Last year Rustin and I went to Chicago for a packaging expo. We had a weekend full of hundreds of booths to see. It was a vast variety of packaging equipment, shipment ideas, containers, fillers, and SO many labelers. My focus was on two things 1. To find solutions for a better bottle manufacturer. 2. To see and find out more about filling machines. We got done in one day. Eliminating the things that weren’t important to me trimmed the fat and kept things from getting overwhelming. With one whole day left we decided to throw caution to the wind and explore the city. We went everywhere in just one day. We saw priceless works of art, saw the bean, ate the most delicious food, went up to Willis Tower, explored on foot (I swear we walked at least 10 miles), got lost finding a pen shop, went to Navy Pier, saw Buckingham Fountain, and took a wrong turn only to make a new bus driver friend who took us to the right place.
It was so much fun! And I don’t know if having kids has made us used to moving quickly (you know, before they run off or break something) or if we were just in a mood to skim off Chicago’s top.
It was this trip that made us realize we don’t have to spend a lot of money or take some huge long vacation to make travel possible or worth it. We put so many roadblocks in the way (strollers, time, money, kids) and created this false reality which told us we could only travel until a certain criteria was met – money, lots of time, and a means to accommodate all of the kids’ stuff (strollers, carriers, car seats, etc). NYC has been on our bucket list for several years and because we couldn’t meet this criteria, we weren’t sure when we’d ever get to go. So it remained this unattainable goal for a long, long time. Well after years and years of hoping and wishing, we squashed those roadblocks and took a leap of faith; tonight we are getting on a plane and flying to NYC! Once we realistically looked at those road blocks, everything was suddenly possible! Instead of focusing on the things that had to be in place before we traveled, we focused on what was accessible RIGHT NOW and figured out how to utilize it to our advantage, without the fear of missing out.
Our formula was simple 3 days + X(money in the bank) = NYC.
So let’s say we had $3,000 of disposal monies we could use today. This set the tone for our hotel and travel accommodations. The most affordable flights we could find when we booked was about $400 Round Trip. This meant that we either had to find a new destination if the boys were to come with us, or find someone who would be willing to take the kids for a few days. Because our destination was set, we opted to find someone to watch the kids. Fortunately, we have amazing family who were willing to watch them for us. The net was beginning to appear! If we weren’t able to find someone to watch the kids, we would evaluate, simplify and adjust. Maybe we would find another destination, or find a way to make it work. Who knows! More on this a little later.
With $2,200 left this set the temperature for the type of hotel. I was searching for hotels around the $100-150/night range. If this meant staying in a tee pee somewhere, so be it. Fortunately Rustin found the JW Marriott for about $250 a night. This was a screaming deal, and so in line with what we could afford. Boom!
After flights and hotel, the rest is our spending money, totally doable. But I guess the remaining question is why only 3 days? And can you really experience NYC in just 3 days?
Weekend trips are so bite sized and not as intimidating as say a week long trip. It’s about what would compel you to take that first step towards a leap. 7 days is scary! Expenses rack up and it’s easy to talk yourself out of it. 2-3 days, easy!
Now can we really see everything in NYC in just 3 days? No. So why are we even going?!
I know that FOMO is a very real thing in our day and age, but it is so hindering! So how do you get over it? Our goal is not to see everything! It’s to take an adventure and go somewhere we’ve been dying to see for ages! We each have about 3 must do’s that will absolutely satisfy and fulfill our purpose, as such it completely eliminates that fear of missing out! If we did everything on our list we would be beyond satisfied. If we didn’t, it wouldn’t make us feel less satisfied because we said yes to NYC and made it there! That is enough. Now imagine we do all of the things on our list and experience more than we hoped for. This takes our 3 day trip and turns it into one of those memorable, not likely to ever forget trips! Having a short trip will give us the confidence to travel more and wait less, but also it takes away that need to see everything in one go and we will most likely be back for another 3 days for a new adventure. With eliminating that FOMO we can fully experience our surroundings our way instead of settling for that exhausting mentality of go go go!
My wish for all of us is to start saying YES! Yes to experience and travel, and life! What would happen if today you said yes and booked flight and hotel for that one place you can’t get out of your head? SO MANY road blocks pop up, right? Let me help you simplify so you can start saying yes to the things that matter to you.
- What do you want to get out of this destination? Is it to relax, to experience the lifestyle, to sightsee, to knock it off your list? Once you establish the purpose you can begin to set a realistic expectation.
- What are 3-5 things that will satisfy that purpose? Is it having a cabana boy to bring you drinks all day? Is it seeing specific landmarks, if so what are they; can you nail it down to 3-5? Is it to experience the city, if so what does that look like to you and what 3 things can you do? This eliminates the FOMO syndrome and focuses on the things that really matter to you!
- Can you do those things in a weekend? If not, what is the minimal amount of time you need to do those 3-5 things?
- Can you afford it right now? If so BOOK RIGHT NOW! Maybe you can only book flights and hotel right now, DO THAT. You now have something to work towards, that’s amazing! Taking small bites is so much easier than one big bite. Can you drive there? Can you tent? Do you need to fly? Explore all of your options. If the flight is absolutely necessary and it’s just too expensive, what other trips have you been dying to take? Walk them through the same steps.
- If I’m way too optimistic and they’re all a no, pick one. Save up just enough for flights and/or hotel, but book as soon as you’re able to! Make a plan for the rest, keep it simple, and work that plan! By next year (or in 6 months) you will be able to say you knocked something off your bucket list.
What can you say yes to today? Did you think of one thing? Did it scare you? GOOD. Say yes and start living a purposeful life! It is unlikely that you will regret the things they did. There is a strong force behind a yes.
It’s time to start saying yes and start getting uncomfortable! A net will always appear.