Why Blue? Some Clues

Meet Blue — an adventurous storyteller whose ‘lost’ journey led to a life exploring financial independence, dabbling in real estate ventures, and experiencing the thrill of getting outdoors. Find out about this unconventional path, and the inspiration behind sharing these experiences.

Blue Beginning

I’ve always loved blue….there are so many different shades. Its the color of my eyes that fondly remind me of my gramps. Its the color of the sky that all countries share. It describes the complex jumble of emotions when experiencing the dissonance between what is and what could be. I even love the way the word sounds when spoken, calming and open-ended.

Blue, as a nickname for me, came about in my early-thirties, at the point in my life when I felt the most lost. I was a childless, recent divorcee, with an uninspiring cubicle job, and essentially broke. Feeling like a failure, I didn’t see how the standard ‘American Dream’ was ever going to be for me.

Grieving the loss of my previous life and perceived standard avenue to happiness, I started looking around at unconventional paths. I labeled my relatively little to lose as ‘freedom’ and started experimenting. I set out to find new perspectives, new hobbies and activities, followed every whim wherever it led me, without aim or intention….essentially, GOT LOST.

Fortune smiled upon me, and one day I found a kindred spirit and ‘lab partner’ for my experiments. Modern day dating, we texted each other a lot during the early days. Kind of a tech nerd, my partner had a phone that you could choose what color light your notification blinked, depending on the text sender….mine was BLUE, and the nickname was born.

Blue’s Adventures

Inviting more adventure into my life was a big part of my getting lost. Turns out that three main areas emerged for me as sources of ongoing adventure that have profoundly shaped who I am today. Financial independence, outdoor exploration, and dabbling in real estate — force me to learn, adapt, test my boundaries.

I like to share my experiences in these realms in hopes of helping others who may be feeling lost, possibly inspiring people to do some adventuring of their own. Here’s more about some of the trials and tribulations I’ve gone through, to hopefully shed light on how I got to where I am today and why I am motivated to share.

Outdoor Adventures

High on my wish list when I was first feeling lost, was to go adventuring in the woods. I wanted to try real camping, like no port-a-potty, or a hotel ten minutes away, camping. My new partner, luckily, was a very experienced outdoorsman, and bravely took a newb like me out into the wilderness.

Venturing out with only what I could carry made me feel confident, connected and in harmony with the world. Simultaneously, it made me feel fragile, insignificant and humble. Each time I returned to civilization, I brought back a bit of the wild in me, and couldn’t wait to go again.

My partner and I started traveling to more and more exotic places, and as often as we could. We tried to do it as cheaply as possible. Luckily, camping in general is pretty budget friendly. But traveling to and from places was often expensive and time consuming.

But our trips felt like the only thing that kept me sane. Travel wasn’t just a hobby, it was a transformative force for good in my life. Getting out of my normal environment and routine was a source of inspiration, rejuvenation, and a catalyst for personal growth.

Travel and outdoor exploration quickly became an addiction with an ever expanding list of places to go, peaks and valleys to explore. Taking one or two trips a year that budget and time off would allow was never going to be enough!

Venturing towards F.I.

But how to have time to travel and experience all of the beautiful nature that is out there?!? Jobs take up all the time, but they provide the money – and you need time and money to travel…conundrum! Like all problems, I turned to the internet looking for answers.

I found the F.I.R.E (Financial Independence Retire Early) community in 2013 with voices like Mr Money Mustache and the Mad Fientist. I stumbled on the classic books Your Money or Your Life and JL Collin’s Simple Path to Wealth.

These were somewhat ‘unconventional’ ideas, but I started to see how they could work – could work for me. I felt like finally, I had some real hope! There were people who had managed to have financial and time freedom before they died slumped over in their cubicle.

I spent countless hours reading books, listening to podcasts, reading blogs. Soon, I was speaking in a new cryptic, foreign language, IRA, 401k, HSA, APY, REIT. I basically became a walking financial dictionary.

I cut out as much wasteful spending as I could, paid off debt, started investing – however, all was not well.

Adventures in Real Estate

From the financial calculators, I could tell that keeping my income and expenses the same, it would take way too long to get to where I could travel and be outdoors as much as I wanted.

Something in the math had to change! I need more money or less expenses to accelerate the timeline.

Popular in the F.I.R.E. movement is leveraging real estate, and there are several different ways to do so, as a means to financial independence. Embracing the spirit of adventure, I began looking into ‘house hacking’ as a strategy. House hacking is either eliminating housing cost or generating income from your housing.

My partner and I researched, soul-searched, saved all our pennies, and eventually purchased a triplex. I was to live in one unit, and rent out the other two. Taking on such a big property and the responsibility of land-lordship was as scary as facing my first night in the wilderness!

A lot of sweat equity, blood and tears went into the property. Like any good adventure, there has been twists and turns. Managing our own rental properties continues to provide new surprises and challenges!

But it paid off, literally, it lowered expenses and increased income! It successfully sped up progress towards financial goals. I wouldn’t exactly call it passive income, but better than sitting in a cubicle most days.

I Don’t Want to Be Found

At first, I was terrified of being lost. I wanted to have a life plan laid out clearly in front of me that was easy to follow with no risk. Surely, there was a safe recipe to follow, that would result in societal acceptance and success. Ah, if only life worked that way!

Turns out, getting lost was the best thing that happened to me. First of all, it jolted me into realizing there was no sure path, no such thing as safety. And, I was being led somewhere, but it wasn’t to anywhere good. I was on the path to living pay check to pay check forever, without knowing what I really wanted in life.

Feeling lost gave me the permission I needed to be ‘different,’ to open my mind to the world of possibilities out there, to dream my own dreams. It showed me that I was responsible for finding my own path. No one else could give me the recipe, I had to do the work to see what was right for me.

Through the process of losing and grieving, I was able to let go of my previous assumptions and embrace the uncertainty in life. Bitter sweet uncertainty; the crack in the door that lets the light in, but can also suck all the air out.

Like heading out for a back packing trip, you strip things down until you get to just the essentials. When you’re out wandering in the wilderness of life, you don’t want to be dragging a bunch of useless things around with you. Getting lost stripped me down, made me figure out my essentials.

Now, I love being lost, and I don’t want to be found.

Get Lost with Me?

In 2023, I reached a point where I felt financially secure enough to step away from my job for a gap year, maybe several…maybe a career change or total retirement. Who knows? I’m traveling and getting outdoors, free from the cubicle overlords. Thinking back ten years when I first had that lost feeling, I thought where I am today would be the end point.

However, I’ve found it’s just the beginning. My financial independence journey has only deepened, as I learn more about the behavioral and emotional aspects of money. I’ve found that removing unhappiness from life doesn’t mean that the vacuum is immediately filled with happiness. I still have to go out and actively seek the growth and experiences that make a truly prosperous life.

I hate seeing people suffer, not be able to give their best to the world because of something as stupid as not knowing how to play the money game. I desperately want to help people remove that barrier, and use their finances to live a truly prosperous life.I feel like I have to pull the fire alarm and give people the chance to save themselves!

Are you waking up feeling like you’re on a path that doesn’t feel right? Does it feel like finances are getting in your way? Reach out! Please comment and share your journey. Maybe I can help? Come get lost with me.


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