Mi lindo Ecuador
January 15 — Week 1 of Chautauqua Ecuador has already sold out. There are still openings for Week 2 and we have a couple left for:
OK, back the post….
This was starting to get hard.
2017 is the fifth year we’ve been doing this and will see us present the seventh and eighth Chautauquas in Ecuador come October.
I’ve written several posts now talking about how wonderful these things are. And, really, how many ways can I say it?
Well, fortunately past attendees have put their own spin on it.
One of the key things attendees experience is the chance to meet and hang out with some very interesting people like themselves. Here are a few who tell the tale better than I:
In 2015 three folks banded together to produce a short 3-minute video on the El Encanto experience. It is a beautiful overview, especially of the excursions around Ecuador and the community service project that are part of the trip.
Directed by Joan @ Meister’s Balogna
Edited by Brian @ Inner Parakeet
Music by Prentice @ Sound Cloud
(if you have trouble seeing the imbedded video, you can also find it here)
Since then, these guys also produced, filmed and edited this now somewhat infamous video of me imitating John Goodman on the subject of F-You money.
While Mr. Goodman certainly has no worries about competition from the likes of me, thanks to the magic of Joan & Brian I think the results are pretty bloody wonderful. It is also now memorialized in the Ballad of Chautauqua below!
(not work or kid friendly)
(if you have trouble seeing the imbedded video, you can also find it here)
Chautauqua networking in action!
Last October, at Chautauqua Ecuador at Hacienda Cusin, Katie and Alan, a very talented and interesting couple from England, showed up. Now in and of itself, this is not in the least remarkable. Chautauquas have a tendency to attract interesting and talented people. That is one of the reasons I love them so damn much: I get to hang out at cool places and meet cool people.
But then, on our last full day, I noticed him scrambling about huddling with the other attendees. Didn’t think much about it at the time.
Turns out, that morning, Katie and Alan had a rather brilliant idea and by dinner they’d finished and presented it to us four speakers.
What they’d done was to track down each attendee, photograph them in situations and spots that exactly captured their personalities, and got them to say a few words about each of us speakers and what Chautauqua had meant to them. When they pulled it all together, we were gifted with this wonderful keepsake:
Also last year, Alyssia and Kevin showed up for the week at El Encanto. They run a business in Ohio to put food on the table, but when work is done they have a little band. After the post zip-lining lunch, they put on an impromptu show we all greatly enjoyed. Offhandedly, I said “You should write a song about Chautauqua” and thought nothing more about it. A few weeks later, this showed up:
(if you have trouble seeing the imbedded video, you can also find it on YouTube)
I like to read along as I listen and if you do too, here are the lyrics:
The Ballad of Chautauqua ‘16
I was sitting by the computer at work one day,
Reading what some of my favorite bloggers had to say
About investments & real estate and paving the way – to financial freedom
I read a post about Chautauqua ’16
In the heart of Ecuador where the jungles are green
This would be the furthest place I’ve ever been – so we packed our bags
We met Ben, Sarah, Aaron, Rich, Tom and Connie
Kevin, Lysh, Nilpa, Jess, Brett and Amy
Daniel, Jenn, Shawn, Jolene, Derrick and Stacey
Michelle, Holly, Holly, Matt and Chrissy
I sat next to Jim and Jane at the first meet and greet
Cheryl and Ricardo who put on the retreat
Mr. Money Mustache whose real name is Pete
and Paula and Will from Afford Anything
Petting a llama, eating lunch at a crater
El Encanto Hosteria, which sits on the equator
I’m hiking down to the river – I’ll catch up with you later – for dinner & drinks
The first talk was from Jim – from jlcollinsnh
“Invest in VTSAX – with a high savings rate”
Total Stock market index funds, right out of the gate – to buy your freedom
We stopped and we saw where chocolate comes from
Helped a local family build onto their home
Surrounded by friends, we never felt alone – in the town of Mindo
Cheryl Reed spoke of happiness and how to achieve it
Its your job to be happy if you can only believe it
You can make your own path if you can only conceive it… I’m smiling
IT AIN’T ALWAYS ABOUT THE MONEY……….HONEY
ITS ABOUT KEEPING YOUR OUTLOOK ON LIFE SUNNY
WHEN YOU SUROUND YOURSELF WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
IT ALREADY MAKES YOU….A VERY RICH MAN
Next up was Paula Pant speaking on real estate
Passive rental income is starting to sound pretty great
If it wasn’t for my wife and Will, I’d probably ask her out on a date… but…
Ziplining through the jungle, listening to didgeridoo
Getting cleansed by a shaman, now my outlook is new
a John Goodman performance from Jim Collins for two, life is good
Drinking John Morris Whisky, beers and box wine
Rum and flavored vodka helped us have a good time
Stories were flowing as we sought to unwind, and learn from each other
Sitting around the hot tub led to good conversations
Like if we headed to Mars, what would be the level of radiation?
Ohio may be the birthplace of Aviation, but North Carolina is 1st in flight
Pete spoke of the good life and the simple math to FIRE
Maximizing happiness by cutting out needless desires
Optimize everything and read the Dalai Lama to inspire…you on your way
One on Ones with the presenters, was the highlight for me
and getting to hang out on Pete’s balcony
and at every meal I’m pouring on the AHI…. sauce from the kitchen
The last day we were on a mountain 13,000-ft. high
and a bus driver that couldn’t turn left – no matter how hard he’d try
there was laughter and hugs as we said our goodbye’s – & ate some pizza
Some headed off to Galapagos – others back to the States
Some headed off to early retirement – others may be a little late
But one thing is for certain – the Chautauqua was GREAT
I can’t describe it any better than that!
Photo courtesy of Gwen
Frequently folks not actually on the financial independence path view it as one of dismal deprivation focused on denial of living life today to save money for tomorrow. That’s not what I see.
Looking at this video, slide show and listening to this song, you’ll get a glimpse of what we really look like. Happy, engaged, energetic and certainly not deprived. These are people very probably much like you, and in terms of wealth they fall all along the FI path. FI expands life and makes it better.
If that’s not enough, check out these posts from Carl and Rich:
Mr. 1500 Days amazing Chautauqua Adventure: Part I
(see the only picture of me ever with a bag on my head)
Rich on Money: What the Hell is Chautauqua
If you’ve read this far, and this sounds like you and you want to join us, registrations are now open. Attendance is limited and spots tend to go quickly. Just sayin’.
(if it is sold out, be sure to put you name on the wait list)
October 7-14 will take us to a new, larger venue: Hacienda Chorlavi. Chorlavi will allow us to expand the number of speakers to five (Mr. Money Mustache, Paula Pant (Afford Anything), The Mad Fientist, Cheryl Reed and myself) and the number of attendees to 35.
October 14-21 will take us back to one of our favorite places: El Encanto. In addition to Cheryl and myself, Kristy of Millennial Revolution will be making her Ecuador debut and Jesse Mecham, CEO of YNAB (You Need a Budget) will be returning for his third Chautauqua and second as a speaker. Both these are major coups! Attendees will be limited to 25.
I hope this is the year we’ll see you there!
If Ecuador and/or October just don’t work for you, for the first time ever we’ll be also be taking Chautauqua to England. Kristy of Millennial Revolution, The Mad Fientist, Alan of Pop-Up Business School and I will be your speakers. Hit the link and check it out!
Travel hack your way there for little or no $$$$
My pal, and travel hacker guru, Brad Barrett has for the last couple of years helped our Ecuador attendees make their way to Quito for little or no money. He has graciouly offered to do the same again for 2017.
His services, for these events, are free (and I also recommend you sign up for his free Travel Miles 101 email course)
If you’d like his help, you can reach him here:
Just tell him, you’re with us!