How experiences change our thinking

experiences, Human Brain, Thinking, travel

Most of us like the idea of going on holidays. Some of us to explore new places, some to just relax and get out of the rat race. Some go with our families, some with friends and family and some alone.

The idea for taking a holiday is to get a change from our regular setup. If I have time at my disposal I prefer to go to a new place (along with some old ones as well) with my family, so that we can get some new experiences.

Since childhood my father had made it a point to show us many places around India as well as around the world. His view was that by showing us the world it would help expand our horizons and our ability to think.

As a kid it never occurred to me that by seeing new places and meeting new people, I could actually be improving my ability to interact with people and think at a different level.

But research on the brain has shown that experiences have an ability to think, see and observe things differently. Depending on what you have experienced, especially the good experiences, you tend to observe things accordingly.

While my father was an aircraft engineer and did read quite a lot, not sure if he knew about this research on the brain. But he did have experiential data and therefore took our whole family to different destinations across the world.

I initially was following in his footsteps, but now I also have research data to prove that experiences can change our whole ability to think and work.

Till next time then….go get yourself some amazing experiences.

Carpe Diem!!!

Always spring or autumn

Lifestyle, travel

I hate very hot weather and I cannot bear very cold weather either

So I have always had this fantasy that I will always stay in a country in which there is either Spring or autumn all 12 months of the year

My idea is to be in India between January to March, travel to Europe in the mediterranean region between April to June, live in Canada between July to September and travel to Australia between September and December.

On Sunday while talking to my brother , I learned a new word “snowbirds”. This is the term used for people in North America who travel in Winter, from north to states like Florida and other Southern States in the US

I didn’t realise that what I used to think as fantasy, was actually being worked on seriously by people in some parts of the world

So I started doing a little bit of research on these snowbirds and one piece of data which I saw on Google is that the population of Florida increases by about 5% during the Winter months in North America.

These people in most cases live in rented accommodations and cook their own food and maintain their lifestyle the way they do at their hometowns

That got me thinking. I live in India and I would not have the capability to drive my on vehicle with the caravan or RV to different continents to ensure that I was always living in spring or autumn.

The only solution I could think of was to have A matter to share properties In different countries at different points in time. So if there is someone who prefers Very hot summerThen they could take my house for a quarter while I live in their house varieties Spring or autumn.

I saw movie a few years back with Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz called Holiday. In this movie the two ladies – one from LA and one in UK, share their houses for 2 weeks 1 in Los Angeles and one in England.

I am not sure if this kind of us thing does seriously take place between different countries but I am intending to explore these options to realise my fantasies.

Do you know if this kind of a mechanism exists? Let me know your comments.

Till next time.

Carpe Diem!!!

Adventures – have a life – get experiences

Financial Independence

While I keep talking about compounding and investing it does not mean that you should not have fun and live a life.

I am actually wanting you to invest so that you can enjoy your life.  While some of my advice may make you wealthy in the long run, most of my advice is to help you live a life today.

A well lived life is about getting experiences.  In my view the best experiences are gained when we travel to different parts of the world and see different cultures and eat different foods.

I got this trait from my father, who showed us so many countries when we were kids.  The education and learning I got by travelling helped me become a more tolerant and considerate person.  It also taught me on seeing different points of view, appreciate different food habits and enjoy in whatever surrounding I am.

When I became an adult, I  decided  that India itself is a very big country and I made it a point to see and show my family various parts of India first.

There is a treasure trove of history, food and culture all across India – whether you go to Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra in the west, to Bengal & Assam in the east, to the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala in the south to Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh – there are snow clad mountains, to forts to human evolution – everything and no two states are alike.  That’s the beauty of India.  We have been to most of India, sometimes travelling the countryside by road and enjoying local fruits and foods and sights.

Then over the last 2 years  I have been making it a point to first show my family all the countries I had seen as a kid and then cover my bucket lists.

So I have taken them to Canada, Switzerland and France.  Some more countries remaining on the agenda include UK, Singapore, UAE and USA

I have shared earlier also that I have a huge bucket list – from seeing the northern lights and southern lights to seeing the giraffes in their natural habitat, to exploring the Mayan and Aztec civilizations and to see the Gold Coast.

This kind of extensive travel, often, is not easy on the pocket,  specifically for an individual who is earning a salary in India. Especially when whatever you save becomes 70 times less when converted into the US Dollar or about 85 times less when compared to the Euro.

That’s where the concept of buckets comes in.  Again this is not something I have invented.  I use this concept to build my asset allocation.  Some of the money is kept in cash equivalents for emergency purposes.  This is usually not with me because I would end up spending it.  Then I have a set of regular SIPs (Systematic Investment Plans) for mutual funds and stocks.  These are my forced saving methods where the money goes out of my bank account on a pre-determined date and I cannot do anything about it.  And then I have a bucket for my “bucket lists”.

Whenever I get some backlog of salary or allowances I put this amount into putting together my corpus to fund the initiation of my trips.  If I can find a way to pay for the tickets and the visa costs then I plan my journeys.  Usually planning a journey takes about 2-3 months.  During this time and till I complete my journeys I save whatever I can to pay off the travel bills without taking credit card debt.

Inspite of all this I am short of some amount always, because we always end up spending more than our budget.  That’s when I take some profits off the table from my investments.  This is not a good strategy because I only tell you that  the longer you keep the investment the better is the chance for compounding to do magic.  But the value of  the experiences which I can give my family have a much higher value so I do encash some of my investments to pay-off the expenses.

My advice to you also would be to always create a budget for gaining life’s experiences.  Using those experiences you can tell stories to your friends relatives and grand children.  That’s what will make your day and give you a richer life.  Wealth can follow.

Carpe Diem!!!