On the occasions when I travel by myself, there are tradeoffs, like with everything in life. That’s Economics 101. The cons are rather obvious. The pros, maybe not so much. I can move at my own pace. I can do exactly what I want. But most importantly, I can engage in conversations that I otherwise may never have. These conversations oftentimes provide new ideas that I bring back and share and even implement into my own life.
Last Monday, I had a 5 hour layover in Minneapolis, MN. As you probably know by now, I can’t sit still. I can’t, nor do I want to. Too much to see and do. I’ll sit still when I die. Actually, maybe not even then. Anyways, instead of staying at the airport and staring at my phone, I decided to grab an uber and head out to my old friend Hazeltine National Golf Club some 25 minutes away. I had the wonderful opportunity to play there 3 years ago, but on this day, I just wanted to have a nice stroll and stretch my legs.
On the ride out there and on the ride back, I engaged with my drivers and had two thoroughly enjoyable and informative discussions. (Maybe I should be an uber driver?) My first driver was from Morocco, and as you may know from a previous blog post , a trip to Tangier, Morocco is high on my wish list. So I just engaged him and soaked in his stories of how his family and friends over there live. Laid back. Open minded. Long lunches. Long dinners. Fresh fish caught, cleaned, cooked, and eaten from the sea just yards away. Fresh figs, olives, and citrus from the trees just down the street. Wine, laughter. I told him I had researched flights recently, and it costs a fortune. He said (insider tip)…go in May. Less crowded. A third of the price.
If you thought my friend from Morocco was engaging, I really want you to pay attention to the conversation from the return ride. Like seriously, pay attention. The driver was a nondescript 30 something in a nondescript car. The conversation started very nondescript, but then it got popping. We connected over a Duke University bond, and then he just opened up. Here goes: he is a part-time uber driver and a part-time Delta luggage worker, and he knows exactly how much money he needs to make every day to live the exact lifestyle that he wants to live. Said lifestyle includes visiting 48 of the 50 states in the past few years via free Delta standby flights, and a weekend that always starts at noon on Friday and ends at 5am Tuesday. He showed me his app where he trades rides and shifts with friends when he might want to extend a trip, and then of course returns the favor on the backside.
This is the stuff that doesn’t get taught in school. There was no talk of making $250k or earning some SVP title, which country club he was a part of or how big his house was. Nothing about what his next career step was, which Jones he wanted to keep up with, or whose outside opinion he next needed to heed. No. His life. His lifestyle. And I’m in the back seat taking notes. He’d been everywhere but Oregon and Hawaii. We traded war stories, and he said our conversation inspired him to possibly pop off to Oregon this weekend. Didn’t have to be back until Tuesday at 5am.
I would hazard a guess that no one in the history of Planet Earth has said in high school that their aspirations were to be a part-time uber driver and part-time Delta worker. I would hazard a guess that there are a lot of people rolling their eyes at this right now. And I would hazard a guess that secretly almost everyone is thinking, “There must be something to this”.
Your life. Your lifestyle. Design it. However you and the crazy cast of characters in your life see fit. Maybe don’t worry about that next title, that next dollar, that extra square footage. That country club that you could care less about. That outside opinion. Definitely not the Joneses. They are idiots.
Have a great week.-Benj
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