One of my nieces, Meghan, recently visited London. She’s 19 and this was her first international trip. All the while she was across the pond, she text me pictures and commentary. She had a great time and I’m so happy for her.
David and I love to travel. Travel is one of our two main goals in life. Having a secure retirement is our oth-er goal. We traveled to London years ago and had a great time. It’s a wonderful city with wonderful peo-ple. London exudes the history New England envies. We’d love to visit London again and work in extra time to visit other parts of England. Our last visit to London was a five-day layover to Ibiza, Spain.
After Meghan text me several times, I playfully warned her about catching the travel bug at such a young age. I told her it can be very expensive. She responded that she’s quickly learning that, as she blew through her cash. Meghan doesn’t know how fortunate she was to travel abroad while the U.S. dollar was at an eleven-year high. When David and I were in London, the U.S. dollar was weak and it was painful.
I think it’s great that Meghan is already traveling and I hope she does as much as she can as soon as she can. She’s not accustomed to fancy hotels, expensive dinners and fine wine, yet. David and I backpacking across Europe and staying in hostiles in our mid-forties would be daunting, if not creepy. None of my three nieces would be phased by certain discomforts at their ages.
I encourage all my nieces to satiate their travel bug before they decide to settle down on a career and life. I think it’s important. Travel is good for the soul, the mind and the brain. Travel opens your eyes to other cultures, different beliefs and unfamiliar people. I wish I was encouraged to travel when I was their age.
I encourage all of my nieces to think about what their true goals in life are. They should push away the ex-pectations of society, friends and family and consider what they want. That’s an important life decision.
While I knew what I didn’t want when I was their age, I didn’t know what I wanted. It wasn’t until after Da-vid and I realized we were a mess with our money that we realized what we really wanted out of life. If I can save my nieces the frustration of getting mired in credit card debt or any other money mess, I’ll be happy.
I realize avoiding all mistakes is impossible and some mistakes are necessary for growth. I just hope my nieces make better, less costly mistakes. David and I didn’t know what we wanted and made all of our mis-takes with money because of that.
It took us two and a half years to get our financial lives on track. In hindsight, it seems quicker and that’s because we realized our goals. We want to travel the world and we want to be prepared for retirement. We want other things, too, but those aren’t our main goals. We want to be charitable, but we give more of our time than money. We want a nice condo, but don’t want to be house-poor. We want a new car, but hate car payments. We don’t want children, but may settle for a dog.
I get a kick out of passing people who are younger than us who drive new Audis and BMWs while we drive a 2002 Jetta and plan our next vacation. For the last few years, our priority has been traveling within the U.S. and this year especially we’re doing so on the cheap because we’re doing condo remodeling. Of course, I don’t know the other drivers’ situations with money. I just find it entertaining because if they’re anything like we were at their age, they don’t necessarily want their fancy cars.
This is why knowing your goal or goals is so important. It ensures you live your dreams and not someone else’s.