“Freedom equals” is a series of blog posts intended to give me motivation to stick to this plan and kick debt’s ass. My goal is to write a “freedom equals” post once a month that describes things I want to do/would be able to do if I was not making $1000+ of student loan payments per month.
Freedom equals climbing Machu Picchu and contemplate life as we know it. Just look at it. Amazing. To think that mankind built something so amazingly beautiful that has sat, preserved, high in the mountains for so many years is simply inspiring. I am going to see Machu Picchu before I am 35. That is a fact. Here’s another fact: the first trip I take after I pay off my student loans will be to Peru – if I haven’t already done it.
The beauty of teaching is long vacations. We don’t quite get entire summers off, believe it or not, however at my school we do get two weeks in March in addition to the approximately 8 weeks of flexible work time (yep, I’m working on teacher stuff for most the summer) in June and July. I want to see everything around this spinning ball that I can. As soon as I pay off my debt, the $1000+ that disappears every month will be distributed to a couple places: $420 to a Roth IRA, $250ish additional to savings, and $300ish a month to my travel fund. I want to go somewhere every single year. That’s easy for bachelor-me to say, but until that status changes, that’s the plan.
Other places I want to see and experience: Rio de Janeiro, London, China, The World Cup – where ever that may be, Tokyo, Australia, Africa, Egypt, California, Prague, Alaska, Hawai’i, Norway, Greece, Jerusalem, Moscow, Thailand, New Orleans… these are the locations that I know I want to visit right now! I’m sure the list will expand. I have a lot of work to do and in order to get it done, I gotta get rid of these student loans!
In this desire to see the world, however, I am very conscious of not creating a checklist or a bucketlist. Being the academic that I am, I have a nerdy appreciation for good graduation speeches. A year ago, one made the rounds in which the speaker said “Go to Paris to be in Paris, not check it off your list.”
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I want to be in Thailand. I want to marvel at the world at a pace that allows me to take it in. Maybe that means I don’t get everywhere, which is okay. However, the freedom to sit atop Machu Picchu is something no amount of things or cars or even a house can rival.