The month of May has FLOWN by in a rush of excitement and fun. I’m having trouble coming to grips May is almost over and June is almost here!
Part of the reason May was such an awesome month was the trips I took at the beginning and end of the month. I looked at my travel schedule (not something I’ve ever really had before!!) and realized I was going to be in NYC, Seattle, LA, and Philadelphia in short order. I decided I would play a game called ULTRA TOURIST and make sure to get in some completely overrated and fun tourist activities while in each city.
Despite my fun attitude towards all the travel, I was actually flying for business reasons. The fun touristy stuff I had to sneak in 😀
May started off with me flying into New York for a new event called Statement. This event is for women entrepreneurs who run mostly online businesses. There were bloggers, authors, podcasters, coaches and more in attendance. We hung out at this beautiful house in the Catskills while participating in the retreat. Each woman got her 30 minute turn in The Hot Seat for advice and suggestions on how to run their business.
Mine was brutal, but amazing. Going to Statement was the thing I needed to adjust my mindset after quitting my job (that I didn’t even know I needed!). I hadn’t taken my efforts to build stuff online seriously until after I quit. I needed to think of them as businesses from the get go and that’s something I didn’t do. Now I’m much more into the build a business mindset, a shift I credit directly to the amazing women I met.
I learned everything from the practical (how to do canned responses on Gmail) to the hypothetical (what am I trying to accomplish? what do I want to be?). I also deepened my friendships with a few of the attendees and formed new connections, which if you know anything about me I am ALL ABOUT.
After the event, I found myself in New York City, so I stayed the weekend! I got to connect with an awesome reader (thanks for letting me crash with you, L!), explore the city a little bit, hang out with the NYC FI crowd at the Our Next Life meetup, and hang out with friends from the 2017 Chautauqua.
I also found it interesting that I did attended this event when I did. I was a month out from quitting my job and still in the middle of personal upheaval. For anyone that wants to do what I did, I strongly recommend against it. Don’t quit your job, move to another state, move in with your significant other, and try to spin up online endeavors ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Learn this lesson from me. I could do one, maybe two, of those things at once, but not all 4. It was too much. I pretty much went through a major identity crisis.
I would say I’m on the upswing now, but it might still be too early to tell. I underestimated how much I had tied myself to the money I made. I hadn’t tied myself to the identity of the job, but with the feelings that came from earning a lot of money. The loss of steady big paychecks hit me hard, especially with big expenses still going out. I was also completely blindsided by those feelings, so be prepared for a recalibration period after you quit your job. Working allows you to sweep things under a rug and not think about them, but once you quit your job be prepared to deal with issues you’ve been avoiding.
My time off work hasn’t been all hard work and identity crisis, though. I’ve had some fun too, like when I went to Camp Mustache 2018.
Camp Mustache 2018
This was my second Camp Mustache in Seattle. You can read my recap of CM ’16 here! I was struck by the differences between the two experiences. It was the same event, but I am different so it was different.
Last time, I had to fly in on Friday and arrived late — like almost missed dinner late. Thoughts about work still crept in and I was also tired from long hours at work. Monday I had to go straight to the airport after camp was over and fly home. I didn’t get home until 3:30 am and was at work by 7 am the next morning. I didn’t have any spare vacation time, so I had to compress the trip and it was not fun.
This year, I flew in Thursday afternoon. My podcast co-host J and I hosted a meetup for the Seattle FI crowd which was A TON OF FUN. It was at Gas Works park which is super cool and has amazing views of downtown Seattle.
Friday I was able to hang out with friends during the day and explore Seattle (part of my tourist quest, don’t forget). I got to see Pike Place Market, experience the disgusting coolness of the gum wall, and see the Amazon Spheres.
Then we got to drive to Camp Mustache, get there on time, and be fully present while meeting and hanging out with a ton of awesome people. I was able to focus solely on hanging out and turning strangers into new friends. My weekend wasn’t ruined by the knowledge I had to go back to work.… because I didn’t have to go back to work. Which feels super great, btw. Not to rub it in too much.
This year, I didn’t go on the hike up Mt. Si. I remembered how destroyed my legs were after I did it in 2016 and saw no reason to suffer again. It’s a serious hike with seriously amazing views, but I doubt the views changed too terribly much in 2 years.
We ate lots of great food, had wonderfully deep conversations, played fun board games and sports like croquet and volleyball, and just generally enjoyed being around like-minded people. J and I changed it up a bit and recorded some of the stories we heard while at Camp, so you’ll get to meet some of the people we did and hear their stories.
Two of the people at Camp Mustache weren’t really strangers. I met JT at FinCon last year so I enjoyed getting to know him better in a less crazy setting. He brought his wife along to Camp Mustache so I got to know her better as well. I’d talked to his wife, Tamzon, before as he encouraged her and supported her to join our first Mastermind group. She CRUSHED it! She is super creative and crafty so her Harry Potter quiet books are going over great on Etsy. You can hear her talk about her experience with another group member Kevin in our latest episode on FIRE Drill.
Speaking of the Mastermind group, J and I are opening another round TODAY (May 30th, 2018). Sign up quick before spots run out! Check out the video I did that has more to say about the 3 options you could sign up for:
Shoot me an email or hit me up in the comments if you have any questions or concerns. I sincerely hope to see some of you in the groups!
Coming up, my boyfriend and I head to LA for a little bit of sun, fun, and relaxation. We’re going to be hanging out with the WoW’s and meeting up with the LA FI community Saturday afternoon. Let me know if you’re in LA and want to meet up and I’ll get you the deets.
I have no other travel based plans for June, which actually feels pretty great given all my travels recently. I like spending time at home and getting work done, weirdly enough!
Thanks for reading! Have you been to an FI meetup lately or traveled to a cool location? Sound off in the comments below!