Forget Bitcoin, Time is the Most Valuable Currency
One of my biggest pet peeves around this time of year is when some people say, “Where did last year go?” or “I can’t believe it is already the New Year?” Many individuals use the New Year as a way to start developing new habits for self-improvement; some will succeed and the rest will probably fail. Goal setting is fine, however without creating a system this will result only in paying lip service.
2013 was an amazing year for me, I can easily say it was a long year filled with overcoming obstacles, while crossing off a few items on my bucket list (and adding more at the same time). With proper planning I was able to travel 11 weeks this year, which spread over two different trips. The year started with a 10 day trip to New Zealand for my friend’s wedding. I was able to run into other friends who I have met through previous adventures.
One of my favourite days in 2013 was outside of Wellington, NZ where I was invited to play on my friend’s soccer team. It isn’t like I haven’t played soccer before; it was more the realization that I was on the opposite side of the world away from the stress of work and everyday life. The game was in the late afternoon, with a clear blue sky, and warm embrace from the Southern Hemisphere summer was very welcomed. When the game was done, we sat on the patio overlooking the soccer fields and drank beer. The entire evening was a calm experience for that was the first time, probably ever, my mind was clear.
The first half of 2013 was very stressful, I worked full time for a company that was once a client. Everyday seemed like an uphill battle, where I often let others point out my limitations even though they were completely wrong. Before I departed for New Zealand, I booked my two month departure for Europe.
The company I worked for was in the process of being acquired, as their CFO, I knew it would be best to part ways for the new management team. Prior to my trip, my family was blessed with a new addition; I was able to meet my nephew Owen before leaving for Amsterdam.
Leaving home for a two month trip was stressful. The original plan was that I was going to be meeting friends from home on different parts of the trip, which didn’t happen. Simply put, they couldn’t get the time off, and the time they were given wouldn’t justify the cost of airfare. I was initially upset and I was fortunate to be staying with my best friend in Amsterdam to vent and decompress. My purpose for this particular trip was to walk the Camino de Santiago, and it was exciting and nerve-racking at the same time.
Words cannot begin to describe the Camino; I left Paris (after a wicked Atoms for Peace concert) and headed south to St. Jean Pied du Port (France/Spanish border).
Being paranoid about accommodations, I ended up arranging accommodations outside of the town away from all the other pilgrims. I was also closer to the winter trail instead of the summer trail; therefore, my first day walking 33 km, I was alone – meanwhile hundreds walked the other path. Coming out of the Pyrenees Mountains – starving and severely dehydrated a family welcomed me at a campsite I was passing and they gave me food and water. This is where I realized I took the wrong path and when I truly appreciated the kindness of strangers.
I found out during my pilgrimage that my Uncle was gradually losing his battle to cancer and my thoughts were with him during the last 100km of the pilgrimage.
The most upsetting thing, that has changed my life forever, was that he wasn’t ready to go. Here we have an individual who would give his left arm and all his material possessions just to be able to watch his grandchildren grow up and there was nothing that could be done. Yet most of us today can’t admit that we effectively utilize our time for personal gain. Most of us compromise the present to meet the expectations of others (i.e. friends/family, employers, etc.) and hope life gets easier tomorrow.
After the Camino, I decided to spend 3 weeks in Portugal. I fell in love with the city of Porto (9 wonderful days eating and drinking like a King), with the news about my Uncle; I decided to fly to the islands of the Azores to spend time with family I haven’t seen in 15 years. My Uncle passed when I was traveling through Lisbon and I was also informed that my parents were in a near fatal car accident (still recovering today). Returning to Amsterdam, I was able to catch up with my best friend, as well get closure on an incident that occurred years ago.
Even writing this article is causing my head to spin; however, I am stronger from the experience.
Due to my absence, my clients kept me busy for the first 6 – 8 weeks; life back at home was looking promising. Randy and I were fortunate to launch Student Destinations in late autumn and we are aggressively working hard on delivering content and apps in 2014. We created this site to help people find a perfect work/lifestyle balance while having the resources to tackle their bucket list. Life is short; trust me when I say this.
Depending on my frame of mind, my perception of 2013 can either be trying or victorious. The one true lesson I took away from 2013 is that we as society need to value time the same or greater than money. Money comes and goes; yet time just goes. For those who are hoping 2014 will be better than 2013, you have all the power to achieve this. Anyone who contributes to you wasting your precious time, kindly say goodbye to them and move on.
As time passes; most will appreciate the limited time they have left. Start appreciating what you have today!