After what seems like several years of cursory research into a veritable “secret society”, I have taken my first steps to join the not-so-secret group around of travel hackers around the world. As with any plunge, the jump is equal parts exciting and hesitant.
I’m falling though, might as well embrace gravity.
Since I begin this journey from a clean slate so-to-speak, I must first build some reputation among an industry I attribute with something less than saintly behavior. This is a leg of the same industry that attempted to bankrupt the entire world in 2008. So although I am proceeding, I am doing so with the utmost caution and attention to detail, taking my efforts back to what many might consider archaic techniques: Documenting everything I do with pen and paper. Everything. Every dollar that moves from one place to another is written down and accounted for. Embarrassing for anyone who embraces modern technological marvels? Sure. But for me it adds a giant layer of accountability that anything cloud based will fail to cover. This sheet and subsequent sheets will maintain a prominent place on my desk in plain sight. I can not minimize them, or close the tab they are in, or forget my credentials for them. They are right THERE *points to right side of desk*. They mock me for details and for more input. Soon enough, you hungry paper pad… Data points galore.
Much more to come, successes and failures alike.
A $10,000.00 can of Coke.
A picture is worth 10,000 words in the case of the one above. A little background first and a focus on the near future:
So what brought me to acquire this absurdly priced can? A car that was worth the value of a case of Coke drove me to it. I had ran my Pontiac G6 once to the Moon and had made the transit around to return when I decided it was time to move forward with something new.
Within 24 hours I had pinpointed the vehicle I was after and went in to finance it on a lark. (My credit was a little rough… alright it was cut up like the Rockies) Much to my surprise, my generous automobile purveyor (Could you hear the disdain?) shot me a text that said “We got you approved, come out and sign the papers tonight and you can drive it away.” As I sat and waited for my turn that evening, my salesman stopped in to chat and said I could grab myself something to drink and a snack so I grabbed this 7.5 oz can of Coke and before I could blink it was empty. Then I got the nod to come sign the papers.
The finance terms were obviously appalling, something on par with the interest rates of a entry rate credit card more than a car loan. Turns out I would be paying 50/50: Equal parts worth of the car and interest. A sale price of right around 10,000.00 and interest that almost matched. It was at this moment I resolved this loan would not last more than one year. And that I would keep this can as a reminder of what 10,000.00 really buys in the “first world” when you are deemed less than credible.
Now I have come to take the humor from this situation as I begin plotting my plans for 2018 and beyond.
At the end of 2017 I will be able to say “Don’t laugh, it’s paid for.” And I will have a nice, shiny can or two to show for my labors.
Daily efforts have a way of relegating the important things of life to the back burner. Through the drudgery the long term and truly memorable things become obscured. I am taking this chance to acknowledge the obscured vision and direct my focus inward again.
The short term (by year’s end) goals remain the same:
- Savings goal by 12/31/17
- Book travel for final week of 17 / First week of 18
- Create 2018 travel goals
- Continue to work on career and side hustle opportunities to make it all happen
My confidence in all of these remains very high, as I have been doing as well as ever with my decisions toward these ends. With continued perseverance, I am poised to make 2018 vastly more awesome than 2017 has turned out to be (…And it has been pretty great all things considered).
Present and ready for the future.