I Survived Camp Mustache!
This past weekend was a new experience. The closest parallel I can come up with is when I went to Bloggers in Sin City back in May 2011 and May 2012. The biggest difference there is that it was short flight to Las Vegas from here. This past weekend, I had to connect through Charlotte on the way over and Atlanta on the way back. I’ve never had to do a domestic connection before. I was reminded that I don’t particularly like air travel. Sitting in airports. Sitting in planes. I’ve always preferred longer vacations to maximize the time investment of the flights. The upcoming travel by automobile will have a much larger time cost for sure, but at least I don’t have to sit on a giant tube of metal or wait in a crowded place with overpriced meals for one.
Things I Would Do Differently.
I definitely cheaped out by taking a red eye on Thursday night. This was because I didn’t want to take a 3rd day off from work and I didn’t want to pay for a hotel. Might as well sleep on the plane. I didn’t get any sleep on the plane. I can afford these things. My decision to stretch my dollar absolutely effected my enjoyment of the camp. And that’s unfortunate. I went to bed pretty early 2 of the 3 nights because I was exhausted and I definitely missed out on some conversations and perhaps friendships. That’s unfortunate and I hope readers can learn from that example and not make the same mistake. I misjudged the affect a cross country red eye would have on me.
People were so unbelievably nice. It was pretty cool to have actual conversations with Mr. Money Mustache, Joshua Sheets and JD Roth. I even did a quick interview with Joshua for Radical Personal Finance about my real estate story and the upcoming road trip. We shall see when/if that get’s published. When you’re sitting in the hot seat and you’re not sure which questions are going to be thrown your away, it’s so easy to mis-remember some of the facts and make little mistakes.
I didn’t mis-remember anything too egregious, but still. Here I with my voice on a podcast rattling on information that I recalled at the time that wasn’t entirely correct. The perfectionist in me wishes it was perfect. But…c’est la vie. A lot of the blog posts that you see here tend to go through several iterations before I actually click publish. It’s obviously not like that when you’re speaking in real time on a mic.
Get Rich Slowly was one of the first personal finance blogs I was exposed to. That would have been towards the end of college/ early stages of my working career. JD gave us a fantastic presentation with some exercises to help us create a mission statement for our life. That whole purpose thing has always been a bit of a struggle for me. That 15 minute exercise definitely affirmed that I still have a long way to go. Hopefully, in between all of the new places I explore in the coming months, I will make some progress in creating a mission statement for my own life. I also learned so much from Keith, our resident tax expert, just by keeping my ears open to the various conversations. Hooray for mustachian boating.
I was pleasantly surprised at how valuable some of the sessions were. In my opinion, some of the real estate financing advice was a bit dangerous and ethically questionable, but other than that there was a lot of solid information and I learned a lot of new things. I really had no idea what to expect at a Camp Mustache. There was less money talk than you might expect, but it was definitely amusing to hear real life arguments over the merits of an emergency fund.
Then there was Lauren, my new financially independent introverted physician friend. When she told me her dividends were double her expenses, I got a bit jealous. The first night we talked a lot. Probably because we felt super comfortable with our co-introversion and were exhausted from having the same introductory conversation roughly 30-40 times.
I even had people offer up their guest room for me or offer to show me around their city. The likes of Chicago and Florida weren’t originally intended to be on my road trip route. Yet it would be fun to reconnect with such fun friendly people. Especially since there are already other bloggers I haven’t met yet who I would love to meet. Sometimes the friendships are more important than the geography. But at the same time, I feel like the geography can make it tough to maintain the friendship. As evidenced by the fact that I probably met 75-100 cool bloggers at Bloggers In Sin City across the two years, but I maintain regular contact with less than 5.
The food was not overly healthy but I can’t complain. I even tried stuffed peppers for the first time.
Would I go to a Future Camp Mustache?
I can see myself attending for any of the following three reasons: It’s local to me, I want to meet someone who is going, or maybe if it’s in a locale that I haven’t been to before. So, I probably would not go to the Southeast version again unless I happened to be living in or visiting the Southeast at the time. I felt like there might have been bit much self promotion from some people, but the majority of people were not annoying about it. I didn’t even mention that I had a blog or that I was soon to be going nomadic to the group at large because the purpose of my attendance for this event was not to promote myself but rather to get to know like-minded people.
Plus, California has been cold and rainy. The weather was beautiful in Florida. There was no humidity, or at least I didn’t notice it. Had a great time out on the water and on the trails. There was even some kickball and basketball games going on. I passed on the archery. Note to all: when people tell you to pack hiking shoes for Florida, you probably aren’t going to actually need them. Never took my hiking shoes out of my backpack, my regular running shoes were just fine.