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