Old Aug 5th, 1999, 12:41 PM
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The message string on how people manage to travel is so long, I am starting another! Two years ago my life changed. I decided to make a "list of things to do before I die" and tick them off. On the list are places I want to see and things I want to do. This year I will go to Britain. Next I hope to drive the west coast of the U.S., using frequent flier miles to fly from Toronto to San Francisco, then from Vancouver back to Toronto. The year after I hope to go to Italy and Greece. How? I have a fairly good job. I am selling my $15,000 car to buy a $5,000 car because driving an expensive car is not on my list. I brown bag minimum 3 times a week because eating lunch out is not on my list. I rarely drink alcohol. I took a small second job on the weekends to pay for the equestrian lessons which are on my list. I only go to the show if it must be seen on a big screen, and I don't rent a video unless I haven't managed to tape something to watch. I use the library. I have no intention of buying a home, because home ownership is not on my list. Truly, if you take the time to figure out what you really want, you will know how to get it by learning what you can do without.
Old Aug 5th, 1999, 03:01 PM
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What a wonderful idea! You have definitely set your priorities. You have actually motivated me to do the same.

I have recently made some investments with a financial planner. He has helped me plan for my retirement, but I really need to set a plan for things I want to do *before* I retire in 20-30 years (I am now 35).

One of my favorite things to do is to make a list of everything I spend money on in a 30 day period. I add it all up at the end of the month and I determine what I am spending too much money on. It is very easy to throw money away; for example: spending $.50-$1.00 on a can of soda from a machine instead of buying a whole 2 litre bottle for $.69 (Grocery store brand) or Coke/Pepsi for $.99. I really believe in the saying "the pennies really do add up".

I hope you tick everything off your list!
Old Aug 5th, 1999, 03:14 PM
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Rebecca--a great idea--it's the moments that make up a lifetime and by consciously thinking about what it is you would like to experience you are certain to achieve it--you go girl!
Old Aug 5th, 1999, 03:21 PM
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Rebecca, I think it's great that you could make you list of "things to do". Part of the reason I read the Forum messages is to discover new places/things I hadn't yet thought of!
Old Aug 5th, 1999, 03:29 PM
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Rebecca, that was a wonderful thing to share with everyone! Seems like a simple thing to have personal goals, but so many of us are caught up in the daily grind that it's easy to forget them.

Years ago I read a personal financial planning book in which the author advised his readers to make a dreams list. At the top of the list, you were to write, "If I had unlimited time, talent, money, ability, self confidence and support from family, here's what I'd do...." He encouraged his readers to write down anything they thought of, no matter how silly, no matter how much it cost, or no matter what the potential for achieving it.

My husband and I both made a dreams list just before our wedding day, and after we exchanged lists, we promised to help each other fulfill those dreams. I've just put a check mark next to my fourth fulfilled dream, and at the time I wrote the list, I didn't really believe that any of my dreams were possible.

Writing those dreams down helped us determine our financial planning strategies, and that in turn helped us achieve our dreams. It DOES change your life.
Old Aug 5th, 1999, 03:36 PM
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Rebecca, there indeed events in life that are life-changers, when one rearranges priorities. Mine was 18 months ago when my middle son was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in his spinal cord. (One hell of a neurosurgeon later, he is very well, thank you.) What that did for us was to redirect our energy from providing "things" for our children to providing "experiences" for our children that would give them memories, skills, perhaps wisdom, a sense of the whole world and not just their little lives, etc. Travel is one of those experiences that has become a priority for our family, because of the incredible broad spectrum of benefits it supplies. Now you all know why I get so damn crabby when some of you suggest that children should stay away from Europe and let the adults enjoy the great peoples of the planet.

It is sad that it requires a life-threatening experience for many of us to rearrange our priorities to focus on the good things in life.

Old Aug 5th, 1999, 07:15 PM
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My husband and I own a small "mom and pop" jewelry business. We live in a small house and drive a ten year old car, but every spring, when airfare is dirt cheap, we take the most fabulous European vacations. The rest of the year it is Las Vegas. Most of our customers own ten times more jewelry than I have, drive lots better cars and live in houses three times as big as ours. But,for the most part they don't take the trips we do. Southern Germany and London are my passions!!!!
Old Aug 6th, 1999, 11:59 AM
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My best friend in the whole world is married with children.
When the kids were 6 and 8, they asked for a Nintendo. Deb said "ok we'll give you a choice: Nintendo, or Easter vacation in Florida?" The response "Florida! We'll play our friends' games." Elementary school, and they already had their priorities....
Old Aug 9th, 1999, 02:32 PM
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There was a fantastic article on exactly this subject that I remember reading a few years ago in the Washington Post. I clipped the article but have since lost it, but it made a great impression on me regardless. I just did an on-line search for it on the Washington Post website -- the article was called "50 Things to Do Before I Die," and it was by Wendy Swallow Williams, special to The Washington Post, Thursday, July 4, 1996; Page C05; Section: E. If your local library keeps back issues of the Post, look it up -- it's food for thought.


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