We aren’t doing much this week. We have a pretty good list of stuff that has to be done before we leave but most of the items really should be done a day or two before we leave. So this week, we are catching up on Lily’s school, reading and talking about what to do in Oklahoma and when to come back.
Also, I have time for long blog posts which I decide not to post. However, I decided to post this one even though there are parts I’m not totally satisfied with.
“Trust Fund Traveling”
Yes, my trust fund is growing. I check on it regularly and the growth this past year has been exponential. A lot of people think you need a trust fund in order to travel for months at a time and, YES, trust funds really enable extended travel. But here is the misunderstood facts about trust funds: sometimes they aren’t filled with money but with a little bit of trust in life experience, people and places. This idea of rethinking the trust fund lifestyle came to me while reading a blog post about Mexican travel. The blogger touches on many of the following but doesn’t beat the Trust Fund Question into a literary metaphor so I really wanted to attempt it.
The first deposit you can make in your Traveling Trust Fund is a bit of Confidence In Life Experience – I am a reader. I love to read. It is a way to collect life experiences without getting your hands dirty. Why are stories so compelling that we might even choose reading over living the very experience we are reading about? Obviously, good writing describes life experiences so that you feel like you are hanging on the edge of the cliff too. Or eating your very last piece of bread after two weeks of careful rationing. Or in love with a most unsuitable but exciting stranger. But the best writing also gets down to the business of what these experiences mean to us, how it changes us and how we keep and share the experiences with others. So we gain understanding without the messy unpleasantness of falling, starving and hurting. Not a bad bargain. But one of the most common themes of such writings is that, good or bad, life is right. Or perhaps, good or bad, life is in the story you construct from its messiness. And that is how your trust fund gets started – deciding everything will all be OK and setting off in search of your own story.
The Trust Fund Grows Apace With A Bit of Confidence in People – I must admit I was almost bankrupt in this part of my trust fund. Why, I wonder? I have had such truly wonderful people in my life. But I have been careful in the selection, so careful. I have never been one to spot the oddball in a crowd and go pester him or her for the lowdown on life. No. Scary. Uncertain. Not that foreign countries are full of philosophical oddballs awaiting your acquaintance, but they are full of people that you aren’t sure how to connect with and that may have very different values and perspectives. What do I say? Will they understand me? Will I understand them? Will they care if I get lost in their vicinity and need directions? Will they warn me if I am proceeding in an unsafe direction? They answer is yes, yes, yes and, yes. And they will teach you why they are willing to help and befriend you and their answers will vary greatly. There is religion, humanity, karma, curiosity or simply the fact that you are dragging a weary child in your wake as you straggle clumsily along which reminds them of their own struggles to make their way. As suggested by travel writer Dervla Murphy: “Travel alone, or with just one prepubescent child. In some countries even two adults may be perceived as providing mutual support, making acceptability by the locals less spontaneous and complete. Au contraire, a child’s presence emphasizes your trust in the community’s goodwill. And because children pay little attention to racial or cultural difference, junior companions rapidly demolish barriers of shyness or apprehension often raised when foreigners unexpectedly approach a remote village. ” It is controversial to suggest that one must demonstrate vulnerability as a strategic survival tactic and involve a small child at that. But you are vulnerable in this strangely unpredictable world. You are. So acknowledge and embrace it so that your child can begin growing their Confidence in People Trust Fund at the earliest possible age.
Trust Fund Growth Via Penny Stocks in Emerging Countries – “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” “Oh the Money You’ll Spend!” “Oh How Broke You Shall Return!” Does this worry you? It has always worried me but I am terribly responsible and practical. To my constant fascination, travelers manage on all kinds of different budgets and figure out their priorities along the way. It is all in the art of scrutinizing your financial outlay. Of course, you avoid the typical tourist attractions but, in doing so, you experience the local culture more authentically. You find out where the locals go for shopping and fun. You find yourself mending things you might normally replace. You find yourself thinking about how to earn money as you go. Your splurges are small but meaningful. Pretty soon, you find that you are living life more meaningfully, not by growing your investment portfolio, but by growing your resourcefulness and your soul. Maybe you don’t write your own version of “Walden’s Pond” but you can say that you have lived your own little experiment in alternative living. And you will always, always have that experience be it a bull or bear market.
So there you have my thoughts on Trust Fund Living. I always hesitate to wax philosophical about such personal decisions. After all, it was my husband who started dreaming the big dream. He made it sound perfectly sane. He made not doing it sound insane. That helps a great deal but it didn’t fit into the literary metaphor. Anyway. He read this and thinks this last paragraph is a bit strange. I do too. But doesn’t it make the whole thing less preachy?
Great blog post!! But I really disagree with this statement: “Not that foreign countries are full of philosophical oddballs awaiting your acquaintance, but they are full of people that you aren’t sure how to connect with and that may have very different values and perspectives.”
Everyone in the world is a philosopher and an oddball, it doesn’t matter what country they’re from. Whether they try to come up with their own philosophy, or blindly follow someone else’s is a difference. But they still wonder, and try to understand. And everyone is different, therefore seemingly odd from another’s perspective. Unless they’re too uncomfortable with themselves and try really hard to just be like everyone else.
Thanks, Jack. It is such a pleasure to have you as a reader. I tend to think of oddball as being “different enough” to deserve a special category but I can readily accept that we are all philosophers of sorts. I do select words so carelessly! What literary laziness! “Philosophical oddball” is thrown out there in some little attempt to make things colorful without much thought to who might/might not fit the description. Will be pondering this awhile, I’m sure.
Tammy..I loved this post.. I love your trust fund..You have made me want to build one of my own….I want to live life with more in my trust fund than always having my radar up…It will take me some time. …Love..Love ..Love you!!!
Thanks Jan. You are the best. Your awesome sense of humor is always building bridges!! I still remember that trip to Colorado when we keep running into your buddies everywhere we went. If your radar is up, it is looking for who to spread the sunshine to next. You may not be doing that in foreign countries but you make people happy wherever you go. I bet your are making asthma education a riot this weekend.
Tammy, that is a remarkable perspective and so true. I’ve been traveling for yrs on my trust fund that involves so little money. Work butt off, go travel and live off it, then have to go start all over, but I wouldn’t live any differently. What The Lord gave me was an abundance of love in my heart for people and altho I cant survive on that alone, it’s what makes my world go around. Now I have y’all to follow around!!! Beautiful, just beautiful- your writing