Thursday, June 18, 2015

Should I Invest Or Travel?

    Well a money guy would say invest now, travel later. A travel guy would say the opposite... But it's not so simple... I have friends that have done Europe on student loans or credit card debt. My friends that own rental properties in New York City would say that's insane, and they definitely have more money than the guys who went to Europe. But it's not always a black and white answer, you need to decide for yourself what is best for you. But I will say that I always hear the investors say, I will travel later in life... In my travels to 6 of the 7 continents, I rarely meet a traveler over 40, and barely meet travelers in their 30's... It just doesn't happen. The longer you are on this Earth the more things that will come up that you can't travel, spouses, mortgages, children, etc. But on the flip side, you don't want to have a rocking trip to South East Asia only to return home and rent a crappy apartment for the rest of your life while your friends bought sweet houses... So lets take a look at things to consider:
  • Are you really going to travel later in life?
  • Do you really need to do the American dream of going somewhere for a whole month when all your friends will be off and it will be the greatest trip ever with an unlimited budget and nothing will go wrong? Are you waiting for Santa on Christmas and the Easter Bunny also? Could maybe a 5 day trip suffice just in case the latter never comes?
  • Do you need to save money for children?
  • Are your children old enough to travel? Although I don't have kids, my rule is > 14 international. < 14 domestic.
  • Why are you saving and investing now? Is it to build a home? A business? Or is it to have money to travel later in your 60's when you will be on medications and not able to enjoy it as much?
  • Are you really going to travel later in life?
  • What is the interest rate on your debt? 
  • What can you give up to travel? Cable, fancy car, dining out for awhile.
  • What's more valuable to you, money, or memories?
  • Is debt in the future worth travel now?
  • Are you really going to travel later in life?
    I will tell you personally, I have a decent mortgage payment now, but I am also paying PMI, I drive a shitty car, I have not had cable for 12 years, and only recently got a smart phone after years of verbal abuse for rocking the flip. Had I not traveled in the USA in my early 20's I would have bought a home by age 25 easily (ironically the market collapsed anyway and I would've foreclosed or been underwater). Had I not traveled internationally in the last 4 years my mortgage payment would be cheaper than some of my friends car payments. I'd probably be driving an Audi, Lexus, or at the very least a nicer sedan. I'd have a bigger savings account, and more financial security. But when I look back at the last decade of travel, if say I could've saved $30,000, maybe more with compounding interest, I wouldn't have given up the times I've had, the people I met, and the experiences I've had for double that number, even triple. We don't live to work. We work to live.

    If I hadn't traveled when I was younger I would have never came across this beautiful state Arizona and made it my home. I wouldn't have bungy jumped off the Auckland bridge in New Zealand into frozen waters. I wouldn't have toasted vodka in Red Square Moscow & St. Petersburg with Russian friends. I wouldn't have eaten bamboo in China, pet a cheetah in South Africa, swam with a whale shark in Mozambique, seen Machuu Pichu, surfed Bondi Beach, snorkeled the waters of Fiji, vomited tequilla shots in Mexico, got thrown off an elephant in Thailand into a lake after walking a tiger, road a camel through a sandstorm on a 4,000 year old trade route, watched the World Cup in Brazil, visited the birth place of Jesus Christ, seen the Parthenon with my morning coffee, drank wine in an electrical blacked out Santiago, got naked in earth's waters of a Japanese onsen, I wouldn't have tasted cheeses in Paris, touched the Berlin wall in Germany, rode a sleeper train thru Europe, pet a kangaroo, almost get my butt kicked in Colombia, scuba dived Ecuador... I wouldn't have climbed thru caves, climbed thru crowded subways, swam in waterfalls, rivers, every ocean (except the arctic), learned some Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, and even British! I wouldn't have met life long friends. I wouldn't have had experiences that no amount of money can buy. I wouldn't have learned so much about other people and other cultures. I wouldn't have had my breath taken away time and time again by too many things that I don't have enough space to write about here. Because just when you think you've seen it all, the world becomes so much of a bigger, and so much of a better place to see and appreciate. For even the bad places you travel to you learn about strength in the soul of the human being, seeing people in these 3rd worlds that are just as content if not more content than your friends that obsess over the mighty dollar. We have a lot of the world to see and experience, but we don't have a lot of time in our lives left on this Earth for it. Smell the flowers while you still can.

Tokyo Bay 2009

Choose the continent!!!!


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