It’s been a while since my last post, in part because I just returned from a 9-day journey to Belize.
This trip was the first we have taken that was paid for before we left.
It was an awesome feeling, but I haven’t always been so smart. Kevin and I have always prioritized traveling, even if we had credit card debt or minimal savings. That was stupid, but I never regret money spent on travel because of the perspective it gives you that you can’t get any other way.
The first half of the trip we stayed in the jungle looking for adventure. We found it with neon beetle bugs in our cabin and toilets that you couldn’t flush paper in. (Yes, you read that right, good times)
One tour we went on was a cave tubing trip through the cave systems the ancient Mayans considered their underworld. To the caves and back we had a long car ride that our guide, Robin, was happy to fill with conversation about his country and life. He told us that although he was lucky to have a good job in tourism, he was still considered low class. His mother lived in a home with a thatched roof and he was saving money to help his little sister go to high school, despite also having three kids.
In Belize, school is only publically funded through the middle school level and a lot of kids barely make it that far. Past that, the burden falls to the families. Education was a clear priority for all the locals I talked to.
But not necessarily to make more money…
Their goal was to leverage their education in their villages to support the greater good.
Here we sit talking to this guy and we own a home with toilets you can flush paper in and a roof that doesn’t have to be replaced with new branches every year.
Our middle class American life is LIVING LARGE in other parts of the world.
And while we intuitively know this, it’s helpful to see it with your own eyes. Not to feel guilt for what you have, but to feel gratitude.
As we strive for the bigger retirement account or the new house, its important to remain in a gratitude mindset and be fully present and grateful in what you have today.
We already have so much. Demonstrate your gratitude by handling your blessings with grace, making conscious decisions with your money and paying it forward.
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I want to hear from you:
What basic thing do you feel grateful for today? A hot shower, a good book? Send me an email or leave a comment below with your thoughts.