The Sunday Best (2/19/2017)

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The Sunday Best is a collection of a handful of posts I share with you each week. With so many informative and inspirational writers out there, I have no trouble coming up with a number of worthwhile reads each week.

Every featured post should be of interest to any physician seeking financial independence. Some will be written by your physician colleagues; others will be written by our friends and patients who share common goals and interests.

Presenting, this week’s Sunday Best:

 

I’ve argued that Budgets are Not Sexy. The Biglaw Investor agreed with me in Budgets are for Beginners, then disagreed with me (and himself) in the follow-up Budgets are for Professionals.

 

For better or worse, a most effective learning tool is readily available to every one of us — our own mistakes. Sharing more than a few of his own, multimillionaire Mr. Tako implores you to Always Be Making Mistakes.

 

Contract DiagnosticsWhen it comes to, well… anything, it’s never too late to change course, unless you’ve succumbed to the Sunk Cost Fallacy. EJ, the cardiologist @ Dads Dollars & Debts, explains.

 

In an oldie but goodie, The White Coat Investor asks What Would it Take For You to Retire in 5 Years?

 

As a wannabe minimalist, I enjoy an article like this one from Chris @ Keep Thrifty. How Much is Your Stuff Costing You?

 

Burnout expert Dr. Dike Drummond @ Happy MD borrows a couple quotes from Albert in Physician Burnout – how did Einstein get to be such an expert? 

 

I heart travel, and I once circumnavigated the globe for well under $1,000 as a resident. I’m in good company, as the Mad Fientist just shared How to Travel Around the World for Under $1,000.

 

Medicine is full of acronyms, but the Mystery Money Man introduced me to one I didn’t know. Crush Your Money Goals with a SWOT analysis.

 

You know my opinion of MOC. Anesthesiologist Karen Sibert, MD of A Penned Point shares hers. The Boards Have Exceeded Their Bounds.
I’m anxious to tell you about my round-the-world trip and why I’m going nowhere despite being on vacation this week. First, I want to tell you about Contract Diagnostics, my very first Site Sponsor, and a potentially invaluable resource if you are looking at signing on to your first doctor job, or any subsequent job for that matter.

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As a firm with a single focus, there’s not a whole lot more to say. They do have an FAQ about their services for you to review, and offer a free consulting session for those interested in learning more.

 

Around the World in 13 Days

 

Some twelve and a half years ago, I was an anesthesia resident with two weeks of vacation and one week of CME time per year. I decided to take two thirds of my annual time off in one epic trip.

The itinerary wasn’t around-the-world epic, but I was planning to fly across the country to the ASA annual meeting in Las Vegas, which seemed practically halfway to Japan, and I just happened to have a good buddy living in Osaka. I booked a flight to the far east, with an extended layover in Sin City on the way back.

I had 13 days off and a $1,300 plane ticket. I arrived at the airport with my overstuffed luggage, stoked to embark on the most ambitious trip of my 28 years.

I was ready; the plane wasn’t.

A two-hour delay meant I would miss my connection to Osaka. The airline gave me the “I’m sorry, but you’ll be arriving a day later” line and I came back with “No.”

Eventually, I was rebooked, with part of the trip on a competing airline, and was scheduled to reach my final destination only a few hours later. Instead of Chicago, I was headed to Detroit for the first leg.

 

A Detour in Detroit

 

My inauspicious start was met with more turbulence in the motor city. “Flight 666 to Osaka is overbooked. We are looking for volunteers to delay their departure in exchange for a travel voucher of $750.” I made up the flight number, but not the voucher balance. Did somebody say Free travel?

The next flight to Osaka would get me there about 6 hours later than originally planned. Also, I would be heading east, and not west, and have an extended layover in Amsterdam.

It was Sunday morning in Holland, but I wasted no time at the airport. I found a locker for my luggage and headed out into the city. In three hours, I saw the canals, the many bicycles, a museum, this most colorful apartment building, and some ladies in windows with red curtains that appeared to be selling something.

After enjoying a pint of Wieckse Witte before noon (local time, anyway / 5 o’clock somewhere), I made my way back to the airport, where I boarded a plane and flew first class from Amsterdam to Japan.

 

that’s how i [sushi] roll

Japan was a wondrous, crowded place where a Scandinavian towers over the populace. Thanks to Typhoon Tokage, it was a wet week, but we made the most of it.

This isn’t a travel blog — at least not yet — so I’ll move on after one last picture of me in front of one of many vending machines, some of which sell beer, that dotted the streets of Osaka. I traveled on to Las Vegas, had a great conference, and returned home having completed the round-the world trip 67 days faster than Phileas Fogg.

 

Osaka vending machine

 

This week, I’m not working, but I won’t venture far from home. It’s my turn to play Mr. Mom (Dr. Mom?) while my wife is away to play on the beaches of Punta Cana with the gals in her extended family.

Gentlemen, if you haven’t done this, I highly recommend taking a solo week to connect more intimately with your kids and fully appreciate all that goes into running a household. I also highly recommend not making any sort of comment to the effect that it was easier than you thought it would be when she returns. I made that mistake. Once.

 

Have a great week!

-Physician on FIRE


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22 comments

  • Great roundup, PoF! I can barely survive an evening with the kids by myself, I don’t know how you can do a full week!

  • $750 for a travel voucher! That’s pretty good. I would have taken it too. I think you have a knack for travel writing …

  • I was on a flight from Chicago to KC several years ago coming home from a work conference. The flight was overbooked so they offered a travel voucher to leave on the last flight of the night. No one went for it so they kept going up in price. Eventually it got up to $500 and someone took it. Not long after that we found out that our flight was cancelled and we all got put on the late flight anyways. Should have taken that voucher! At least I lucked out and they put me in a first class seat as it was the last one available. That was pretty cool even though the flight was only about an hour.

  • $750 and first class? Totally worth the 6 hours! And yes, never say it’s was easier than you expected. 😉 Off to read some of these blogs. Sunday seems to be my new catch up day!!

  • I use to travel to Melbourne regularly for work. Normally it’s jfk, SF or lax, and then syd or Brisbane, then Melbourne. Once or twice I had to take a different airline back and was routed via London. I use to fly premium economy thanks to points and status, but man how I wish I could say like you I did so on first-class. My company is too cheap to pay more then economy. Then again at one time it was so frequent the stewardess was ready with my favorite drink when I got on the plane. I don’t know if that’s a good thing though.

    • No kidding? Melbourne for work? Brisbane? Sidney? Where do I sign up for this job?

      That is a lot of time on a plane, though. Better to have no job and travel once for an extended tour, I imagine.

      Cheers!
      -PoF

  • Wowza, that sounds like the trip of a lifetime PoF! I would have been *royally pissed off* if I’d had flight issues, but way to make the best of everything and see some extra sights along the way. 🙂

    • It was surreal to be strolling along the canals of Amsterdam when 12 hours earlier, I had no intention of being within 5,000 miles of Europe.

      I’m glad I left the airport, too. It would have been easy enough to try to catch some Zs but I had plenty of time to sleep on the next flight.

      Cheers!
      -PoF

  • First class to Japan sounds awesome, but by way of Amsterdam that must have been a loonng flight.

    Osaka is a great town (better than Tokyo in my opinion), but much better when a Typhoon isn’t going through!

    Thanks for the mention this week PoF!

    • You’re very welcome, Mr. T. Sounds like you know your way around Japan. That was my only trip there — my wife spent a week in Okinawa the first time I played Mr. Mom. We’ll have to make it back someday.

      Cheers!
      -PoF

  • As always, thanks for the mention. I have appreciated the mention on the Sunday Best. I count that as 7 times featured now on this post- Thanks. I actually added a page with featured posts . I hope it will continue to grow in the future.

    Thanks,
    EJ

  • Ok I don’t know why everyone else thinks it’s a bad idea – if you thought a week alone wasn’t that hard, that sounds like good reason for me to take another trip next month! 🙂

    In all seriousness though, personally if I come back after PiC had soloed and he was cool as a cucumber, I’m happy and counting that as a win for everyone.

    Though when he commented that it was a really short period between the time the JuggerBaby started screaming and when ze stopped screaming for reasons of passing out, I had a bit of sideeye for him. Sure didn’t feel like a short span of time standing over zir as ze screamed! Kids.

    Feels like I missed the boat for the sub$1000 RTW trip now that we have a kid and a dog.

  • Yes, I got pretty lucky with that one. To make it happen again would require a lot of planning and travel hacking, as the Mad Fientist was able to do.

    Cheers!
    -PoF

  • “I made that mistake. Once.” hahaha.

    Thanks for the honesty & the laugh!

    Do you still attend the ASA meetings? I am toying with attending my first one this year as an applying MS3.

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