One of the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year was to live a little bit more. Do things that were outside of my comfort zone. Recently, I received an opportunity to head to China for two weeks at the end of May and I decided to take it.
One of the great things about my job is I get to talk about the things that I am passionate about. I get to teach, give advice, and help others. And I have found that is what I love doing and I am pretty good at too.
A few years ago, a colleague of mine at the university I teach at brought over some scholars from China where a couple of faculty members presented a number of lectures based upon their research. I happened to be one of those professors and they have asked me for the past three years if i could reciprocate the favor by going over to their university and teaching for a bit. This summer I am finally able to do it.
What Does This Have to Do With Personal Finance?
The answer is nothing really. Although I will be blogging a bit about my time in China, the cost of food, travel, etc, and my experience there. However, this blog is more than just personal finance it is about my personal journey to become financially independent and better my life. This is one small aspect of that.
There are some financial things to consider for this trip. 1) I had to poney up the dough ahead of time for my plane ticket. They will reimburse me, but apparently it will all be in cash. I am not sure how I am going to handle that because I don’t want to be tempted to spend money that really isn’t meant to be spent. 2) I am getting paid for this little adventure. Not much. I am probably going to earn just over $500-$1000 for the whole trip, which will be enough to cover my food costs, transportation, etc. However, I am not doing this as a money making venture. Heck, if I come out even on the whole thing I will be ecstatic. The point is to stretch myself. I am going to experience a new culture, language, way of living, that I have never encountered before. I have been to over 20 countries, but I have never been to Asia. And I admit I have a bit of anxiety traveling to somewhere new where the language is totally different (I speak Spanish so I can get by in many Western European and Latin American countries), customs, etc.
Yes, I know those fears are probably all in my head and everything will work out. Besides, I am going with a couple of colleagues so it isn’t like I will be by myself, but this is a great chance for me to see some of the great wonders of the world like the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, etc.
So that is my big news. It really isn’t that big, but I am excited to go, teach, and experience new things for good and bad. And hopefully this might be a biennial thing and lead to other travel opportunities across the world. I have already been to 10 countries because of my job. Not many others have similar opportunities. I hope to keep the party going.