Last weekend I made the trip to Brisbane for a blogging conference. I had loads of wonderful conversations with super interesting people, but one conversation that had me thinking was with a travel blogger (and mum of two younger kids). Of course, I was like a pig in mud talking about family adventures and picking her brains for her top recommendations. And we inevitability got on to the topic of money. She told me that she had never earned so little and yet never travelled so much.
Then it struck me…
money is sometimes just an excuse.
How often have you heard someone say ‘we’d love to travel but we can’t afford it’, ‘I’d love to work part time, but we just don’t have the money at the moment’, ‘If only, if only, if only…..’.
Is it the money, or is it the fear?
Sure, there are moments in your life when you really can’t afford ‘it’ (whatever ‘it’ is to you). But sometimes it just requires a little creative thinking, and a dash of bravery to just do ‘it’.
Case in point – meet Mike Campbell.
Mike and his wife and daughter were craving change from their life in Newcastle. They wanted to travel but it seemed beyond them financially. Then they started looking at house sits in the US. Mike crunched the numbers and discovered that with their house rented in Newcastle, their mortgage and house ownership costs would be covered. They sold their cars, and ‘rented’ a car from their house sit hosts. With Mike’s wife Inga still able to run her graphic design business from overseas, Mike worked out it would barely cost the family any more being in the US than in Australia.
“We often get stuck in our internal fears and internal self talk and those limiting self beliefs before we’ve even started something” Mike said.
The Campbells sold or donated most of their possessions, packed up the rest and headed off on a year-long adventure of a lifetime across the USA. They made it happen. And now that they are back, there are no regrets about their year away, only big life lessons and days that are now lived with more intention.
“It’s not about ‘quit your job and go and live in a caravan’ but have a look at what you’re doing and if you want to change something? Don’t wait 20 years and ask where time’s gone.”
(And by the way, Mike now produces an awesome podcast ‘Live Immediately’ – that you can check out here).
Without a doubt, money is often my ‘excuse’ as much as I try for it not to be. Travel… not so much. If we’ve wanted to go on a trip or an adventure, we’ve generally made it happen, or tweaked it a little to fit the budget. But money makes itself heard as my excuse when it comes to time, as I grasp on to security.
I’ve written before how my rich life involves more blank space in my day, slow adventures with my kids, and more agency over how I spend my time. But when it comes to taking some time off from my part time work, I hold on partly because of the security of a second income for the household. Now, we don’t actually NEED a second income, we have no mortgage, no debt and a comfortable ‘buffer’ of savings. Yet I still hold on to the money excuse. And of course, really it’s fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of not having enough, fear of change, fear of opinions and uncertainty.
So where does that leave me? I’m pondering the idea of taking a break away from work next year to just have time. I want to allow myself to let go of the need for control and certainty, and to embrace those things that matter to me. And I’m going to stop using money as the excuse. I can’t imagine I will ever regret working less, but I’m fairly certain I will regret NOT having those lazy days with my little one before she starts school and giving myself the work sabbatical I’ve been fantasizing about for a while now.
How about you? is it really a lack of money, or is it fear?