautauqua were not really even about money. The money piece of the financial independence journey is pretty simple math, the hard part is what do we do with our lives during our journey and after we reach FI?
Challenging myself to think and talk about what provides meaning and purpose in my life was a big part of my FI Chautauqua experience. I have some soul searching and digging to do. It seemed that there was never any time for me to think about that during my working career. The challenging and intimate conversations I had with this Chautauqua family will hopefully help provide direction for my next 3+ decades of life.
One great tool that I plan on using is Jordan Grumet’s new book, Taking Stock, A Hospice Doctor’s Advice on Financial Independence, Building Wealth, and Living a Regret-Free Life. Jordan also hosts the Earn & Invest Podcast and was one of the speakers during FI Chautauqua. I was inspired by his heartfelt talk, probing questions and outlook on life. I have started reading his book which really dives into our purpose, identity and connections we want in life.
I was also inspired by my conversations with the other participants attending Chautauqua. We had people from all walks of lives, careers, ages and experiences. The bonding commonality was the principles of financial independence, however we all really connected and wanted to support each other’s personal FI path and support living a life of meaning. Thank you Chautauqua family for all the Cool Conversations!
FI Chautauqua is held in exotic, cool locations, which I believe is part of the magic of the event. 2022 FI Chautauqua was held in Villa de Leyva, Colombia, which was about four hours outside of Bogota in the Andes mountains. It is a picturesque colonial village and the hotel was a sprawling, lush estate. There is something special about everyone staying at the same property where impromptu conversations can happen at any time with the other Chautauquans.
There is also something to be said about the journey of getting to this cool location. It is somewhat like a pilgrimage and there will be long uncomfortable flights, uncertain conditions, and challenges with languages. However, we are all walking down the same path and there is comfort and bonding in that journey.
I was super excited to meet Kristy and Bryce of Millennial Revolution blog and authors of, Quit Like a Millionaire, No Gimmicks, Luck, or Trust Fund Required. Kristy and Bryce have been nomadic for years now after reaching financial independence. Part of the Chautauqua experience is we have 1-1 meetings with the speakers. Scott and I shared a bottle of wine with Kristy and Bryce one evening and spoke about travel. I am inspired by how they are able to travel so cheaply and efficiently. We had a wonderful conversation about not only the logistics of nomadic travel, but balancing travel with spending time with family. I think we will end up settling on a balance of both.
I have written about shaking things up this year in my post, Year of the Snow Globe, and travel is one of the big components for us. Changing our physical environment and experiencing new places and types of travel was important to help break us out of a rut. Challenging myself to take on some hardship during travel has been rewarding. Travel is not always an Instagram moment. Figuring out cell/SIM service in a foreign country, navigation around an unknown country, language issues, and safety concerns are just a few of things that travel tests you. More Cool Locations are on the travel list!
If you want to be inspired, then hang out with 30 fellow Chautauquas. FI Chautauqua is like a melting pot of a diverse group of like minded people, living all over the world, from different races, colors, backgrounds, religions, and beliefs. This is a safe place to gather and share ideas. Truely, cool people!
Some of the coolest people and co-organizers of the event are Alan and Katie Donegan of Rebel Finance School and Alan’s Rebel Entrepreneur Podcast. Alan and Katie help facilitate and organize an event where everyone feels welcomed, safe and connected. They both deeply care about helping others live extraordinary lives. It is easy to be inspired by them. They are truly cool people and I thank & love them!
One of the main reasons why I wanted to attend FI Chautauqua was for the cool people aspect. I was challenging myself to expand my FI community and find more like minded people. FI Chautauqua delivered on that ten-fold! We have made what feels like long-lasting friendships with people from all over the world. It is amazing how one week spent with people can make such an impact.
Thank you JL Collins for creating a space to have cool conversations in cool locations with cool people! It was an adventure!
I have two main next action steps from my week at FI Chautauqua.
1. Work on Myself
Now I need to take some time to work on myself. My plan is to finish Jordan’s book, Taking Stock, and work through the exercises he suggests for helping to identify purpose, identity and connection. I tend to put other projects and other people first, which usually leaves little time for working on my own things. This will be a challenge for me, but well worth the time and effort.
2. Stay Connected
I want to continue to nurture and grow the friendships I made during FI Chautauqua. We have a WhatsApp and Signal group that has been a great tool for communication. One of our fellow Chautauquans is organizing a monthly call, which should also be a fun way to stay connected. My plan is to also visit people we have met during our travels and make some of our travel decisions based around meeting up with the Chautauqua family, which includes Hungary, Barbados, Spain, Australia, Mexico, Colombia, Canada and the US. Not a bad travel list!
One of my fellow Chautauquans asked me what I was excited about? I can now really say that I am excited to work on digging deeper into finding my purpose, post financial independence, and continue to be inspired by this Chautauqua family.
I love my toiletry bag! Scott makes fun of my toiletry bag all the time and how it takes up half the suitcase when we used to travel.
I would agree.
I am not a big makeup person, but for some reason I really have loads of toiletries. I love them & need them! I love traveling light.
Did you know there is a beard “club” for dudes that have longer, mountain man style beards? Yep, it’s true.
Dudes with longer beards will give a little nod and slight wink to other dudes with longer beards. It is like motorcycle riders that will give little waves to other motorcycle riders, UPS drivers acknowledging other UPS drivers, or truck drivers nodding to another truck driver. The Year of the Beard begins.
Explore! I feel like I am on board the starship Enterprise. For you Star Trek geeks like me, Star Trek represents exploration, learning about new cultures, trying new things that I have not done before and experimenting along the way. Star Trek could be a metaphor for a FI lifestyle.