Leaving Colorado, and the rat race

I drove from Boulder, Colorado to San Diego last week, and witnessed tons of beauty along the way, swinging by Vail, Glenwood Springs, Arches National Park, and Vegas!

Top of El Dorado

I didn’t plan much of anything. I just knew I wanted to be back in San Diego on September 3rd to settle in to my new apartment downtown before attending the Search Love conference on Thursday and Friday.

A few revelations on my trip:

1. Going on a big driving trip is not the same as flying. If I drive for 10 hours, I get somewhere and I’m exhausted. Need to sleep. And I spent the day driving, so I didn’t get to do anything but maybe listen to an audiobook. So it’s a lot of time to get places and bang for travel buck is much lower. The food situation is also a bit tricky. I bring snacks, but then I need an actual meal and sometimes the choices on the road are just crap! When things look sketchy, I can usually find a sandwich place that serves salads. I went with Blimpies on one stop and ate some iceberg lettuce and sodium-laden deli meet with a little “oil”, which may or may not have been olive oil. My strategy of opting for low-carb meals is good for not getting sleepy while driving, but it often equates to low-calorie meals and me eating 8,000 almonds along the way.

Glenwood Springs - Insane with tourists but worth the dip

2. Colorado and Utah are just fantastic for scenery. Probably the most beautiful parts of the country. Driving in a hybrid can be a bit annoying when going through the mountains (sometimes it feels like you’re not going to make it up a hill!), but for the long trips I love being able to drive over 400 miles before having to stop for gas.

One of the Windows at Arches
More Arches beauty!

3. Vegas is a party every night of the week. I thought I could sneak in there on a Monday and have a low-key time, but of course, this is a 24×7 town and the x7 means party all night any day of the week. This time, it allowed me to finally spend some of my “Play” money (see my post on the “Jars” system), which is supposed to be spent in full every month, but I’ve let my account creep up a bit and needed to get a little silly with some luxurious spends. I decided to get a suite at the Wynn/Encore hotel. Equipped with a panoramic view and currents that open with a button. This kind of money has traditionally been tough for me to spend but it is much easier since I started using the Jars system, only sometimes, I forget to play and wait too long to spend it!

View from my room. I'm spoiled forever.

4. The roads are GOD AWFUL between Vegas and San Diego. going down the 15 through Barstow, San Bernadino, Riverside…there are potholes, massive construction (that never ends), skinny lanes, lots of big rigs, and often 2-lane freeways that have no shoulder on one or both sides! The sad state of affairs in California was apparent on the roads, and I was happy to get back to Sweet Home San Diego!

I wanted to touch on this idea of choice. I have chatted recently with many people that feel that they are “stuck” at their job, and “stuck” at where ever they live, lucky to get 2 weeks of vacation per year. I think there is always a choice. Yes, easy for me to say, single and no kids. But that is even a choice. Everything’s a choice! But to widen one’s options, leaving the rat race is an important step.

This means you may have to do with fewer things. This means you will not be living a traditional life and people will give you funny looks when you tell them your plans.

But to bring it back to freedom, ask yourself, is it more important to have money and things, or to have the freedom to move about the world and create your life? Yes, both can happen too, and I’m not saying having stuff is “bad” or “wrong”. It’s just important to prioritize.

RECOMMENDED: Jake Desyllas (who was on the Freedom Lovin’ Podcast episode 10) recently gave a talk at the Libertopia festival in San Diego called “Four Ways to Quit the Rat Race” and I highly recommend giving that a listen if racing with rats is not really your thing!

Nobody is happy in the rat race!

Also, I will be doing a slight upgrade to the Freedom Lovin’ podcast starting with the next show (which will be about Travel Hacking!). I have an intro and outro for the show. Meaning, it’s now official! I attached them to this blog post, any feedback below would be appreciated!

freedomlovin_intro
freedomlovin_outro