What does it mean to be out of your comfort zone? Fritz, over at The Retirement Manifesto, just wrote a really inspiring post called Living Life At The Limits. I love reading different bloggers in the FI community. Ever since I quit my job (others call it retiring!), I’ve been trying to keep growing, which means doing things that scare me. So what does all this have to do with Financial Independence?
Have you ever been fired? It was probably not as wonderful as it was for me. My boss did it in order to keep me working there. A pretty unusual story and the turning point in my life, it was the key to our financial independence. And it saved my health and sanity too.
I absolutely loved working as an Electronics Engineer and could not have imagined getting to a point that would make me walk away from my voluntary 80+ hour weeks. But my last job, which took me to Scotland on an Oil and Gas project, brought me on the adventure of a lifetime. It was truly a million dollars worth of fun. Until it wasn’t. I mean really wasn’t.
In August of 2003, I was flying from San Francisco to Paris, joining a friend of mine on a trip to Europe. But just as my plane touched down in New York City, the power went out across the eastern seaboard. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was going to be three days until the lights came back on and normal operations were restored. Here I was, without power, without technology, without food and without money.
People who knew me anytime in the years 1988 to 2010 think of this car. My 1983 Mercedes 240 Diesel. I personally put 500,000 miles on it over 22 years commuting to the cubicle as an Electrical Engineer. When I look back at all of the things that led me to early financial independence, this car is top of the list.
Do you really have to go halfway across the world to have an exotic adventure? Or could you do it in your own backyard? Matt and I have been lucky enough to have taken some incredible vacations all over the globe. But, in spite of how awesome these trips have been, each time we came back from a fun and exotic place, I would look around and wonder. “Hmmm – I think I could experience that right here in Stockton!”