Last week, my family and I spent 7 days rafting through the Grand Canyon.  Alice and I had rafted “the upper half” from Lee’s Ferry to Phantom Ranch, hiking out the Bright Angel Trail, in 1995. That trip had a deep impact on me.  I was a 31-year-old newlywed in 1995.  I still can’t believe how quickly 25 years has gone by since my last river trip.

During our adventure without internet, phone, or nonstop news cycles, it was a wonderful reminder that the world keeps going even when you can’t update on the “vital” news every 30 seconds.  The canyon, river, geology, wildlife and sheer, immense beauty of it all constantly reminded me of just how brief our time really is. 

I wanted to share some thoughts I collected from conversations with family and friends during the trip. I hope you take that “bucket list trip” wherever that maybe in the world.  It’s wonderful for the heart, the mind and the soul.

  • If you want to significantly increase your chances of achieving financial security, you might consider these three habits: save some of your earnings, keep track of what you spend, and be very cautious when borrowing money.
  • You are responsible for you.
  • The most expensive fragrance most people will ever experience is the “new car smell”
  • Boats, RVs, ATVs, jet skis, and motorcycles come with that same fragrance.
  • If your parents taught you how to constructively manage your finances, thank them.  If someone else taught you how to a manage your finances, thank them.
  • Ask questions of others as well as yourself.  Find the answer that works best for you.  Then the really hard part is applying that knowledge into daily life.
  • There is no perfection, just practice.
  • Wealth, like a reputation, can be amassed over decades and lost in about 5 minutes.
  • Every family is dysfunctional, no exceptions.  They are still your family.
  • Good friends keep you grounded and make life fun.
  • There is a rock formation at the bottom of the Grand Canyon called schist that is 2,500,000,000 years old.  It’s a reminder that our time on Earth is not a long one. So, make the most of our brief time in this wonderful place!

Hope you are having a fun, safe summer!


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