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21 Jan 2017

Join Me In Ecuador?

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by Jesse Mecham

This one might be worth a little Rolling With The Punches...

Several years ago, I attended my first Chautauqua down in Ecuador. It was hosted by a few well-known bloggers (Mr. Money Mustache, JD Roth, and Jim Collins) and would be attended by folks interested in financial independence and/or early retirement. I had such a splendid time that I came back the next year as a host/speaker.

After taking a hiatus from travel for the last couple years (mainly because of our new baby), I’m pleased to invite you to join me (and my wife, Julie this time!) at the 2017 Chautauqua down in Ecuador!

Okay…what’s Chautauqua? It is an old Native American word, Robert M. Pirsig, the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, translates loosely as, “… an old-time series of popular talks intended to edify and entertain, improve the mind, and bring culture and enlightenment to the ears and thoughts of the herer.” Loose. 🙂

Exotic Ecuador +

First, it’s a great excuse to experience unbelievably beautiful country at the El Encanto Hosteria. Cheryl owns Above The Clouds Retreats and does a phenomenal job of basically taking care of every single worry you might have with international travel. I also love her “Project One Corner” approach, where she uses profits to help out in her own little corner of Ecuador. It’s a nod toward perhaps, not being able to change the world, but being able to have a positive impact on “your corner.”

Standing on its own, it’s an absolutely wonderful trip.

Like-Minded New Friends =

Second, if you’re intrigued by the idea of financial independence or early retirement, you’ll meet another 24 or so like-minded individuals. We’ve had investment bankers, entrepreneurs, attorneys, Red Cross workers, and 30-somethings who are long-since retired. It makes for an eclectic, easy-going group that has taught me a lot every time I’ve attended. (And hanging out with fellow YNABers is always a treat!)

And I will admit, after my first year Chautauqua and made so many friends, I thought it would be impossible to bring together a similar group the following year. I was wrong. That group was just as stellar.)

Unforgettable (Possibly Life-Changing?) Experience

Argh, I’m struggling to write this post. My friends, Mr. Money Mustache, J.D. Roth, and Jim Collins, whom I first met at Chautauqua, have already summed it up so well.

I’ve been to Chautauqua twice now and have absolutely loved it both times. Check this out, and see if a weeklong trip to Ecuador is in the budget. The week where I’m hosting is filling up, but there are still some spots. Historically, there ends up being a waiting list, so if you decide this is a priority that fits into your travel category—don’t delay!

(Also, if that came across as pushy, what I meant was: Evaluate the trip carefully. See how it fits into your priorities based on Rule One. Don’t violate your priorities! We’ll be doing these each year. Don’t sweat it if 2017 isn’t your year!)

Hopefully, I’ll see some of you down there in October!

Your Next Step

Remember, budgeting is not restrictive. You won’t be spending less, you’ll be spending right. You can do this! Today. Right now. What do you have to lose? Except all that debt and stress. (Ok, so kind of a lot.)

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