The Sunday Best (5/6/2018)
The Sunday Best is a collection of articles I’ve curated for your reading pleasure.
Presenting, this week’s Sunday Best:
Before we get to the posts, you deserve to know that today is orientation day at Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos and I anticipate limited internet time and availability this week.
Since we’re traveling ourselves, this weekend edition of The Sunday Best will be heavily travel themed.
I’ll start with posts related to our favorite recent “slow travel” or “micro-retirement” destination, Guanajuato. You can read about that trip here if you missed it. A number of these posts come from familiar bloggers who have been featured on these pages a number of times.
- Escuela Falcon: Spanish School in Guanajuato, Mexico (2016, 2017)
- Galavanting About Guanajuato
- Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende
- Living on Less in Mexico
- Guanajuato, the Most Beautiful City in Mexico
- On the Streets of Guanajuato
- 10 Awesome Things to do in Guanajuato, Mexico
- Guanajuato. The Prettiest City in Mexico
- Mexico’s Most Beautiful City, Guanajuato
- Guanajuato City, Mexico
- Guanajuato: The Most Beautiful City in Mexico?
- Peter’s Travels: Guanajuato
- Exploring Guanajuato
That last one was from Justin at Root of Good. That dude knows how to travel. He and his family of five spent 9 weeks in Europe last summer and have turned that experience into about 9 months’ worth of blog posts. Check out his travelogues!
- Summer Vacation for 5 in Europe: 9 Weeks, 8 Countries, 14 Cities, $10,000
- Surprising Finds in Lisbon, Portugal
- From the Alcazaba to Sea in Malaga, Spain
- Exploring La Alhambra and the Narrow Alleyways of Granada, Spain
- Enjoying The Alcazar and Jamon Iberico in Seville, Spain
- Castles, Skyscrapers, and Prosciutto in Milan, Italy
- The Meandering Canals and Bridges of Venice, Italy
- Exploring Caves and Castles in Ljubljana, Slovenia
- The Hidden Gems of the Julian Alps and Soča Valley in Slovenia
- Explore Austria: Salzburg, Hallstatt and the Dachstein Ice Cave
- A Week in Munich, Germany plus Neuschwanstein and Dachau
- Czech it Out: Exploring Prague in a Week
It wouldn’t be right if we got through an entire Sunday Best without some hardcore data and money talk. It’s been awhile since I shared Big ERN’s safe withdrawal rate posts, and he’s added a few more in the meantime.
- Part 19: Equity Glidepaths in Retirement
- Part 20: More thoughts on Equity Glidepaths
- Part 21: Mortgages and Early Retirement don’t mix!
- Part 22: Can the “Simple Math” make retirement more difficult?
- Part 23: Flexibility and Side Hustles!
The Joy of Mild Discomfort
Sounds paradoxical, doesn’t it? And, coming from a guy who just spent a week relaxing on a tropical island, rather hypocritical, too.
Years ago, when I was a college student doing surgical research, my mentor asked me why we choose to live in Minnesota. This was either just before or after a trip we took to Tampa to present our research.
I told him the winters help us appreciate the spring and summer so much more. And we’re forced to find ways to enjoy the winter because it’s just a part of life up north. He likened my response to enjoying getting beat up by bullies every few days and to learn to love the beatings. It makes the days you don’t get beaten to a pulp more enjoyable.
I can see what he’s saying, but I know for a fact he still lives in Minnesota twenty-some years later.
Roatán is a pretty hot and humid place this time of year. Highs in the upper 80s, lows in the upper 70s, and swimsuits hung out overnight don’t dry. We’re not used to that kind of weather in th winter, fall, spring, or summer.
But rather than crank the A/C in our apartment, we chose to get used to it. Knowing that climate control would not be an option on the mission trip we’re now a part of in central Honduras, we decided it would be best to acclimate. We may also have been motivated by the fact we’d be paying 9.2 Honduran Lempira per Kilowatt Hour over our meager weekly allotment at our VRBO apartment.
Either way, we were pretty uncomfortable that first night, but we soon got used to sleeping under part of a sheet without tossing and turning all night and complaining all the next day. My sleeping skillset has been expanded. This is the joy of discomfort. A weak example, yes, but one that makes me realize how accustomed I’ve become to the climate control I tend to take for granted.
Another weak example would be our day trip to West Bay, about a four-mile drive over pothole-laden roads or a fifteen minute water taxi ride at $3 USD apiece. We took a third option, and it made the day more enjoyable.
It took closer to an hour, and we had to scamper over a few rock formations breaking up the beach, but we enjoyed a great walk to the best snorkeling beach on the island that morning. On Hawaii’s big island (stay safe, my friends!), we opted for the six-mile round-trip hike to the green sand beach, rather than the rough ride in the pickup for $20 apiece.
In both cases, the walk made the experience more enjoyable. Compared to those who took the easy way there, we earned those beaches.
You get that same rewarding feeling when you haul and split your own wood to enjoy a warm fire in the evening, prepare your own delicious meals, brew your own beer, or build your own deck. You enjoy the end product that much more because you worked for it.
This next week, I’ll be performing anesthesia with what I presume will be substandard equipment compared to what I’m used to, with people I’ve never worked with, on patients whose words I can’t understand. In addition to feeling good about the good we’re doing for the people of Honduras, I hope to also gain a new appreciation for the “summertime” that is the easy living and working conditions I enjoy back home.
And I must confess; we did take the water taxi back from West Bay to West End in the heat of the afternoon. The boat ride was a joyful experience for us and the boys (who didn’t complain once on the two-mile hike there), and there are times when it’s quite alright to spend the money for a fun experience, convenience, and comfort.
Have a joyful week!
-Physician on FIRE
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