In January of 2009 I would experience an event that would leave a deep emotional scar and serve as a wake up call that it was time to evaluate how I had lived most of my adult life. That event was a divorce and the cause of which revolved heavily around the mismanagement of money. You see, I was once a die-hard spendthrift and had about every kind of debt you can imagine topping off at just over $50k when I started this journey.
The beginning steps of this journey started in a country far from home, Saudi Arabia. It actually began a year prior to me landing in The Kingdom, in the mountains of Afghanistan. I worked as a paramedic for several years and always entertained the idea of working overseas. Far from recovering emotionally or financially from my divorce, I set about researching overseas jobs for paramedics. This is how I found myself in Afghanistan less than six months after my divorce finalized. I set out looking for adventure, emotional healing, and financial security. The first I found in abundance, the last two would take a little longer. Apparently if you’re a spendthrift making $40k a year you will do the same making $100k a year. I still had a long way to go…
After a year working as a contract paramedic for the government in Afghanistan I had literally nothing to show for it. Sure, I had some cool experiences and stories to share, but I was still broke and deeply in debt. I spent everything I made just as I had every year before. As my contract came to an end I knew that although I wasn’t ready to do another year in Afghanistan, I wasn’t ready to return home. How could I? I still had the debt and nothing saved. Something had to change.
I landed a job working in Saudi Arabia as a paramedic for an oil company and it would be here that things would change, and change drastically. I was able to set a side some money relatively quickly and for the first time, I wasn’t scheming of ways to spend it. Honestly, I was scheming, but I wasn’t acting. Each month I would save around 80-90% of my pay. I started paying down debt, paid off a bankruptcy two years early, and started investing; which is how this blog came to be and the first year or so is where you will find most of my posts on investing.
Once I paid off all of my debt and built a net worth over a $100k I decided to return home. In the summer of 2013 I bought a foreclosure with the cash I saved and set about doing all the rehab work myself. This would be the beginning of another part of the journey, a part that is still unfolding. I found that I like working with my hands, I like building things, I like participating more in my life than simply going through the motions. For the first time in my life, I’m not simply contemplating my philosophy, I’m living it. My care for money lessens everyday, replaced by a desire to live simply, yet with inner abundance. My blog post these days are focused on those experiences, with money as a backdrop; where it should be. We live in a time that our lives orbit around one main theme, economics and consumption. It takes conscious effort to decouple from that mode of existence and that is what I’m working towards these days. I hope you will join me on the journey and share with me your own journey as well.