I’m not sure I should be allowed to continue to blog as I make up words far too much. The word ‘Travelist’ as far as I am aware has no definition until now. I’m using it in the same relationship that Racist has to Race, because I can, and because I don’t know the real word I am looking for….
One of the things I remember still from my bruising encounter with the evil Mr Moustachians was a comment talking about my trip to the Maldives. I think I spent about $5000 there in 4 nights, whereas they spent $5000 in 6 months traveling in Thailand. They also stuck it to me by saying they actually saw Whalesharks (something we spent a lot of that money on!) do they have no limits to their meanness?
I decided that this mindset is a ‘Travelist’ they refuse to appreciate the nuance and beauty of a specific location, or item. To me its like saying, why would you want to drink a bottle of Opus One when there is a French Bordeaux for the same price point that is ‘better’. Does that mean you should never taste Opus One?
Is Lifist a better madeup word?
Big picture, there is an approach here, it is the ‘settling’ mindset. People justify ‘settling’ for what they are OK with rather than doing everything they can because of external reasons. There’s some validity to the mindset, but I think it is important to recognize who you are and what you are missing. It’s never ‘the same thing’ when it comes to Thailand vs the Maldives. I’m not arguing which is better because that is like arguing a white person is ‘better’ than a black person – its based in nothing but color, and is racist. Places, like people, are different, and need to be appreciated for what they are, not bucketed together as ‘a beachy place that has Whalesharks’.
Timing is Everything
A massive part of this concept is the timing of when you decide to taste that bottle of expensive wine, or travel to that exotic island. There are different camps of people out there, and for what its worth none of them has a clue who is right.
- Camp 1 – suffer now, save, work hard, enjoy later
- Camp 2 – have fun now, save later, maybe skip the work hard bit
- Camp 3 a blend
Some say that you cannot travel and enjoy life in your traditional retirement years so you should burn through that now. Others say that if you don’t save now you lose compound interest on your 401(k). Both are right, and both are wrong. There’s a saying that youth is wasted on the young. You could have a young whippersnapper living in hotels traveling the world but taking only a grain of experience or pleasure from it. Alternatively, there could be a widow/er who has never traveled and suddenly embarks on a round the world trip at 70 and has the time of their lives because every moment is a blessing.
Personally, I refuse to lose the power of compound interest on my savings, but I also refuse to compromise on my travel and lifestyle experiences. The way I strike that balance is to find a way to enjoy the things that I want to in a more affordable way. The ‘discount’ mindset comes down to understanding the intrinsic value of a product, do you know how much a bottle of Opus One ‘should’ cost?
If you do, can you figure out the markup at a restaurant serving it by the glass?
Experience the moment
As contradictory as it may sound, sometimes I might pay full markup for something like this. One I recall was a glass of Don Julio 1942 at a bar. The price was $24 per shot. I’m paying at least 100% markup here. But it made the moment right. I really wanted to splurge, to have a drink I could enjoy and it felt right. I think there is a moment where this can be dangerous. When you reach the point where you can only enjoy the moment when reliant on something like the fancy booze then you are in dangerous territory.
Calculating the ROI
The return from an experience is very hard to measure. Some things change us, and some things do not. Perhaps we need a certain amount of filler in order to appreciate the special things, but once we find that point of knowing, we can continue to pursue the things that matter, even if sometimes it means you don’t settle, and you don’t fully fund your 401(k).