Thanks to work and personal travels, I have set foot on 25 airplanes so far this year, with at least 6 more plane rides planned. Essentially I have been on a plane every single month so far in 2017. For someone whose job isn’t supposed to have that much traveling involved, 2017 has been a busy year.
For the most part, I like getting on a plane to visit different cities, whether be for work or for leisure.
But I really really don’t like air turbulence.
I get it, air travel is pretty safe nowadays. Planes are designed to withstand turbulence. Turbulence won’t break off airplane’s wings and cause the plane to crash.
I have heard the analogy… a plane going through air turbulence is similar to a car hitting bumps on the road.
In both cases, the traveling vessel (plane or car) vibrates slightly due to the bumps on the transportation path (air or road). We are just more used to bumps on the road while sitting in a car.
I get the analogy and all, but I see a huge difference.
Cars are moving on roads connected to the ground, whereas planes are cruising at 36,000 feet (~12,000 metre) above the ground!
If roads are bumpy, you can stop the car, and the that’s the end of all the bumpiness.
With planes, you can’t just stop and park the plane in midair!
Don’t get me wrong, I am pretty comfortable with minor turbulence. I just don’t like going through bigger ones.
What do I mean by bigger turbulence?
The ones where the flight attends suspend meal & drink service. Or the ones where the pilot goes on the PA and tells the flight attends to strap in. Or the ones where the plane keeps lurching and shaking for 30 minutes or longer. Or the ones that plane suddenly drops and you are lifted from your seat.
They are not pleasant at all. For some reason, I seem to encounter bigger turbulence when I fly. When this happens, I always feel uneasy. My hands are sweaty, I am tense, and I keep thinking the “what if.”
What if the turbulence is so bad and causes the plane to nose dive?
I know they won’t happen but my mind just keeps wondering.
Then I start thinking about what is one thing that I cherish the most.
99.9% of the time, my mind goes to my kids and Mrs. T. I often pick up my phone and start looking through pictures of Mrs. T, Baby T1.0, and Baby T2.0 to help me calm down. I think about the funny moments with them and how good it would be to get hugs and kisses from them at that very moment.
Moments with loved ones are what we cherish the most in life.
Although money can buy many things in life, money cannot buy memorable moments. Furthermore, all the money in the world won’t do any good if you don’t have the time to spend with your loved ones.
This makes me ponder and reflect. Why do I want to achieve financial independence?
My key reason for achieving financial independence has always been so I can work because I choose to, not because I have to. But when start peeling the onion and examine deeper, I realize that my key reason for financial independence is to have more time.
More time to do things that I love doing. More time to do things that I want to do. More time to be with my loves ones.
Baby T1.0 and Baby T2.0 do not care how much their toys cost. What they care is whether their daddy can spend quality time with them or not, they care whether their daddy can listen to their stories, play with them, and create unforgettable moments & memories with them. Similarly, Mrs. T is not materialistic, what she cares the most is whether the both of us can spend quality time together, have hygge, and have a good time.
Life is more than making tons of money, living in McMansion, dressing in expensive brand name clothes, wearing Rolex watches, driving Ferrari’s, or going on fancy exclusive vacations.
Life is about finding what makes you truly happy and content. Life is about learning and improving yourself as a human being. Life is about unconditional love. Life is about giving and helping others. Life is about finding your life purpose.
Financial independence is and should not be the end. Financial independence is a journey. Reaching it is merely another step in life that will lead to something bigger.