Bricks vs. Cobblestones: A Lifestyle Choice

Jul 29, 2014 by

          “Most people are saving for down payments; you’re saving to travel Europe,” my friend laughed in that typical-you way.

 

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          Last Thursday, one of my co-workers and I were talking about Europe. I had just told her that I’m going to Italy, which launched an extensive verbal list of the European countries she’s visited with emphasis on the ones she liked best. I was in awe of the number of places she’s seen. Although I work in the travel industry, many of my colleagues don’t have a broad range of travel experience. They can tell you all about hot tourist spots south of the Canadian border, but most lack first-hand experience when it comes to Europe or anywhere meals come sold separately.

          Thus, I was surprised to hear how much of Europe she has explored, especially since she’s not European. Her response was simply that she loves the continent, but that doesn’t explain why she’s visited it as often as she has. Lots of people express a love of Europe without acting on it. The difference between people like her – the travellers, the adventure-seekers, the doers – and everyone else that falls in love with Europe only to either never go or never return after one visit is that people like her prioritize travel. They tailor their lifestyles to it.

          Instead of saving for a down payment on a house, she and her husband allocated one person’s salary entirely to travel for the first fifteen years of their marriage. That’s impressive. I’ve never personally known a couple to make travel that high of a priority. Their reasoning for putting Europe above home ownership was that they wanted to ensure they travelled while they were young and knew they could, just in case future obligations made it harder later – hence her beaming pride in response to me going to Italy. “You’re young,” she smiled. “You travel.”

Happiness Tip: Don’t be most people.

 
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