Last week, I had a fantastic 8 days. So I wanted to share what I learned after A) going on a cruise to Cuba with Physician on Fire, etc and B) attending FinCon 2018 (a gathering for financial bloggers and podcasters—where I mostly hung out with the 20+ Physician bloggers there):
1) “We’re not alone!” This is the single most common refrain—with relief evident in their voices—people repeatedly said as they remarked how refreshing it was to meet others like them.
2) How unusual it is to have families who not only understand our desire for FIRE but support us. Many people I met are keeping their FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) plans a secret—some haven’t even told their parents!
One woman told me how her sibling (who is in tremendous debt due to their high standard of living) thinks her and her husband are poor because they don’t “own” a house (keep it a secret: this anonymous FIRE woman and her husband are FIRE’ing next year! Woot woot!).
3) Being frugal is okay! I saw other physician’s choosing their long-term FIRE goals over immediate gratification. Like: ordering water with dinner, but passing a Bota box of wine around in rooms afterward.
No $15 glass of wine with dinner, thank you very much.
4) Talking to People who are living out of the box lives helps you consider alternative life paths you could take at different life stages. DH sat next to Nomads With a Vision one night on the cruise.
Afterward he told me—in a blown away, can’t believe they’re doing this amazing, crazy adventure next year voice—“He’s quitting his job, selling their house, then they’re going to live in an RV and travel the world.”
We all bring unique Voices/perspectives to this doctor-blogging community.
The only problem was, we all chatted so much over the four days of FinCon that every.single.one. of us lost our voice to some degree!
We’ve all outgrown our Gross Anatomy days: we realize it’s time to collaborate, not compete.
8) Meditation is a must (it’s the only way I survived!). This conference really doesn’t sleep!
I’m too old to party like an EMT in undergrad. When you usually get up at 4 or 5 a.m. , the staying up late that goes on at FinCon can be downright painful.
9) The food pass was not worth the money. But maybe the pass was worth it for the networking that happened at the meals? (Warning: the food at the conference hotel was ridiculously expensive. I spent over $3 on a pack of M & M’s!)
10) POF is a wise man: he married well. I could listen to the well-read Wife On Fire talk for hours!
Bonus Point: After these experiences, I was left with one question:
Why are we doing this to ourselves?
And by “this” I mean: Why do we try to keep up with the Joneses/follow the American mindset of “consume, consume, consume!”??
I saw a t-shirt at FinCon that said “Fall Behind the Joneses”, and I was like “YES! Falling behind the Joneses would lead to less burnout and a more sustainable lifestyle!
So, this year I’m going to focus more on falling behind the Joneses.
What are your plans for these next twelve months to make you a happier, healthier, and wealthier person?
Whatever it is, you got this!