I truly believe that sometimes to get back in touch, you need to get away.
I closed out 2014 in a rut, feeling lost with many things in my personal life and professional life.
Then we turned the calendar to 2015, and I kicked off the year by heading to Belize with Under30Experiences. It was a phenomenal trip, and I came back oozing with clarity.
Belize revived me, jazzed me, and straight up gave me that feeling again that I’m in sync with everything.
But it wasn’t because of the beautiful 80 degree weather (sorry Polar Vortexians), crystal blue waters, or literally swimming with sharks. It wasn’t eating fresh Red Snapper, doing yoga at sunrise on a pier overlooking the sea, or hooping with locals who called me Young Kobe (my jumpshot was fucking ON POINT that day).
straight gangsta chillin
It wasn’t the Panty Ripper (relax, that’s the name of a popular rum-based cocktail, not a pervert terrorizing the island).
Once again, it was the people I met, and the experiences we shared. This time I come back with new friends in San Francisco, Boston, KC, Montreal, Atlanta, and more, and they have a couch in Chicago to crash whenever they come my way. You grow close to people when you’re snorkeling in the middle of the sea within inches of sharks, and all of a sudden feel like you’re in Cast Away when a monster storm rolls through.
On a trip like this nobody has labels, and there’s no image to uphold. You get the real, raw, and rugged of everyone. It’s how you find yourself with more than a dozen others sitting on the dock of the bay, singing Otis Redding underneath a full moon reflected majestically off the waters beneath it.
It was the conversations we had.
Shoutout to U30X CEO and Cofounder, and more importantly someone I consider a dear friend, Matt Wilson, for some real talk. Amigo– tu me ayudo a entender mejor la vida, la gente, y el mundo con ojos claros. And for better or worse we have getting Smirnoff Ice’d together as a memory (thanks a lot guys!).
The person attached to those flowing locks is Matt
And that brings me to why I write this. I didn’t write purely to recap my trip (but I mean, HINT HINT they have a bunch of other trips this year you should check out). One night we were drinking some beers before going to dinner. Matt said a few words to the group and he dropped one line that really stuck with me. Maybe you’re familiar with it, but it’s a concept I hadn’t heard before.
He said, “Every dollar we spend is a dollar put towards the world we want.”
Holy shit–that blew my mind. I later found there’s even a TED Talk about it.
Money talks, right? So the question is, what do we want our money to say? We often think about the life and world we want, but how often do we think about how the money we spend can either create or crumble them?
Maybe this isn’t new to you, and you already dish out your dinero with your desires in mind. If so, that’s fucking awesome and you’re ahead of the curve.
But maybe you’re like me, and while you generally know where you’re money is going, you haven’t necessarily thought about how that connects to something larger than you.
Now, my question for you: What kind of world do you want to create with your money? Leave a comment with your answer.
When I ask this, don’t think it means you have to say something incredibly altruistic. I want to know what YOU want. For some, that might mean buying local organic food. Others might want a world where Taco Bell has delivery (shit, I know I’d want that). Or perhaps you want fast food eradicated entirely.
There are no wrong answers here, it’s purely a question about what YOU want. And remember, whatever YOU want YOU can help create by spending in that direction.
Personally, I want more good hip hop artists to have a chance at getting noticed; which means less illegal downloading and more purchasing their music, and hitting up local shows. I want more people to have a side hustle; so less asking for favors and freebies, and more paying for people’s time and knowledge. I want travel to be easier for the people who want it; so getting myself out more to improve my flight status and earn a companion pass. And damnit, I want more cool sneakers on people’s feet. But I already have an unhealthy sneaker obsession so maybe I should hold off on buying more…
Your turn. What kind of world do you want to create with your money? Leave a comment below.
Look forward to reading what you have.
Rajiv Nathan is a human Curious George, with a little less trouble-making. He’s a professional storyteller, and co-creator of Idea Lemon. Read more of his musings by subscribing to his email blog at www.idealemon.com. Tweet him @RajNATION.