Time Traveling: The Poor And The Rich

I was sitting in a hammock at Burning Man several years ago when the bejeweled person next to me struck up a conversation about what it meant to be poor. The other people in the geodesic dome each contributed their take. Some argued that being poor meant having a lack of fulfillment. Others argued it was a lack of funds. Still others thought it was a lack of love. The last person to speak up was a long haired old man who I hadn’t even noticed was sitting on the other side of the dome. He paused and said in a very strong and clear voice that being poor meant lacking time.

He explained that rich people had fast cars, super fast computers, prepared meals and other conveniences that allowed them to live efficiency and thus have more time to do what they do.

Everyone who heard the comment stayed silent as they absorbed the thought. We all share a 24 hour day but the old man had made a great point, the difference between rich and poor wasn’t only money, it was also time.

I am now back in the States to start my third domestic leg of my bucket list journey. Over the next few months I will focus on hitting the rest of the 50 states that I haven’t yet visited and on learning some odd skills (air combat training, chess, digital photography). This is a major change from the last leg that I spent traveling around the greatest cities and viewing the most amazing sights in Europe.

It is this transition that made me think of the old man’s comment. This year I will likely make about half of the money that I made last year. This was completely voluntary as I left my old high paying job and am now focusing on my startup. At the same time, I find myself with a lot of time to do what I do.

I have less money and more time.

I have found the balance that I have I been looking for. At first this was an odd realization for me. It was like the proverbial dog catching its tail and having no idea what to do next.

This used to be a trap I would fall into in other areas of my life. I would get what I wanted but then find it difficult to determine if that was really what I had actually wanted.

Luckily, I have grown up a little bit over the course of my adventure. I know now exactly what makes me happy and there is no second guessing if I am right or wrong.

Travel, Learning and People make me happy.

As I start my newest leg of my adventure, I start with a smile. I already have all of the resources that I need to accomplish my goals (discipline, some money and some support). Now making progress on my list is only a matter of time.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • So you left att? You left seomoz before that. Hmmmm. Sounds like you had enough of corporate world. Welcome to the startup club! I wish you well Danny. I read your book a while back. Saw your tweet which brought me here.

    • Hey Francisco! Cheers man.

      I guess I just caught the travel bug and found a different way of doing things.

      Hope all is well!

  • Dane

    Whoa, psyched on this post man! You are already making this life yours and now these realizations are only going to enhance the journey. Keep at it, and no doubt, because of this mindset your new start up will be great!

  • Taha

    I love what the old man said. In other prospective I believe the poor are those who are unsatisfied and not having feelings for things. If someone have money but he is not satisfied then he is poor. If we have luxurious things in our lives but we don’t have sense or happiness for having it then we are poor.

    By the I love to travel too. It makes me feel alive..

  • That’s an interesting perspective. I think sometimes that I am time poor. Some of that is frittering away my own time. But other times, I know I am working on building my future and as I build my income, I plan on using some of that income to give me more time.

    Good luck with your goals! Though it may be a bit dated since they haven’t updated it in a long time, Chessmaster: Grandmaster Edition is a fantastic program. You get several 2d chess sets and a lot of 3d ones — even a few animated ones. It has several tutorials that teach you chess in easy steps, including one set taught by Grandmaster Josh Weitzkin (the kid that was the subject of the movie Searching for Bobbie Fisher). It has game analysis, and a number of computer “players” of different ratings from 23 (a young child) to GrandMaster (a near perfect rating).

    You can do it!

    • Thanks Grady! I plan on checking that out. It sounds like exactly what I need.


  • Annette

    You are so wise and how I wish that I had taken life by the tail as you have, I did all the “conventional, traditional” things. Marriage, family, trying to make $$ to put away for the future. But do we ever know what the future holds for us? My love who wanted to take me to Italy where he had been during WW2≤ died at age 49 before we had that “future” we were saving to enjoy,. Here I am at 90 and while I am looking forward to traveling soon to Israel to be with family, there are so many places in this wonderful world that I wish I’d seen because now the travel is just too hard for me, Keep up your quest!

    • Thanks for the motivation :-) You have been a very important part in a lot of people’s lives. That is something to be proud of and something worthwhile. Best of luck and keep enjoying this wonderful world :-)

  • I thought we had it settled that I was going to teach you chess! Oh, well, go ahead…

    Not related to this post, but you need to be here: http://www.gogobot.com/blog/blogs-we-love/ – good for this blog’s SEO :) :P They need a special category for you!

    • I still haven’t started learning just yet so there is still a chance! Gogobot seems cool, I’ll check it out. Cheers Rohan!

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