Wanderlust, why do we travel?

Yesterday morning our alarm clock went off at 5 o’clock. Ridiculously early. But for a good reason. Our plane would depart only a few hours later. Bringing us to the destination where we are spending the next two weeks driving around in the West of the US. And here I am writing this blog post…

We planned our trip at the beginning of this year, because due to a tight study schedule from Mr, Divnomics, we can’t find much time throughout the year to leave the country. 

Almost there

On my work I’ve had many coworkers tipping us on what we should be doing in the US. And while I was finishing up the last working tasks, it also reminded me that our last vacation with a duration longer than a week, had been 4 years ago. While we have made some short trips, this one feels really big. Not only because we leave for longer period than normally, but also because of the greater distance. We are currently 8600 km (or 5300 miles) away from our home in The Netherlands.

Lately, it seems like every millenial is traveling to all kinds of far and exotic places, or all over the world at once. I came across an article the other day which told the story of the youngest person to ever visited every country of this earth. He was only 24 when he already had visited all 196 countried. His reason? He just wanted to see more and decided to go everywhere.  

And what does this have to do with financial independence?

Well, on our journey to FIRE so far, it has become clear that spending money on material things doesn’t always add more value to our life. But relationships, having a purpose and certain experiences do.

Traveling is such an experience that can truly add value to your life.

And millennials are THE group of people that prefer experiences far more than others, 6 out of 10 would rather spend money on this than on material things. And what better experience than travel?

In todays age, where internet has connected everything and everybody online so easily, it’s no surprise all kinds off wanderlust adventures pop up. With pictures being shared of far destinations, gourgeous views and adventurous activities on instagram or other social media. It’s no surprise that so many millennials have traveling on the top of their wishlist. 

According to Wikipedia, wanderlust is a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world. 

So where does this wanderlust comes from?
There are numerous reason why anyone should or wants to travel. As with finance, these reasons can be very personal. But overall there are some reasons that just keep coming back:

You can indulge in new cultures

Where ever you go, people live according to different customs. Opening up to different cultures and getting to know them can really deepen your understanding about this little world of ours.

It’s the perfect way to meet new
people

It’s very easy to connect to other travelers because you already have something in common: traveling. And locals always know the best places to visit, especially non-tourist places which can be very interesting. Who knows what they can bring you? 

We once got into a conversation with a Texan who did a pelgrimidge by foot from France to Portugal. And he found very cheap accommedation with a klooster in Porto (Portugal). So if we would ever travel again there, we know where to stay and save a bit of money on the same time! 

Food! It just tastes so good

Ok, there are some things we might not want to try. But in general you can find delicious types of food in every country. The special thing about it? It always tastes the best when it’s authentic. Like a home made Italian pasta made by a local family. So where to eat better than in the land of origin?

There is just so much beauty to be seen

We aren’t the typical world travellers. But we know what’s out there, yet to be discovered. What can be normal for one person could be very special to others, like the tulip fields in the Netherlands, a hectic medina in Marrakech or Sakura blossoms in Japan.

We aim to see, discover and learn yet so much more. We’re in no rush, we still have many years ahead of us. 

For the coming weeks we have our first trip on US grounds. Where we expect to experience all kinds of new things. Like enjoying the view over the Grand Canyon, driving through death valley, looking up to immense sequoia trees and visit the coast in San Fransisco. 

The activities on this blog might slow down a bit while we’re traveling around.

But we are sharing our vacation via Twitter, just because we believe it would be a hell of an experience. At least, when we have WiFi. So if you didn’t already follow us on Twitter, just click this link.

While browsing through other personal finance blogs, I’ve read many travelstories. Which is a great inspiration of what’s even possible. Like The Dividend Guy who set out to travel around the world in one year with his family, or Justin from Root of Good who has planned a 9 week trip through Europe (and for very little money). 

We know that for us, it has only just begon.

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Do what you love – even if it costs you money

love

In the past few months I investing many euros and hours towards getting something I’ve wanted for a very long time: a motor license. I couldn’t be happier right now because last Friday I successfully passed my last exam 🙂

Motorcycles are often considered as a hobby, and a very expensive one, that might not fit with a frugal lifestyle. However, it all depends on what your view on a frugal lifestyle entails.

For us, it means that we are able to maintain a certain lifestyle where we can be happy, do the things we love and having the right balance between saving and spending. So even if something could cost a lot of money, we still pursue it if it’s something we really love and think is worth it.

But what better thing to do to than to list up all the expenses I’ve made to come this far!

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Dividend & Portfolio update – february 2017

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Two months already have gone by this year. Time sure goes fast. This month started off really great, because of the meet-up we had in the first weekend, where we took in a whole lot of info. Since then I started to do more reading, Mr. Divnomics got more involved as well and although we haven’t set up our FIRE plan just yet, we are having very interesting talks in all of our plans towards FI.

We started the year of with some amazing yearly dividend growth. This month’s growth rate is a bit lower. Still, we’re very pleased with it. We didn’t make any recent stock buy’s, as we had to invest in something else (more on that later), and we received the first dividends of two new stocks in our portfolio.

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The unavoidable combination of investing & emotion

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Everyone will say you this: in order to become a better investor, don’t let emotion overtake your decisions. But, we’re human beings. We are made out of emotion (mostly) and with everything you do, even the little things, you will feel something. So how on earth can you invest without listening to your guts, that little voice in your head or your straight out feelings?

And what drives these emotions, is it really something we can shut down?

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Why we are not paying off our debt early

debt-investing

Want to know something funny? We’re not only having 1, but actually 3 different forms of debt. And it even get’s worse: we choose to hold of payments on our student loans, so we can keep the money in our pockets.

But then again, we’re still money nerds and we have a good reason to do this. Paying of your debt early can be very liberating in the sense of lower expenditures and higher savings rates (or having a good night’s sleep). But in our financial journey to freedom, we try to hack for growth and the best possible return in every decision. So this one is no exception.

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Dividend & Portfolio update – January 2017

urban gardening breeding

A new month comes with new numbers! Well, the metrics remain the same, but we are pleasantly surprised how far we have come the past year. In January we’ve made some more changes to our portfolio and even opened up a new brokerage account. We hoped to have sold the car by now, but that has to wait a little longer. Until then we keep on going like we are doing now, and allocate capital to our portfolio every single month.

The net amount of dividends in January are still on the lower side for the year, but our dividend growth compared to last year is showing some amazing progress!

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New stock additions in January – SBUX & AGN

Coffee.jpg

After the Trump rally in the end of 2016, now it just seems a lot of people don’t know yet what to expect. Very recent events has shown us that nothing is certain anymore and some very strange things are only just starting to surface. Nevertheless, the markets perform on all time highs. And with the possibility of more interest rate hikes, the coming year would most definitely an interesting (and a bit weird) year.

But what does this change for our investments? Nothing…

Like always, we are not aiming on finding the right momentum or timing the market. We haven’t made a new buy in the past 7 weeks. It has been a while, but found we should make some moves. So, we used our cash position to grow our stock portfolio a bit more.

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The effects of instant gratification on millennials…

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The millennial generation consists of persons born in between 1980 and 2000. The term ‘Millennial’ was coined up by Strauss and Howe in 1987.

But what makes an individual a millennial? Is it being lazy? The love for travel? The ‘I want to do everything my own way’ attitude? Do we really don’t know how to handle money?

Who knows?

I was born in 1987 and therefore I’m officially placed in the millennial generation (born between 1984-2000), although on the outer end. The strange thing is that I never felt connected with ‘being a millennial’ at all. For a lot of people it’s the lost generation that is so hard to influence and is doing everything different than what is expected of ‘normal’ people. Are millennials that much different?

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