Last year, I returned from a 12 month RV trip across North & Central America with my family. This was a life-changing experience that I will never forget. You can read my previous adventures here.
During this trip, our values evolved, and we have open ourselves to the persons we really are. Not that robot working more each day to pay down debts, save and hope for a nice retirement. In the span of 12 months, we have decided to retire now. In fact, I retired at the age of 35. Not because I’m rich or even financially independent, but because I decided that, from now on, I’ll do whatever I want, whenever I want.
I will not lie to you, coming back from this trip was also an adventure. In fact, it was more a challenge to adapt again to this comfortable, but futile environment. 9 months after we came back, I felt that I was losing some of my magical grip. I felt that I wasn’t the invincible guy who decided to quit his high paying job to build a business. I felt that I was getting scared again. For that reason, along with many others, my wife and I decided to take a 1-week break and go back to Guatemala, where we lived the most powerful charge of emotion.
Why going back to a third world country?
When people are going on vacation, they usually pick the place with the best beach, a warm weather and all the great food you can eat a buffet. Sorry, not my style. We picked a place where there will be scorpions walking on our floor, a place where you must take a taxi boat to buy fruits and vegetables, a place where time has stopped a long time ago.
The whole point was to travel to the end of the world to make the same trip inside ourselves. We picked Guatemala because it is just magical. Guatemala had also a little bit of everything reminding us our trip; water (the lake instead of the ocean), roosters waking us up at 2 am like in Mexico (nope, they don’t sing at sunrise), a luxurious landscape like Costa Rica and the most welcoming people we have met. We also picked Guatemala because it was where we could stay at “La Casa de Pierre”, a French guy who built this amazing place by the lake. Here’s a peek at the view we had from our house:
During this trip, we didn’t hike any volcanoes. We didn’t visit some old Maya villages or took a trip to Antigua, a beautiful colonial city. We took this time off to get back to the essential.
To do simple things… like going to the market!
I keep hearing people telling me about how we should all appreciate the simple things. I totally agree with them. The problem is that I think we all say that, but we rarely do it. When is the last time you appreciated at sunrise or a sunset? When is the last time you enjoyed buying groceries? (don’t laugh, I’ll tell you more about it in a second). When is the last time you read a book, took a break to take a sip of water and then started another book? That’s what I’m talking about.
For example, going to the market at San Pedro is just an adventure by itself. First, you must take a taxi boat to cross the lake. You are piled up with probably too many locals where everybody talks, no matter if you are a Maya, a hippie or just a couple with a backpack.
Then, you reach the market. There is music everywhere, people are going in all directions, you can hear them bargain for anything. Some sell fruits & vegetables, some other clothes and you can even buy some hooch bottled in an old wine bottle! This time, I have a video to give you an idea of what it really looks like:
This was a game changer
The minute I got off the airplane, I started to feel different. It was like I “back to the future” myself a year ago. I was the guy who didn’t mind having 3 police officers with their guns asking me for my papers and telling them “no a la mano”.
While I had started to get worried about pretty much anything back in Canada, I rediscovered the pleasure of not worrying about a thing here. When you know what you are doing, when you are playing the long game, you should never worry short term outcome and speed bumps in the way.
Spending a week doing barely nothing helped me focus on my objective; I want to build a huge business. I want Dividend Stocks Rock to become the ultimate resource for dividend growth investors. We are already doing a good job, but I must resist short-term gains and be willing to play the long game.
Last week, I took some serious decisions about the way I’m doing business:
#1 No more TV in early evenings, it dumbs down my brain and I get nothing achieved.
#2 Go back to work when children are put to bed, but not “work” more like “having fun on my computer” type of work.
#3 No more wine… besides Saturdays… and ONLY Saturdays.
#4 Never fail to do weekly tasks, but also keep time for long-term projects.
#5 Follow rules number 1 to 4… all the time, no excuses, no exceptions.
Once I got back, I ordered a new computer, changed my scheduled and started working more. I realized I needed to travel regularly to remind myself of why I’m here on this earth. This summer, we’ll go visit the Maritimes and then, Vietnam will be waiting for us in early 2019!