This last weekend I had the pleasure of attending Camp Fi: Midwest 2018 on the banks of the St. Croix River. This was the 5th Camp Mustache/Camp FI event I’ve been to, and the 7th big meetup if you include the Chautauquas in Ecuador. Each one was special in it’s own way.
I find it fun to look back on past event recaps to see what I got out of them and how that’s changed over the years.
My first few events I went to get advice, soak up the knowledge of those around me and have some fun.
I’m still willing to get advice, soak up knowledge (like from Tanja’s excellent chat on health care), and have some fun, but that’s not my main focus anymore. I’ve learned that now I’m the one giving out advice and having others soak up my knowledge.
Oh how the tables have turned.
I also really, really appreciated the words of comfort and support I got from everyone there. My last post about things not working out the way I planned struck a chord with both the readers of this blog and the people I talked to at Camp FI. I had incredibly deep, raw, and honest conversations with some people while there that I will appreciate more than they probably know.
This is why I love going to these events. Where else can you go to have deep conversations with people who have been in your shoes? (or a pair that looks a lot like them). The people who go to these events are my people. They are my tribe.
If you haven’t been to one, I can’t urge you enough to go to one! Your life won’t be the same because of it. Is that statement bordering on slightly overdramatic? Maybe, but it is true. The path of my life changed after my first FI event. It’s as addictive as cocaine, but with good side effects instead of bad ones like tweaking out naked in a mall fountain or holes in your nose.
What do people do at events like Camp FI?
If your name is Carl (Mr. 1500) you run around with a plastic baggie full of dinosaurs in your pocket and leave pictures of dinosaurs on people’s unattended phones. Like this one. I’m actually proud I got dinosaured as that means I at least spent some time present in the moment and not glued to my phone.
Carl also gave a pretty excellent talk on what life after FIRE looks like. Don’t let him fool you when he says he doesn’t do well speaking to people — he crushed it!
Physician on FIRE, Chad Carson, Tanja, Anthony, Cait, and Carl were the main speakers and gave really awesome talks that left a lot of people in attendance with multiple things to think about. Kids, real estate, life after FI, #minimalism, and being more present in life were some of the topics discussed.
After the chats we all sat around and twiddled our thumbs while staring at each other for the rest of the weekend.
We were at a beautiful retreat center on the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin, so there was plenty to do outside. Basketball, volleyball, frisbee, football, corn hole, canoeing and hiking were just some of the many activities we could do.
That is my boyfriend and Noah playing corn hole/bags. Don’t play bags against Noah. He will utterly destroy you. Don’t say I didn’t try to warn you.
I can also say I canoed to a different state, which is something I can’t say I can do everyday. The weather was beautiful and the company engaging (if not a little heavy to have 3 adults in one canoe because we definitely got stuck on more than one sandbar…). I don’t get much time to hang out with friends so I enjoyed every minute of it!
We also had a fun time playing games inside after the sun went down. My boyfriend and I learned how to play Euchre, which we were told is a True Midwestern game. All I know is my old lady trifecta is now complete — cat, euchre, and knitting. I’ll get a sweet wheelchair one of these days. In blue!
We also played other card drinking games and the classic Cards Against Humanity. I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in a loooonngggg time. Nights like those are good for the soul. And when else can you see PoF looking goofy by pulling the back of his shirt up on his head? Or Miss Mazuma getting silly? It helps everyone to remember bloggers are real people too!
I was definitely sad to leave everyone on Monday, but a lot of the attendees at this Camp FI were local to the area, so we’ll be able to meet up easier than is the case with some of the other events I’ve been too. A good chunk of the non-local attendees I’ll see soon at FinCon, so it’s hard to be super sad about leaving!
Thanks for reading! Will you go to a Camp FI event next year? Have you been to one before?