This summer we accomplished a couple things off the old bucket list. (The picture is of one of the islands we were cruising around at sunset.)
We finalized the purchase of our property on the Adriatic Coast in Croatia.
It took 3+ years, countless Skype calls, two new Croatian citizenships, many Euros, countless trips to Croatian lawyers, approval from a judge in the capital and maybe even a little luck. But we did it.
We now know how to buy a property in that country and it makes Canada look like the most efficient real estate country in world.
This year as part of our 4-week vacation over to Europe we did a couple side trips. One was Paris and the other was a biggie...
Nick and I have an "operating name" for one of our real estate corporations ... it's called "Adriatic Properties".
When we named it "Adriatic Properties" I always had this dream that one day all the stress we're putting ourselves through with our real estate would allow us to cruise the Adriatic Sea on a boat with our families.
We rented a boat with multiple bedrooms and washrooms, it even had a little family room style setup inside ... and because we have no idea what we're doing we hired a captain too.
We took both our families and my brother-in-law's family and cruised the Croatian islands for three days....
We stopped in private little coves, discovered the coolest little beaches, explored "blue" water logged sea caves and swam in the clearest water we've ever seen in our lives.
We drank, we danced, we swam ... the kids loved it, the adults were all smiles.
It was amazing. Like, really really amazing. Like over the top amazing.
It will be the first of many boating trips out that way.
When I got back last week someone made a comment that it must be nice to get to take such long trips and it go me thinking...
I've had some special moments in my life.
Marrying my wife.
The birth of my son.
The birth of my daughter.
And really high up on the list is the sixty minutes I spent with a piece of green bristol board back in 2005 ... at least I think it was 2005.
That was the day I mapped out a plan for escaping my 9-5 job and creating a life that I could live on my own terms.
A few weeks ago someone asked if I still had that piece of green bristol board and at the time I thought I may have lost it. I immediately went home that day and began digging around the basement until I found it.
That piece of bristol board from has a few things on it:
What business I wanted to create. At the time is was much more basic that what Rock Star has become but it had the seeds of Rock Star in it.
How many and what type of investments I would have.
How much vacation I wanted to have each year (six weeks).
How much monthly income I wanted (it was way too low ... we have obviously have acquired expensive habits).
What metrics I would use to keep myself accountable.
How I would celebrate successes.
It was like a life plan mapped out on one big piece of bristol board.
It only took me about sixty minutes but that sixty minutes set in motion a series of events that have guided me to this day.
And looking back I truly believe that:
A) That truly has been one of the most important moments of my life.
B) I don't believe we are taught the importance of "stepping back" and designing the life we want.
How important it is to create a life where you are self-reliant.
Even today, in 2013, social norms still encourage us to "go to school" and "get a good job".
Perhaps it's not said in exactly those words but that's what is discussed at dinner parties, birthday parties and family get together's ... "How is Jimmy doing in school? What University is going to? How are his grades?"
There's rarely, if ever, discussions on mapping out a blueprint for Jimmy beyond going to University.
And let me be clear.
My life today is not perfect.
Both Nick and myself are battling problems all the time.
Just yesterday we got hit with a nasty little issue that needed addressing.
There's shit flying around all the time.
Things are not perfect and they never will be.
But we're operating in a framework that gives us lots of freedom.
And you know what else?
I'm scared that somehow I will not be able to pass on these lessons to my kids.
And maybe that's why I'm writing stuff like this.
There is huge value in taking time away from the daily routine and mapping out a plan for yourself, for your family, for your future.
I'm very thankful for taking that sixty minutes back in 2005 to do a little life planning.
Creating a life blueprint for yourself is extremely powerful.
If you haven't had the opportunity to do that for yourself yet break out that calendar, block off a morning, go somewhere quiet and start dreaming.
Maybe we'll see you one of these summers sipping wine on the Adriatic...
Until next time ... Your Life! Your Terms!