Em's Journal.

Writing Can Be Overwhelming

Ever since I retired I've wanted to do more writing. But with the exception of the book I wrote about my grandparents in 2020, I never quite got into it. Writing can feel so overwhelming. But after thinking about it for a while, I realized that the reason it feels like such a huge undertaking is because there is long stretch of time between the concept of a book and actually getting it out there for others to read.

My career was spent in software development, where I subscribed to and promoted agile methodologies. With agile methodologies, you work quickly, getting small pieces out to your clients regularly without waiting for the entire multi-year project to be complete. Clients and users would benefit from getting some functionality earlier and we'd be able to update future development plans based on their feedback. Writing isn't always like that.

But then I thought about journaling, what I'd like to write about, and how to get it out there on a more frequent basis. Journaling allows me to write much shorter ideas and send them out for quick feedback and commenting - much more like the agile processes I'm used to. So here's my journal. It's a bit different from our other blog posts as it's more related to my thoughts instead of documenting our adventures. I hope you enjoy it and reach out to me if you're interested in chatting more about the topics.

In Defense of Cities

I’m an introvert and I love escaping to find an off-grid spot to camp and hike somewhere quiet and away from it all. And I’m good to do that for weeks at a time. But I really love the city too and need the excitement of urban living in my life. I want to feel the energy of the people around me, I want to see people lining up to get into restaurants, I want tons of fitness and gym options, I want 5 different grocery stores within 3 blocks of my house, I want to walk along the seawall with the crowds.

It scares me when I hear that because of the pandemic, so many people are leaving the city. I guess since they don’t have to work downtown, they want to live farther away. I understand this to some extent, but the city is so much more than just living close to work. It’s about excitement, energy, and opportunity. I want to be able to order tacos at 11pm, be inspired by the group practicing handstands in the park, or walk down the pier to catch an aquabus . I love cities and all of their excitement - the coffee shops, the busy patios, the guy singing an Eagles song on the corner, the woman selling scarves in front of the art gallery, the line up of food trucks by the park, the people – it’s definitely not just about being close to an office.

Vancouver is one of my favourite cities and I’m lucky to call it home. It’s a city that’s big enough to have everything I need and small enough that most of what I want to do is within walking distance. This seawall goes on for what seems like forever, with views of the mountains, plenty of beaches, and lots of wildlife. I love being outside and this place is made for it. Around here I can hike to the peak of a glacier one day and go kayaking and play on the beach the next day. And when we want travel, we can catch a flight to Asia, drive down to Utah, or just find some solitude in the Fraser Canyon.

Saving Money

Being able to travel is all about saving money. The faster and more efficient we are at saving money, the sooner and more often we can travel. Some of our focuses are:

  • Being happy with what we already have
  • Taking steps to reduce our spending and saving our money
  • Investing our money so that it works for us

The ways we spend money can be engrained in us so that we believe we cannot live without certain expenses. Here are some ways that Chris and I save money every day. Read More