07 Jun

You’re So Lucky!

I met Ken at a local blogging event this week. We exchanged pleasantries and then got into the meat of what it is that we blog about. I learned that he is the editor/content manager of a corporate blog; he learned that I’m a travel blogger and that we’re heading to Wyoming and Portland next month and then Japan for four weeks.

“Wow, you must make a lot of money”, he exclaimed.

“No”, I replied, “I save a lot of money, that’s the difference.”

It was a conversation that reminds me, again, that not everyone thinks the same way we do. Especially living here in Calgary; a corporate city filled with folk who come here to do nothing but make money. Many people think about how much money they can make in order to have the big house, the expensive car, the flashy boat, the family, the cottage at the lake, and the yearly vacation; not about what they can sacrifice in order to save money to make their current situation less immediate, their future more secure, and their dreams come true.

It’s a common refrain…”You’re so lucky”.

Yes I am. Lucky that I don’t have a huge hole of a mortgage. Lucky that I live in a rented, 900 sq ft apartment. Lucky I drive an old, uncool, paid for, car. Lucky that I don’t love shopping. Lucky that I value experiences and memories rather than acquiring ‘things’.

My friend Dave is much more straight up about these things.

Stopping for ice cream while in Portland last year, the ice-cream-scooper ever so casually asks what we’re doing in town. Dave explains that he’s a travel blogger in the middle of a trip to attend a conference.

‘Wow’, she drawled, ‘I wish I could travel like that’.

‘You can’, he said. ‘Just stop spending your money on expensive jeans and fancy nails!’

She was obviously taken aback, but Dave’s right; why are we dancing around how some can afford to travel and others ‘can’t’? It’s not about luck, it’s about choice.

What’s yours?

*Photo Credit: egazelle

19 thoughts on “You’re So Lucky!

  1. Ugh, so true. I feel lucky that I have a brain that can help me do what I need to do, but making this trip happen is so not about luck. It’s about making choices and right now, most of my choices revolve around, “do I want that expensive dinner out or do I want about a week’s worth of money for eating in Thailand?” Honestly, sometimes the dinner wins out, but not at the expense of our savings. We all makes hundreds of choices every day, I think we’re so accustomed to being on autopilot, we don’t realize how many we do make.

    Enjoy Portland!!! Hope it’s not raining while you’re here.

      • Absolutely! I would love to meet the famous Gillian in person. When will you be here? Go ahead and email me with the info.

  2. I get that all the time & I am a firm believer some things are luck… like winning the lottery, but CHOOSING to live this life of traveling the world is not LUCK at all. I always have to explain to people. I worked hard to make this a reality and ANYONE can make it theirs too. I’m all for helping people follow their dreams no matter what they are, but its about choosing to follow them, that I can’t help in. That has to come with in… if you want it you can have it.
    Jaime recently posted..What it was like to be a Bollywood extra for a day in Mumbai!!!

  3. I just quit my bartending job of 8 months to get back out on the road. When I put in my notice, everyone at the bar was asking how I could afford it? Easy– I saved $10k in those 8 months, while everybody else had been spending their cash on booze, clothes, cars, etc… I was happy to hear the response, “You’re so lucky,” or “That’s awesome, I wish I could do that,” instead of “You’re giving up a great job…” My response was exactly yours: anybody can do this, but not everybody has the balls.

    • Good point Matt – sometimes ‘you’re so lucky’ means ‘good on you!’ I have said for a long time that I always wanted to travel…I just finally found the balls!
      Gillian recently posted..You’re So Lucky!

  4. Very true! It all comes down to priorities, not luck. I wish I hated shopping; now that we’re home, I’m trying to balance my desire to travel more and create the life I want with my love of shopping (and eating out, and buying craft beer, etc, etc). I think it is so much harder because we do not currently have a specific goal; I find it is a lot easier to rearrange your priorities when you are working towards something. Kudos to you guys for staying the course and working towards your goals.

    • Oh it’s definitely harder now that the goal isn’t as precise! I LOVE craft beer – definitely a vice. The long term goal is coming together though and I’m loving the journey.
      Gillian recently posted..You’re So Lucky!

  5. So true, it’s not about how much money you make. I don’t know how many times we heard, “wow, I wish we could do that”, when we announced we were going off to travel the world. Our reponse of why can’t you would be replied to with a myriad of reasons, which are really excuses and fears when you get down to it.

    I finally picked up a copy of a book that I have wanted to read for a long time. Rich Dad, Poor Dad, it’s all about making your money work hard for you, not working hard for your money. I really enjoyed it, it makes you think about how backwards we live our lives and how most of us become slaves working for little gain.
    Audrey recently posted..Oahu, Beyond Waikiki Beach

  6. This is so true. I get this all the time too and while I don’t have to save a bunch of money on the front end as my job is location independent, it does take a rearranging of mindsets to understand that instead of spending a majority of my salary on an apartment and car, I am spending it on a just the bare necessities and experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life and never regret. Can’t say that about a new pair of jeans or a massive mortgage.

    Thanks for the great post!
    Virginia recently posted..Hotel Review: Hostel Farget

  7. Amen sister! It is all about priorities and what you really want. If the fancy car is more important than travel, that is where your priority is. We got the same comments before and after travel. People assume you are rich! If they only knew how rich you can be from travel itself….

  8. Even before I met Andy, before I knew I’d end up moving to Germany, before I had any concrete plans for a round the world trip, I always took reasonable measures to save money for travel. My last 5 years in Atlanta, I made sure my rent and other bills were well below my means, I didn’t go shopping unless I needed something, and I had a big chunk of money automatically put into my savings account every month. That was how I traveled for several years, and that’s how it was so easy for me to save money for my round the world trip when it became a reality. It’s really all about priorities. If you want something like travel to be a big, important part of your life, you prioritize it and make it happen. Great post Gillian!
    Ali recently posted..Weekly Photo – Buddha at Po Lin Monastery, Hong Kong

  9. Love this: “I save a lot of money, that’s the difference.” It is SO true! I had so much more money in the bank (and obviously a much simpler life) when I was out of the US. I still get frustrated when people tell me how “lucky” I am to have had a few years to travel. I had to leave my home country to save money during a difficult time! And I will probably one day “choose” to do it again…
    Abby recently posted..On the Cusp: Panama City’s Emerging Food Scene

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