Nauyaca Falls

A view of the Río Barú from a ridge on your way to Nauyaca Falls near Dominical, right on the border of Puntaarenas and San José Province, Costa Rica. The Río (river) likely gets its name, from the indigienous Guaymi language, where Barú translating roughly as ‘watershed´ or ‘river basin’.

I had been staying in the beach town of Dominical a few nights already, and compared to the world-class surf experience I had just had in southern Costa Rica, the conditions had not been great.

It was August, and the off-season for the droves of American and European tourists that flock to Costa Rica every winter. So Dominical was sleepy – very sleepy. This isn’t a big deal when the surf is good, but when it’s not, a surf bum can quickly start to wonder about what they’re going to do with their day. And what the hell are they doing with their life!

And that’s when you know it’s time to get a move on. Time to get on your feet and out of your head and find something else to do in the area. Besides – it’s Costa Rica! Apart from great surf and beaches the country is filled with natural treasures, wildlife and all sorts of activities for tourists to get up to.

Thanks to the internet and the well-developed tourism industry of Costa Rica, it wasn’t hard to quickly come up with a few ideas and narrow it down from there. I decided I would head to some waterfalls in the area, and from what I had read, Nauyaca was the go.*

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The Stuff Wars

Two men local to the area show tourists from larger centers in China around on traditional river rafts. One of them takes a break to make a call. Yangshuo, China. 2010.

Today is May 13th, 2019 and I have been wasting time watching the markets dip pretty hard. As I start this draft, the Dow is down 2.54% for the day while IEMG, an emerging market ETF denominated in US Dollars, is down 3.64%. By the time of pressing ‘publish’, it will probably be May 14th, and markets will have recovered a bit, as they overreact to their overreaction on May 13th.

And they did.

So why is this happening?

Well, the answer, of course, is easy: it is due to an overreaction by the markets to the re-escalation of the Stuff Wars between US and China in recent weeks, including a new set of retaliatory trade tariffs placed on US goods by China today. That is, tariffs placed on the obscene amount of things – stuff – that we ‘trade’ with each other have turned the markets from a state of greed to a state of fear – their two primary emotions.

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My Mexican Casita – Thoughts, FAQs and Returns

View on Air BnB

When I tell people I own a small home in Mexico, I am invariably asked the same set of questions:

  • How did that come about? (it mostly just kind of happened, to be honest)
  • How much did it cost? (about $100,000 Canadian dollars)
  • Do you own it outright? (yes, but also not exactly, but yes.)
  • Does it ‘pay for itself’? (of course, and some. For 2018 I calculated a range of 7-39% as my return for the year, depending on how you slice it)
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The Air BnB Post

As my original Freedom deadline approaches and I’m looking at yet another year of full-time employment and a summer of construction on my home and rental-income property, I have been re-visiting my goals and intentions a little more regularly of late.

La chela mas fina.

When I sold my home in Canada and soon after bought one in Mexico, the crux of my plan was living rent-free in a home that paid me. You might call it my own minimum basic income project, trying to find a way to have the basics – food and shelter – covered while I follow curiosity and work on projects that create a spark in me, whether they pay well or not (or maybe even nothing).

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The Resolution 2018: Wrap-up

res·o·lu·tion /ˌrezəˈlo͞oSH(ə)n/noun  
1. a firm decision to do or not to do something
2. the quality of being determined or resolute.

A “New Year’s” Resolution is just one way of making resolve

It takes resolve to see something through. A “New Year’s” resolution is simply a pledge to take something on at the start of a New Year that you intend to maintain throughout the year (or beyond). But we take make all sorts of resolutions of all shapes and sizes at any time we like. The turning of a New Year is simply a convenient tracking marker.

This year, I plan to focus much less on updating my blog with monthly spending updates, as they became the crux of the blog by the end of the year. The intention of The Resolution, of course, was simply to find out how much I really spend, on everything, which I have more or less done.* I will try to get back to writing about my journey to financial freedom and the meaningful adventures I make and things I learn along the way, while applying resolve in many other important aspects of my life and financial journey.

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Indexing: A Timely Check-in

With the passing of John C. Bogle recently, it is as timely as ever for this blogger to do a little quick-take on his investing strategy and to make sure all is still in line with his goals and beliefs.

Bogle, of course, was the man who pioneered the Index Fund, an investment vehicle designed to mimic or track its respective Stock Market Index. This index can be a particular part of the market, such as, say, Information Technology (VGT) or, say, all of the US stock market (VTI) by bundling many companies together in one ‘stock’ that an individual can purchase at a relatively low fee in comparison with hiring an active money or mutual fund manager.

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The Resolution: December 2018

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Ok folks.   Here it is.  The last entry of the 2018 Resolution series, and the last time (in 2018 anyway) that I will call you all folks.  This was just a small part of the blog at this time last year, but is currently all I am posting as I have found myself wrapped up in other creative pursuits with my free time such as a renewed focus on photography and have been learning some graphic design skills through online training in the Adobe Creative Suite, which has led me to even trying my hand at art, such as this*:

The Second Wave.jpg

It’s been a wild ride.  I started out strong and ambitious, with goals of spending as little as $12,000 CAD for the year.  It didn’t take long to realize that I needed to adjust that goal, and later I adjusted it again, ultimately settling on a goal of $18,000 spending for the year (less than $15,000 USD).

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The Resolution: November 2018

Nov 2018 Spending

The end is nigh.  The end of the year, that is.  And thus, The Resolution.

There’s no doubt my spending goals have slipped throughout the year, but things come and go, and you’ve got to stick with something in good times and bad in order to make any real gains.  Ultimately it will still be my most financially efficient year ever, and still likely my least expensive year in terms of spending money as well.  I am determined to reset the The Resolution in The New Year and apply what I have learned.

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The Resolution: October 2018

chart (9)

Well folks, well more than half way through the final quarter and November itself, and here I am letting you know how my spending went in October!  Ugh.

Props to all them real bloggers out there that keep their practice alive day-in-day-out.  There’s no question my commitment to keep writing has waned in recent months, and I think it’s safe to say that my spending has been inversely correlated during that time.  I am going to assume that this correlation is actually a causal factor and do my best to get back to blogging about my spending, finances and thoughts on the matters more diligently and regularly.  After all, this all started as a reminder to myself of my goals and intentions regarding my lifestyle, finances and environmental and social impacts. Continue reading “The Resolution: October 2018”

The Travel Necessities of a Professional Surf Bum

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In my last article I broke down my trip to Costa Rica, highlighting some of the travel and excitement but also providing a detailed list of all expenses associated with the trip.  As I was re-reading it, however, I realized that there were some things I had not mentioned that helped me to save money and maximize my enjoyment.  A lot of these things are subtle little additions to my bag – or the bag itself – that my moderate amount of travel experience over the years has allowed me to pickup, and I’ve been building a list to help me prepare for future trips without forgetting (too) much.

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