January 2017


Camp Mustache SE Review


It’s the evening before my flight to Gainesville, FL and my anxiety is acting up for the first time in awhile. My body knows that I’m going to pushing out of my comfort zone again and is fighting back, when I use my practiced mindfulness techniques to become present in this feeling, accept it and focus on my breath. I know the weekend will be draining physically and mentally, but will be worth every bit of it, closing my eyes I drift off to sleep before my morning flight.

When I wake up, I’m preparing for a family reunion of sorts, as well as preparing to accept at least a dozen new friends, I walk out of my apartment and head to the airport that I know so intimately now from my day to day job. This time however, this trip is one completely by my hand. I’m off to the first Southeast Camp Mustache!

Wait…what? Like a beard club?

look at all the cool kids! Camp Mustache is usually run in Seattle Washington, as an annual event where fans of the Mr. Money Mustache blog gather. Think of it as a meetup on steroids, with other well known bloggers in the Personal Finance space often attending as well, with entertainment, lectures and talks for the duration of the MLK weekend.

If you haven’t heard of Mr. Money Mustache (from here marked is MMM), you are in for a treat, his backlog of blog posts is loaded with interesting informative content! From how to make your own electric bike, to fitness without a gym to financial independence.

That last item for me is the most interesting piece of it, where he explains “The Shockingly Simple Math to Early Retirement.

This was my 3rd event like this, the first in Ecuador, the second being the 2016 Camp Mustache in Seattle, and now off to Florida! Meeting up with Pete (MMM) was great, and I found he now uses “Clacked” as a term for immediately recalling random information. That made me grin from ear to ear.

As well, during my time in Ecuador, I talked about wanting to get my fitness/heath in order, and i guess I didn’t have the fire I needed back then, Meeting him, one of the first things I did was tell him that I’ve slipped in the past, which I felt bad for as he spent some of his personal time directly helping me and I wanted to let him know I was on the track now. He said not to worry, that I’m still in it for the end game and that that took some weight off my shoulders. I’ve held some guilt about this for some time and it was great to get that re-assurance. I’m doing this for myself, but I know who I’m sending my 5k finish photo to first! (SPCA 5k! dogs everywhere! )

All the bloggers in attendance, many of which gave talks!
I finally got to meet J.D. Roth, who I have followed for almost a decade now and currently runs the blog Money Boss. It was fantastic to converse with him over the weekend, from things such as his transition from GRS (Get Rich Slowly) to his time at the World Domination Summit, to returning to Money Boss (I wish I asked him more about his RV trip, but there’s always a next time!)

I also had the pleasure of meeting Joshua from Radical Personal Finance (you can listen to his presentation here! One of the best of the weekend) and Brad from Richmond Savers.

We stayed at a Lutheran based camp/lodge that was quite nice! It is a religious based locale, and there was a middle school aged church group there. Nobody was pushing any faith but lead by a wonderful example by being absolutely fantastic hosts throughout the weekend. We were served by the staff 3 times a day for meals as well as hosting activities in the area such as Archery, Canoeing, and Obstacle Course Runs!

Learning Archery for The Hunger Games?

We may have zig-zagged more then intended, but still a blast.

A much more entertaining boot camp!

The most valuable experience though is the fellowship you gain with the other attendees. I find at these events, the ice has already been broken as we are all here with some similar interests and have many stories to share with each other to gain more knowledge and insight. In a very short time you get very close to these people. Many times they are reunions, as this is my 3rd event like this I knew about 25% of the attendees already and we got to catch up since we last saw each other. Cards against Humanity and Red Flags fun was had by many. (if you don’t own these games, I suggest you get a copy yourself, you wont regret it!)

As I sat on a business flight about a week later, I opened Tweetbot and see a tweet from JD Roth talking about a favorite post from a “long time reader”. I smile seeing that that was me. I opened iBooks, continuing to read Everything That Remains, a minimalism memoir. Remembering my conversation with Leon about minimalism and have a pain of knowing that we have all once again gone our separate ways. I laughed at the anxiety that burrowed into me the previous week, knowing I wouldn’t have that grin on my face if I didn’t take this trip. I cant wait to see my friends again, sitting around the fire, telling stories, laughing and debating until we cant think anymore.

For you all reading who attended with me, it’s not goodbye, its “see you later!”



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