Now that Carla has left her corporate job, we’re supposed to be watching our spending. We now earn less than half what we earned before, and that means making changes to the way we live and how we spend our money. And yet we’re seeking a balance. We don’t want to feel trapped, like we can’t go out for breakfast or buy a new pair of jeans. And we love to travel. So we’re trying to choose wisely when we spend money, and we’re noticing that “value” is taking on a different meaning.
Last weekend we traveled to Portland, Oregon. It was a total splurge: club seats for the Women’s National Soccer Team game against Canada, and a hotel room in the heart of downtown. We both knew we would have fun, but we also both wondered if the trip was justified in any other way. It was.
This trip to Portland became so much more than just a fun weekend away; it did something tremendous for my spirit. I challenged myself to take great photos, and felt inspired to do so by the urban landscape. I watched my heroes excel at a sport that I love (from really great seats, I might add), and the experience renewed my determination to do my absolute best at everything I do. I ate really good food and found vegetarian and vegan options everywhere we went. Everywhere. And probably most meaningful, Carla and I shared some great conversations about where we want our careers to take us, how we feel about living where we live now, and where we might like to be one day. In short, we spent some money to get away and then allowed ourselves to have a great time and explore not only a new city, but new perspectives. I came home feeling more inspired than ever to drive myself toward my dreams. That is worth the money.
I think sometimes if you can just get away from your normal day-to-day grind, you can glimpse the bigger picture and get a sense of how you really fit into your own life. You can see what you love about your life at home, what you would change, and in which direction you’re moving. And you might get to have a beer at a cool local brewery to boot.
So we might be pinching pennies a bit now to make up for what we spent in Portland, but we have no regrets. We’re learning that while it’s vital to buy groceries for the week and pay the mortgage, nurturing our spirits is just as necessary.
And to see more pictures (especially of the delicious food we ate) check out Buried Carrots