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This past weekend (June 2021 as of this writing) Twitter granted me an opportunity. I got to hang out with the Financial Community’s number one superfan. If you don’t follow Josh Overmyer (@jovermyer1) on Twitter I highly suggest you do. Josh is well-loved and respected in the financial independence community and for good reason. I also hung out with Kristy (@KristyLKnapp) and her husband and son from hytreks.com and Brent (@thefoodtruckCEO) (link to his episode on bigger pockets money episode PT 1).
You’ve Arrived At Your Destination
Since Brent and I are from the same relative area I had the privilege of trying his delicious pizza before. It exceeded expectations, to say the least, the first time. I arrived a little bit early and Josh was already chatting with Brent and the organizer of the event (a small, free “concert” from an upcoming Nashville musician).
Kristy and her family were the last to arrive and we all sat down talking for a bit before ordering pizza. We were early and no one else was ordering pizza out of the ten or so people gathered around. The majority of the time was spent talking about pizza and looking over the menu.
Everyone was a bit confused about the event. It was at a fairgrounds in a tiny farm town in rural Ohio. * This becomes important for a comment Kristy makes later in the evening.
The Pizza You’ve Been Waiting For
Fast forward to actually eating and raving about the pizza. Luckily as we were eating, Brent was available to take a quick picture after our pizzas were done. (You may have seen it in the comments on one of my Twitter posts).
From there, aside from singing the pizza’s praises, I got to know a bit of Kristy and her family’s back story. Josh and Kristy had met before so they talked like friends from grade school. Of course, I got to live a bit vicariously through them and all the awesome FI bloggers they have gotten to meet on their travels.
2021: The Year of Financial Independence Traveling
I also got to hear about Josh’s upcoming travel plans and the million and a half road trips he will be taking during his work sabbatical. Totally not jealous at all. I also got to hear about all the national parks both Kristy and family as well as Josh plan to visit.
All this travel talk made me get bit by the travel bug badly. I wanted to so badly to just jump in my car and take a trip for the rest of the weekend. Anyway, remember how this event took place in a rural farm town? Kristy made a comment that stuck with me the past few days. “This place reminds me of something out of a Hallmark movie.” She then mentioned how Ohio and different states had different areas that aren’t quite what you expect when traveling.
Also she happened to ask me where my partner is and that took me back to the travel bug as well. My partner and I are in a long distance relationship and she lives several states away from me. I told everyone I was planning to make a trip to see her soon and that this would probably affect my ability to go to any upcoming FI events. Unfortunately I am still in the debt repayment phase, and being a low to middle income earner, my travel is sparse and limited to usually seeing my partner once a quarter.
Drop Your Corporate Gig
Another factor limiting my travel is work. Unlike Brent who runs his own food truck. Or unlike Josh who took a year off from his employer. Unlike Kristy and her family who have reached FIRE and travel around. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful that my corporate gig is a 9-5 Monday through Friday, so I was able to enjoy the weekend. But I was definitely jealous seeing what my future could be like. Also to mention, no one at any time made me feel less than. Not for having a corporate job, debt, lower income, or anything that sets me apart from the typical FI blogger/family. Much the opposite.
The Feeling of Refreshment
As I said above, I was never made to feel less than. Actually, the theme of the night was refreshed. Kristy’s husband mentioned he wouldn’t mind going back to corporate life for a bit since he felt refreshed. We all agreed that employers should embrace the sabbatical more. It also made me feel refreshed when the people I was surrounded with had power in their favor. Their employers didn’t want to let them walk away.
I had been in a bad mental state prior to this meetup. I’ve been struggling with my own financial independence journey and have had to reach out for help. I’ve felt shame, embarrassment and other negative emotions about my position in life and my definition of success. But that night, it was all pushed aside and I felt refreshed. Like the future was mine to grab onto.
The Average Five Millionaires Next Door
As cliche as it sounds, you are an average of the five people you surround yourself with. I was definitely elevated to the average millionaire next door status that night. Whether anyone in that group was an actual millionaire doesn’t matter. When others talk about “the millionaire next door”, the superfriends embody that ideal. The best part about becoming an average millionaire next door? It cost me less than $20 bucks that night. (Everything was free but the pizza and my car already had plenty of gas).
Two Hours For A Pizza? Are You Kidding?
Yes, I’m kidding. Both Josh and Kristy and the family drove 2 hours to come to Brent’s pizza truck. I drove less than 35 minutes (both times). But whether it was Saturday night or a Tuesday night, they didn’t have an employer they had to deal with the next day or an alarm clock to wake up to. Ask them if it was worth driving over 2 hours for pizza? The pizza they will probably say yes to, but the company…the company was worth the drive and more.