Financial Independence: The Journey AND The Destination

I write amongst a large group of people who are all focused on the same thing… financial independence – FI for short.  FI is the amount of money that is needed to sustain your specific lifestyle comfortably for the unforeseeable future regardless if you work or not.  Some have calculated their number based on a formula and when they hit it they will quit, others have picked a date and plan to hustle to until then.  Personally, I am working towards a date. November 16, 2023.

I’ve talked about my date in-depth HERE, but briefly, I will explain that I have based it on a combination of actual retirement from my job and the amount of time it will take for me to save for my FI number and have come up with November 16, 2022.  Though I have no intention of actually retiring, I will be so happy to know that I can take off months at a time and not worry about my financial future. Looking 6 years into the future, I see me spending my free time traveling, volunteering, maybe a bit of working…you know, enjoying life!!  But what about right now?  What about the seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, and years between now and then?  Am I looking to far into the future without giving today the attention it deserves?


I know many of you can’t read the line in that photo without breaking into Steven Tyler’s voice so go ahead…I’ll wait…

Ok.  Welcome back!

It was recently commented on my How and Why of FI post by my friend at Full Time Finance, that for them financial independence is not just about the destination. It is all about the journey. This is so true!  Here is what he had to say…


Smart!  As fellow personal finance bloggers, we do talk a lot about that FI number or, in my case, that date.  Many of us are so focused FI that we tend to lose perspective of the fact that the years up to FI are a big chunk of time in our life.  An important chunk of time.  It is all about the destination for some, but for others, this journey is so important because it is shaping our financial futures past that moment of financial independence. Naturally, I responded to the comment (which you can check out HERE), but I wanted to explain more thoroughly why what FTF pointed out is so important. I will take an example that I know firsthand… Long-distance hiking.

When you hike for long distances in the settings that I have, you carry everything you need on your back.  You walk long days through all sorts of weather and with all sorts of people only to get to a hostel full to capacity with shared bathrooms and cold showers (yes, men and woman use the SAME bathrooms…Gasp!).  Some days go by fast and others painfully slow.  In the last 6 years of me hiking across 9 different countries, there are two things I am now certain of:

  1. The journey is pertinent to reaching the destination, and
  2. The Tortoise and The Hare is the best story of all…
Image result for tortoise and the hare

There are many types of hikers, but my favorite are the young whippersnappers and the old fogies.  What I have witnessed on many accounts, is the young pompous kids all full of life (the Hares) always jump ahead running and skipping about.  They are excited and feel invincible…and often they tend to get hurt on day 1.  Blisters, sprains, strains, getting lost and suffering from hypothermia and frostbite…all ailments I have seen happen on DAY 1!!  One particularly odd bird decided he was going to hike the first day over the Pyrenees with no shoes – yeah, he didn’t make it past the first day either.  The old folks (the Tortoises), on the other hand, like to go slow and take their time.  They stop and sip coffee while chatting with the locals or take a day off to rest their bones and enjoy the sights.  These old fogies are usually the ones that, despite their age-related ailments, manage to walk the path every step of the way to the end while the youngsters wind up taking the bus.  I have concluded something important from these two types of hikers – it takes wisdom to appreciate the journey – including the complications of every bump in the road along the way.  The more experience you have in life the more you realize that the valleys exist so the peaks can amaze.

Devils Bridge – Sedona, AZ

Regardless of which route you take to get there, a funny thing happens when you reach the end of the road.  The goal you have been walking (or saving) towards inevitably arrives and what does it bring?  How is it marked by the rest of the world?  In most cases, it isn’t.  Because the journey is about you.  It is personal.  You might get there and not feel the overwhelming excitement that you thought you would have.  There will be no fireworks or ticker tape parade.  But you will get there and you will have done the work.  It takes a lot of time to process inner resolution and even outward goals.  I have heard several FIRE bloggers talk of the day they hit financial independence.  In most case, it just happened…there wasn’t any big thing about it.  But months later after the initial shock has worn off, I’m sure they eventually come around to realize the implications of what they have accomplished and how it has changed their lives.  In fact, I know it was because they often talk about that too!

So back to money and YOUR journey…  My advice here is simple – You have to go through your daily routine.  You have to continue to work and save.  You have to invest in your future while living for today because TODAY IS THE ONLY DAY YOU ARE GUARANTEED.  If we look past it, we never truly LIVE…we only survive.

So how will you make your journey as important as the destination?  What are you doing between now and then to fuel your passion adding sustenance to the endgame?  These are all questions to ponder.  When you come up with an answer, write it down.  Put it somewhere you can see it and read it every day.

Here is what I am doing:

  • Give thanks for what I have TODAY and not what I want for tomorrow
  • Embrace the Suck – remember that the struggles you face are shaping who you will become.  Do you give up easily or do you push through and make yourself stronger??
  • Take time out of each week to do one thing you intend to make part of your post FI life.  If you plan to retire early and read all day, spend an afternoon at the library each weekend.  If you plan to open a shelter for dogs or volunteer more, take an hour each week and volunteer now!  There is no point in delaying gratification if the work that makes you feel whole is available for you to work on today.
  • When all else fails, GIVE BACK.  Help someone else.  I spend a lot of time on the Rockstar forums giving advice.  Not because I know what the heck I am doing, but because I can relate to some people’s $$ issues and I want to help them feel they are not alone.  If you are struggling with a specific part of your life, find someone else who is struggling worse than you and walk with them.

I realize the journey to a destination is not always easy.  It can be so completely overwhelming.  Whether it be the first step of a 500-mile journey, the 10 years you have to meet your FI number, or a mountain of debt you are about to start climbing – it is NOT easy!  But the journey is a necessary part of the equation.  A necessary part of your success.

I am currently 5 years from FI and I try to keep positive every day.  Some days I succeed – others days I flounder.  But overall, I am happy.  I am so appreciative of my job and the fact that I get paid to do it. I truly love every day I’m at work…not every moment, but every day.  I love it even more so on each 20th of the month when I get paid to do the most ridiculous job in the world and I get to save a portion of that pay towards my future goals.  That in itself fuels me for the next day, the next month, and the next 5 years.

What will you do with the journey to your destination?  Will you make the most of it??

Until next time…

56 thoughts on “Financial Independence: The Journey AND The Destination

  1. Pingback: Financial Independence: The Journey AND The Destination | Matt Sapaula

  2. After we made the mistake of focusing solely on the end goal, we started redesigning our days. Morning and evenings before/after work are spent on the personal goals we have for ourselves, the things we want to do post-FI. We know we’ll get to our $ goal, so why not make progress on all the others along the way? 🙂


    1. This is such a great idea. I always think because my schedule is so varied that is hard to have a schedule. What you mention here totally makes sense to me! Blocks of hours designated to specific goals. I think when you wear a lot of hats it totally makes sense to block off your day this way. You got me thinking!!

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment, Claudia!! I love reading of your tiny house adventures!!


  3. aabaus1234

    Yes! I try to explain this to people all the time, though have never been able to put it so we’ll.
    Another example I try to use to explain that concept is about travel. There is no point saying ‘I’ll be excited on the days I’m travelling only’ sometimes the best part can be the months leading up to it, researching, booking, looking forward to all the things you have planned, and then talking about them again when you get back. This takes one small thing and stretches out the enjoyment factor.
    Keep positive and enjoy every step along the way.


    1. Yes – the anticipation is a bonus!! I try to explain the theory of delayed gratification to my BFs terms but it’s a concept this generation is completely unaware of. Everything they want is at the touch of a button. Research? Why bother! They can buy a package that’s been put together for them. It’s crazy! I love the build
      up to a trip. Looking at maps. Figuring out public transportation. Researching restaurants. All part of the journey!

      Thanks for stopping by to comment!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a smart and lovely post. I so agree with this, though possibly to a fault. I do feel very much unwilling to cast away all the fun of my present, just for the sake of my future. Especially while my children are young. I also love what you said about fitting the things you care about in now. Being a working mom with no time, I am consumed with this idea. Because no matter how busy we are, there is always more time than we realize/admit to do the things we dream about. Every day, not just some day.


    1. Thanks, Linda! Yes, when your kids are young it is especially important to take those moments when you get them. I like how you phrased it “everyday, not some day”. So true!!


  5. Just surviving is a terrible way for me to live, yet I still struggle to find the balance in living each day vs. not hoarding every cent just so that I can reach some magic number.

    I had this quote engraved on the back of my iPod Nano back in the day. I loved it then and it still rings true today: “How you spend your days is how you spend your life.”


    1. Haha! That’s the challenge, especially when you write in the FI space.

      Talking it to your quote (which I love!) – if you worry now about saving will you worry later about spending? Even when it’s time to spend what you worked so hard to save? I question this all the time. Like, at what point does it feel ok to stop saving and just live off the income? I don’t know! But I do know that living in the moment while saving for the future is the perfect combination for my life. It may not work out to a 50/50 split, but it sure beats forgoing enjoyment for the next 5 years. 😉


  6. ‘Take time out of each week to do one thing you intend to make part of your post FI life’ – love that tip.
    I think you’re spot on with this post – we can get so caught up on the end point that we don’t focus enough on how we get there. I haven’t yet set a date for FI but like you – I don’t want to reach FI because I no longer want to work, but I want the freedom to choose.
    It all seems so far away now, but I bet it will pass much quicker than we realise!


    1. Hi Francesca,

      So true how we get caught up. Last year was a big eye opener for me in the amount of waste I had in my life and how cutting back on size things would help fuel my future life. That being said, I can’t focus solely on my future and ignore the present. The present is what is going to get me there in good spirits to fully thrive.

      Like you, I have no plans to retire, but setting that date helps me work towards a goal. I realize, for myself, without a goal I kind of flounder about. I have always saved but FI helps me know what that savings is for so it truly fuels my purpose. It gives me a whole different mindset and makes it easier to say no to certain things because I know exactly where I want my money to take me.

      Thanks for stopping by to comment and may you have a prosperous 2017! 🙂


  7. drlanucha

    It really is all about the journey in all things in life! You have a way with words Miss Mazuma, and I love reading what you write, so much value! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wise words here. You need to enjoy your journey and appreciate your time on earth especially if you’re in for the long haul. I didn’t quite enjoy my last few years on the journey to FI, though. I just put my head down and pushed through it. It was a miserable time for me and I’m glad that’s over with.
    Good luck on your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad you wrote that. I know a lot of people feel the same way…especially those who started at a later age (like myself). Knowing what our money is capable of if it is saved/invested properly makes you want to save more and more and often to the point of exhaustion. The good news is you made it through!! I have 5 years left and plan to take it on stride. Please, somebody tell me if I get of track!!

      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. It’s truly appreciated. 🙂


  9. I curse you, Miss M. You’re making me think again. A lot wisdom in this post. This may be a poor analogy but here it goes. When I was younger, I used to think I had to get drunk in order to have a good time. But, then, after a gazillion hangovers, it finally dawned on me that I could have a good time without getting blotto. Likewise, I used to think you couldn’t enjoy life without spending money. But eventually, after a couple decades of overspending, it finally dawned on me that I could enjoy life without spending every last penny I earned. It really comes down to using your brain. If you put that incredible tool to work, you can figure out how to save money, and ENJOY THE CRAP OUT OF LIFE. A glorious journey and a fabulous destination need not be mutually exclusive. Thank you, Miss M, for another thought-provoking post. Tootles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No curses!! I only aim to give you plenty to do in your retirement. If it’s thinking, so be it! 😉

      I love love love your analogy. Totally makes sense – why are hangovers so awful as we get older anyway?? Is it because we know better and are trying to defy our own sanity? I can barely drink two glasses of wine without getting hungover now. Well, that may have something to do with the fact I switched to boxed wine last year. After awhile it just isn’t as appealing. 😜. As for the money part, same thing. Nothing worst than a spending hangover. Nothing.

      “A glorious journey and a fabulous destination need not be mutually exclusive.” – I couldn’t of said it better myself. Oh, and I almost always say toodles when I hang up the phone!! More proof we are obviously related. 😉


  10. Great post Miss Mazuma!!! I definitely agree that the financial end goal shouldn’t be more important than the financial journey. What good is it to eat beans and rice everyday and be miserable if you reach your goal and then get hit by a bus? Seems like the tight rope that we have to walk between the present and future is a difficult one that is sometimes difficult to assess but as we grow older becomes easier to navigate.

    Anyway…like always you got me thinking and I’ll be pondering this over the next couple of days.


    1. Thanks, MSM! I am so happy that I actually like rice and beans and most frugal foods but I also like crab legs every once and again!! I can’t imagine waiting 5 more years to eat them but I’ll take em every New Year’s Eve I’m lucky enough to live for. 😄 Last year I definitely grappled with some small purchase decisions but I feel much more secure after seeing the financial results of 2016. And, as of now, I don’t regret a single purchase or non purchase from last year so I must have done something right! I feel like I accomplished something so I don’t need to look 5 years into the future for the actual accomplishment of FI. It’s a choice I make daily and eventually will lead me there. In the mean time I am enjoying the fruits of my labor…and possibly even a mid year crab leg or two!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Nice points MM. I think we’re trying a lot harder to make sure we ‘enjoy’ now but also put a lot of money towards the future (investing). We have our short term goals (having a baby and being happy) and also our long term goals. As long as we keep our long term goals in mind, I’m sure we will do great because we are enjoying today a lot more than we used to.



  12. Thanks Miss Mazuma, reading your post made my day.

    Your point about test driving your post-retirement plans ahead of time is golden. So many people retire planning to play lots of golf or go fishing, only to discover that golfing is a good way to ruin an otherwise nice walk outdoors or that they get seasick.

    Moreover there is no need to wait until you’ve hit some arbitrary magic number, and no reason no to start living the life you want to lead today.

    Well done 🙂


    1. I’m so happy to hear that! Great point about getting seasick..what happens if your “dream” retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? Best to test it all out now and enjoy your life in the meantime.

      Thanks for stopping by to comment! I really appreciate your time. 🙂


  13. This is an excellent reminder, especially for those of us with young children. By the time I get to my FIRE date my toddler will no longer toddle. Every day she changes, and it is important for me to be fully present now, appreciating her the way she is now, and will never be again.


  14. Pingback: Make Smarter Decisions - Saturday Share Day, 2017 - Week #1 - Make Smarter Decisions

  15. First let me say thanks much for the shout out. Obviously I agree 100 percent. I love the hiking analogy. To truly enjoy it you must enjoy the journey, otherwise you’d take a car. By comparison I don’t think there is a end goal in life other then to enjoy the journey and perhaps have an impact on others. There is certainly no car.


    1. You’re so welcome! As I told you in my comment – you got me thinking and when that happens the posts write themselves. 🙂

      I always wondered about those who choose to take a bus on a long hike. There is a specific section on the Camino De Santiago between the big cities of Burgos and Leon that they call the meseta. It is complete flat farm land with very few trees for shade. It is hot, boring, and makes for some loooong days. A few days out from Burgos the whispers begin. So and so is taking a bus…and the whisper then turns to normal conversation as more people join in the bus brigade. Here’s the thing – I’ve done the meseta…many times. It is one of my FAVORITE part of the journey. It is hot. And, yes, it can be boring at times. But it also is peaceful. Some of my best thinking has been done out there. These people are missing out on one of the most amazing stretches of the entire trail because they don’t want to feel discomfort…though most have never even tried it! You need to get out of your comfort zone to be successful in life. I intend to walk every difficult step of the way…not take the easy bus ride out. 🙂

      Thanks again for pushing some thought and for coming by to comment!!


  16. I never spent my time in the trenches hating it specifically (though I had plenty of it for the crappy coworkers!) but with thanks to PiC’s influence, we have met each other in the middle between my extreme savings and FI-striving and his ability to be in the moment and enjoy it.

    It was such an important lesson that I had to learn, and I’m so glad that I did before we started growing our family. My workaholic surrogate dad called one day just before I was due with JuggerBaby to tell me that I should focus on enjoying these years with the kiddo because work will always be there in some form but the childhoods go by in a blink of an eye. I was so proud to tell him that I had learned that already and had planned to take a good chunk of time off to spend with our wee beastie. I would have been scrambling if I hadn’t planned for that already and then realized it after ze was born.

    I don’t KNOW when we’ll retire but I’d like to have the best of both worlds: enjoy our next ten years and then be in a position to retire and still enjoy the rest of our lives together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So smart. I am guessing your Dad may have felt the need to tell you because he learned it too late. Must feel good to break the cycle!

      I am so glad you and the dude were able to meet in the middle. Being on the same page financially is SO difficult!! I speak only from 3 years experience with my now ex-husband. Like you, I am an extreme saver and frugal freak. Had I learned about this FI business earlier there is no way he would have been even slightly on board as evident by the Roomba he brought home from Costco that he purchased on a whim…one month after buying a new vacuum. For a 3 bedroom house with an ever shedding dog…Roomba was dead within 2 weeks. The official diagnosis – death by fur. RIP Roomba. 🙂

      Like you, I don’t really know when I’ll retire. I often think of the things that could throw me off track – baby, marriage, moves, heath. So many factors to consider! I have the date in mind, but it doesn’t really matter either way. I don’t have any intention on quitting – I do, however, have every intention of LIVING my life today. SO whatever today brings, I am ready for it! 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by to comment!!


  17. Divine Miss M – great post!
    Mr. Groovy and I have often discussed that had we remained in NY, Mr. Groovy could have retired at the same age with a much larger pension. And we’d have no worries about the investments holding out, safe withdrawal rates, etc. But we also would have spent an additional 10 years hating the suck, big time – NOT embracing the suck. And not really living. So what we gave up in pension we gained in ten years of a stress free journey that allowed us to sleep easily at night, take vacations, and live in a comfortable home. No regrets.


    1. Sometimes the trade off is well worth it! Quality of life is so important to reaching a goal. If you are miserable, each day is an eternity! But when you are happy (or maybe just content) it is easier to live with a far out goal and not feel so helpless in the mean time. No regrets is an awesome motto to live by!! 🙂


  18. Great post! The one I have going out tomorrow is similar in that our 2017 plan is “relax and be present”. Things have changed, things are uncertain, the goal is still a couple years off, but why wait until then to be the family we envision. Why not start now? More fun adventures with the family, leave everything else on auto-pilot (mostly) and have fun, be present, and do things while we’re still here.
    So yeah, great minds think alike. 🙂

    I definitely saw some interesting folks long distance hiking, the craziest was a buddhist monk who was literally the angriest man I’ve ever met. Such anger issues. He was encouraged by his fellow monks to go take a walkabout and “reflect and calm down”, lol. we always joked, calm down from what, the hustle and bustle of your monastery?! And he smoked hand rolled cigarettes like a chimney. He was legit though, I looked him up when I got home just to confirm and yep, he was a true to life monk. What an enigma. 🙂


    1. The Angry Monk…sounds like a great title for a book or movie! 😉

      I think the first year or two of the lightbulb clicking on as the hardest. You realize you may have been wasting time and money focused on the wrong goals of accumulation. Once you switch gears to becoming FI many people go full steam ahead trying to correct the past and right the future. But you’re right, after a certain amount of time you can settle into the rhythm knowing your newly invested money is working for you and you have a new outlook on what is truly important in life – family. I look forward to reading your post!!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I have the same sentiments about traveling. I feel it is better to journey, than just travel. I’m a long distance walker/hiker also. When I solo backpacked in Australia for three weeks, I was moving on my feet for about 5 hours on most days, sometimes closer to 8 hours. I never slept better in my life.

    Even at home, when the weather is nice, I like to take a couple of ‘walkabouts’ each month, where I take a $20 bill and a credit card and I just head out with no destination in mind, and wander the neighborhoods and the lakefront for about 4 hours or so… no GPS or Pokémon Go. 🙂

    One thing I’m thinking about is when the weather gets nicer, is to walk from Milwaukee to Chicago.


    1. Australia sounds amazing! Definitely on my list of places to go. 🙂

      I read a book Abdul a lady that walked around the Great Lakes. I can’t remember the title but it was quite interesting. Maybe we should plan a summer jaunt… house swap! Both of our places are right off the lake and we can meet halfway for lunch! 🙂


  20. Same here. It really is about the journey, and it becomes more so as we get older.

    I feel I’ve lived everything I’ve wanted to do by age 40. So now, it’s time to take a new journey! hmmmmmm. Post coming up 🙂



    1. I definitely haven’t lived everything I want to do (tons of traveling destinations come to mind) but I have realized that being successful isn’t an end goal for me. I mean, how would anyone judge a flight attendants success anyway?! But, I do hear what you are saying. I definitely know at this age I don’t want any more things. I am perfectly happy with all that I have. So what do you do when you have it all? Go somewhere that doesn’t and share the wealth. That’s my plan when FI finally rolls around. 🙂

      Looking forward to the new post!


  21. ChooseBetterLife

    I can’t believe that 2022 is only 5 years away. Isn’t it still the early 2000s? OMG I sound like my mom!
    Many of us on the FI journey get double the benefit. First, we get to retire early and take full advantage of that extra time. Second, many of us achieve FI by simplifying our lives, decluttering, and stepping off the hedonistic treadmill that tells us to consume, consume, consume!
    So what’s left in our lives is the good stuff, the stuff that matters and truly gives us joy and satisfaction. Without the motivation of FIRE, I wonder how many of us would have been able to achieve this. I’m so grateful to have gotten rid of much of the fluff so we can focus on the important experiences now AND later.


    1. Right?! A girl on the plane today ordered a run and coke. I thought she was 12! Turns out she is 22…her birth year was 1994!!! Oh my goodness time flies…

      I definitely caught the minimalism bug after my first hiking trip. Walking 500 miles in 22 days with only what I carried on my back was so refreshing!! Tiring, but refreshing…if you own what I mean? I didn’t have a word for it then, but when I got back home I started to pare down everything. Now I live a simple life with less stuff which gives me time to do more. The correlation between minimalism and FI makes sense when you realize that spending money on things no longer makes sense. So what do you spend it on? Experiences? That takes time… So to buy that time you start to save. Makes perfect sense!! Hmmm…I feel a new post coming on! Thanks for the inspiration!!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. The balance can be hard. But it’s so important to recognize the value of the journey! While we are on the path to FI, it’s been a long journey. We didn’t always have the FI goal, but we have placed a ton of value on time. We’ve sacrificed extra money (income) for more time together and to do the things we enjoy. I love your advice to do the things you want to do in FI TODAY! 🙂 Thanks for the inspiring post! 🙂


    1. I agree totally – the balance is the true challenge. You guys have managed it well by keeping in mind what is really important – family, friends, and health. The rest will come if you work hard and give it time. Thanks for popping over!!


  23. This is the best line ever – “I truly love every day I’m at work…not every moment, but every day.” I can’t imagine going to work everyday and not enjoying it. I agree – there are moments that are not enjoyable, but overall I feel very lucky! So much about the mindset we all have each day! Terrific post and Happy New Year!


  24. I think this is my favorite post of yours, friend.

    I completely agree.

    The caveat, of course, is that we need to be careful not to use the “live now” as a justification to not actually reach our goals. Whatever the goals may be.

    I don’t think there’s a single proper way to reach financial independence – if somebody else wants to lawyer it up from 25-35 and then do their own thing, kudos to them. If I had a law degree with associated lawyer income, I’d probably be doing the same exact thing.

    I suppose I’m just not seeking all of the most profitable ventures on the way to financial independence. That would presumably require far more effort and reduce my free time today. I value free time way too much! =)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, TJ! I agree – I love my free time too much as well. I can’t imagine working a 9- 5 or any other high pressure job. My sanity is priceless to me! I figure I am exactly where I belong at this moment and am enjoying the ride! Thanks for being part of my journey. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Ellie @ The Chedda

    I just got back from a long flight and I would wonder if it was you every time I met another female flight attendant (LOL).

    It’s really nice that you can plan to take months off from your job and then just pick it back up again. I’d love to end up in some kind of job set up like that.

    And happy new year!


    1. And I often wonder who is on my lane! Do I know them? Should I know them? Sometimes I think I should make a PA asking if there are any passengers striving for financial independence! Can you imagine? I have to agree with you, this lifestyle is the bees knees! I can’t imagine doing anything else considering the amount of flexibility I have! I would love to teach but I know being restricted to Summer’s off would be hard for me. I hope to eventually set up some sort of consulting side business that I can grow when I become FI. That way I can help others but not be confined to a class room.

      Happy New Year to you as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. TheRetirementManifesto

    “Embrace The Suck”! A good friend of mine (old fogey!) hiked the AT recently, I recognize that slogan! The key word is “Embrace”! Embrace your every day. Live Life in the moment, but keep an eye on the destination. Every journey is made one step at a time. Be intentional in enjoying each and every step. Great post, Cuz, and great reminder to enjoy the journey of our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes!! I first heard that phrase in a book I was reading about the AT! If I recall correctly, the writer (or person he was writing about) was former military and had said the phrase in conversation. It just kind of stuck! I know you are enjoying your journey…I still don’t know how you went in that freezing cold water!!! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  27. I didn’t know you were into long-distance hiking! :O It’s one of the many things I’ve had to put on the back-burner for now as I’m focusing on working more so I can pay off debt (and….maybe even think about working toward FI one day).

    Even though I can’t do time-consuming things like long-distance hiking or multi-day big-game hunting trips anymore (another favorite of mine I’ve had to give up temporarily), I am trying to weasel in little things along the way.

    For example, I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the guitar. It takes up just a few minutes a day – not too much time – but I’ve always gotten frustrated and given up. So, I decided to spring $100/month on guitar lessons. It seems silly to be spending so much on guitar lessons when I’m in so much debt, but like you say in this post, life is a journey. I could die tomorrow, so I might as well enjoy life today even if I’m working towards something larger. And if that $100/month keeps me motivated to work extra hard to pay off my debt and get it knocked out sooner, then it’s a wise investment!


    1. Your guitar lessons don’t sound like a silly investment at all! I am so amazed by people who have a talent to lay an instrument. What a great distraction as you guys are pulling yourself out of debt. YOU WILL GET THERE!! As always, feel free to reach out at any time. Staying motivated is key to success. If at some point you can’t find it, lll find it for you. 🙂


  28. This is one of my favorite posts from you!! So good, and so true! If I focus on when I’ll be able to “retire” the time in between seems so daunting. I think of the pain in the ass co-worker I might have to deal with for 10 years, or the dull routine of getting to work, but there is so much OTHER space in between there to live…as if, you are FI or retired!


    1. Yes and you have such a great healthy outlet in volleyball! I need to find a healthy outlet too…things to think about. 🙂

      I can’t wait for an update on that crappy coworker. In the meantime, the floors look great. You came up with a great solution to a pissy problem (literally) and will be so much happier as a result. One day at a time, girl, one day at a time.


  29. Toocold

    Great post! People are often so focused on getting to their goal that they don’t appreciate day to day living and being present for your family, friends, and yourself. I’ve been on my journey for 9 years and 10 months — when I put my first net worth spreadsheet together — and it was only last year did I come to this epiphany, so you are mentally way ahead of the game!

    I’m also happy that you appreciate your job. Many in the FIRE movement seem to dislike theirs, so they see FIRE as an antidote. I would rather earn less money and take a longer path to FIRE than to painfully go to work everyday and not enjoy it. I’m sure your 6 years will breeze by.

    Between this post and last on the why, I think you’ve covered the two most important aspects of FIRE, not related the pure financial mechanics. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts in 2017!


    1. HI TooCold – thank you for your kind words! Liking my job definitely helps to pass the time more quickly. I’m not sure why so many FURE folks don’t like their jobs but I know the answer isn’t as easy as telling them to just quit and find something else. I feel very fortunate to be in the position I am in and don’t take it for granted.

      The how’s, why’s, and journey are so much more than money…aren’t they? It’s really about life and what we want out of it regardless of the financial reward. There are rich people everywhere that are extremely unhappy and poor people everywhere that smile their way through the day. Perspective is key. 🙂


  30. Awesome post as always. For me, although I’m still new to the blogging world I’m not new to the journey of financial independence. It’s something I’ve been working toward for 20 years now. The journey through my life has been full of lots of ups/downs/challenges over the years but I’ve never given up on the ultimate goal. Although my journey is slower than that of others, I know I’ll get there eventually. I guess I’m just a tortoise! 🙂


    1. Thanks, Liz! It is hard not to get wrapped up in the future and what it will bring but it sounds like you have a nice steady pace going! I wish I had started sooner -I the past year I have felt like the Hare but am slowing down now. Slow and steady wins the race! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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