“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life” – Henry David Thoreau
Welcome to My Wealth Road and thank you for joining me on this journey towards building wealth! My Wealth Road is about sharing knowledge, insight, and personal experiences to help inspire others to reach their financial and life goals. Or as Thoreau puts it, “To fully experience life”.
The meaning of wealth, for me, is being happy, healthy, and using money to reach your goals. It’s important to plan for the future, and it’s equally important to enjoy the here and now.
The road behind me
I graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2007 with a business degree in Finance and minor in International Studies. During this time I spent two semesters in Florence, Italy and traveled throughout Europe. I caught the travel bug from my mom who worked in Corporate Travel for over twenty years. My time in Florence made me want to never stop traveling. After graduating I worked for three short years in financial services before deciding it wasn’t for me. I hated sitting at a desk all day. Every day felt like I was going through the motions, watching the clock, waiting for the weekend, and living for my next vacation. I wasn’t passionate about my role and unsure where to switch my efforts.
In retrospect, I wanted to do well and have a successful career, so I could buy nice things and travel. I studied hard to get good grades in college, but didn’t apply my learning enough and was feeling the effects of my laziness now. Disillusionment and insecurity set in. It shouldn’t have been a surprise that I was going through the motions in my job because I did it in school. I had an interest in business, but instead of developing and further exploring my interest in this broad field I focused on grades and completing internships for the sake of my resume. Learning for the sake of learning? That wasn’t happening.
The road I’m traveling
Enter my career change to Education. Education appealed to me for many reasons. First, you are helping kids and that alone gives you a sense of accomplishment or feeling that you made a difference in someone’s life. It’s social and you are interacting with students, colleagues, and the community on a regular basis. Second, I could be a lifelong learner. I could continue learning about business and the social sciences. Every day is new and you have the ability to be creative planning lessons. Third, I would have more time with my family. And lastly, somehow, I was determined to fit traveling into my career and life experience.
The last seven years have been exciting and challenging. Right as I was wrapping up graduate school and student teaching I met my husband, David. We spent our honeymoon in London and took another trip to Ireland to see family and spend New Year’s Eve in Dublin. I was pregnant with Annie during the last trip and Ryan soon followed. Travel plans took a backseat as we navigate through our finances as a family. These days I focus on being thankful for the time I have with my kids. The last five years have flown by and reminded me that time is scarce. For this reason, I’m also reluctant to put travel on hold for too long. Tomorrow is never promised. Soon after Annie’s birth my dad’s brain tumor started growing again. He lost his vision after surgery along with his freedom and independence. It’s been a trying three years for everyone as we adjust, but the kids help me refocus on appreciating what we have. Watching their personalities develop and shine through has brought such joy to my family and it could not have come at a better time.
The road before me
The meaning of wealth, for me, is being happy, healthy, and using money to reach your goals. It’s important to plan for the future, and it’s equally important to enjoy the here and now. Sometimes I catch myself wishing the preschool bills were over with, so we can start making progress with our finances and start traveling again. At the same time, my kids will be little once and I don’t want to feel like I’m rushing their childhood away or look back on these days and only remember the stresses. My wealth goals are to be appreciative and thankful for everything I have. Stop comparing myself to others. Take care of my family’s health and needs. Live fully in the moments more so than not. Use money as a means to an end. Travel again. Give back. This is my plan to live fully. This is My Wealth Road. I hope to both inspire and learn from you along the way.
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