Welcome Everybody to the Wild, Wild West

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Wow, two weeks in a row referencing popular old school rap songs for my title…what kind of blog is this?

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Anyways, I spent the last five days in Montana and Wyoming with three guys that I met just under two years ago at a bank conference. They live in Wyoming, Iowa, and Alabama. Before this week, we had spent roughly 15 days together in person going to training classes, playing golf, and having a drink at the bar. Can you really know someone after 15 days…who knows? Nonetheless, we decided to plan a guy’s trip, which was what this last week was all about. Since we haven’t known each other that long, I got asked by several people leading up to this trip “What if you get up there and don’t really get along?” I figured, worst case, I could hop on a bison, ride it back to the airport, and come back home. Joking, of course.

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My point is that we sometimes miss out on incredible life experiences by overthinking things. I hear so many people talk about “we should do this, we should do that”, yet it never ends up happening. I landed back in Charlotte last night about midnight, and quickly assessed that this was one of the best freaking trips I have ever had. We golfed four times. Went to Jackson Hole. Did Yellowstone. Fly-fished. Beer Festival. And just talked and laughed for days. And to think, I could have missed out by overthinking it or never actually pulling the trigger. I have numerous examples within the past year where the easy decision would have been to not take the trip. But I rarely ever make the easy decision…just not how I roll. My wife and I squeezed in a trip to New York City last fall from a Wednesday to a Friday. It did not make sense logistically. We powered through, and it was an absolutely fantastic trip. I journeyed out to Kansas City last year to see my Wingate Soccer boys win the National Championship, and encouraged some friends to join. “What about this? What about that?” everyone said. Just get out here, would you? It was an experience for the ages, and one that I would have been truly disappointed to miss.

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I didn’t know what to expect on the style scene going into the Wild West, but I was truly impressed. Lots of individuality, which ya’ll know I love. I saw unique cowboy hats, belt buckles, western shirts, and so on. Lots of interesting tattoos on people, which always intrigues me. Since it fits with today’s theme, I have two tattoos on my right arm opposite from each other that say “dream big” and “live”. It reminds me that the dream is pointless without the execution. I love to go to new places and immerse myself in their unique culture. I basically brought an extra bag so that I could load up on some local gear to bring back to Charlotte. I got an incredible cowboy hat. Some silver and turquoise jewelry made in the Southwest. A beaded bracelet. A shirt from a local Montana company, and a baseball cap from my buddy’s fishing store. Unique. Stylish. Authentic. The only thing I couldn’t find was a belt buckle to my liking. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to take another trip.

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My challenge this week involves some brilliant advice from a retired co-worker whom I respect dearly. He has a vacation home, and I once asked him if he ever felt like he had to go to it regularly instead of trying out new places. He basically told me unless I just really, really, really love one spot…go see the world. And that’s why I was in Montana and Wyoming last week instead of Myrtle Beach. Try a new vacation spot some time. Just because. Good gosh, it might just be awesome! And when you get there, buy some local stuff. They will be unique items to wear when you get home and will provide you with visible reminders of one of the best trips of your life. Come to think of it, I’m going to go to put on my cowboy hat now…

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Have a great week.-Benj

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