Why You Can’t Afford NOT to Save for More Vacations

If it helps the best savers out there not cringe at the concept of spending more money, let me explain why I call vacations my Adventure Capital account. It may also help to know that I do not like spending it; I choose very carefully how to invest it, and the returns have been spectacular.

Here’s the reality. There is an over-crowded supply of things that can go wrong on expensive, commercialized vacations. I’m not talking about any of these, though you may have a similar memory as Chevy Chase in Vacation.

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I prefer the magical kingdom of a non-ticketed hike on a day with no timed events. These vacations are an endless resource -- and affordable to all.

But they must be purposefully planned for. Setting aside time and savings for these adventures is a priority in our Financial Freedom Plans. It can be a simple hike or even lead to building a little cabin at the end of your favorite trail.

I get a lot of great ideas from our investment firm’s four-legged CLO - Chief Love Officer – in her office here:

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“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” - John Muir

Yes, You Can Plan That Quality Vacation

Here are three reasons that even the most disciplined financial planner says clients MUST take more vacations.

1. Downtime Offers the Biggest Upside

As a business owner and investor, the returns from Adventure Capital have been profound and consistent. Those “AHAA!” moments that hard-working capitalists crave do not happen by accident. They are unlocked by peace of mind.

“When you press the pause button on a machine, it stops. But when you press the pause button on human beings, they start. You start to reflect, rethink your assumptions, you start to reimagine what is possible.” - Dov Seidman, CEO of LRN (a firm hired to lead corporate leaders)

Adventure Capital is not a luxury expense, I would argue strongly that you can’t afford NOT to invest in pausing on purpose.

Many of your most important decisions are cued up after it’s been agreed to “sleep on it.” Our best mental files are stored in our subconscious cabinet waiting to be sorted out when you’re NOT thinking about them.

The front of our brain is overflowing with every input we cram in there. Overnight, one of those files in the back occasionally gets slipped underneath the door to the front of mind ready to be revealed at some point the next day.

  • The conscious wrestles with questions;

  • The subconscious is waiting with our best answers.

“Our rational and analytical brain has access to about 2 feet of information. We access this when we are thinking through a problem. Our limbic brain, which is our subconscious, has access to the equivalent of about 11 acres.” - Simon Sinek

What if you could unlock that door to your subconscious to reveal “AHAA” moments during the day?! Breakthroughs from peace of mind happen outside, away from the office, when NOT adding more inputs.

Anyone like me that is blessed with a family and career they truly love is wonderfully starved for free time. But it does not take much to make a big difference. Wonder a lot, then wander even a little. Look at how much you can light up the circuitry board of your subconscious with just one quiet 20-minute walk outside.

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2. The Science of AWE Demands More Vacations

We all get goosebumps when surrounded by something overwhelmingly huge in nature. Professors and scientists are uncovering the hardwiring behind what happens in the brain when we are struck by that sense of AWE.

When you are next to a mountain, or the ocean, or any of nature’s countless treasures that are much larger than you (this only prerequisite is not hard to find!), you cannot help but feel small. In that moment, and whether you want to or not, humility is forced upon you.

For starters, time feels like it stands still. So, the heart rate slows way down. We get lost in those moments, finally answering the question of how to be more present. Nature’s giants demand that you just be there. Since anxiety reflects hyper-focus on self, this becomes impossible and goes away. You are physiologically humbled.

3. The Most Important Account -- Memory Banks

The longest-term returns on investment in your Adventure Capital account can be transformative.

In the most comprehensive study ever conducted (over eight decades and counting) on why people live the longest, Harvard has been following individuals from all backgrounds, races, and economics to isolate the most important variable for longevity. The answer is relationships.

There is nothing better for any relationship than dedicated time on a new shared adventure. Ultimately, we are all in the memory-making business. If our longest lasting treasures will be stored in others’ memory banks, then let’s be sure we make deposits accordingly.

Adventures Will Motivate You to Save Even More

Take it from a very detailed and disciplined financial planner: do not underestimate the incentive and pure excitement to help add to your Adventure Capital account. Often, this is the biggest surprise for the clients we serve. We are extremely disciplined in every penny of our planning so that we can afford more AHAA’s, AWE, and Memories.

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