Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

May 30, 2023

Are you ready for an adventure? Close your eyes and dream a little...what do you see? Are you somewhere close by or in a far-off land?

Thoughts of travel spark different feelings in all of us. Some crave true adventure, others long for relaxation. Some wish to explore unfamiliar locales across the oceans, others prefer our own backyards. So many great places, so much to do and see...where does one start? As you may have heard me say before, it all depends. I’ve found that travel is truly in the eye of the adventurer.

You Get to Make All the Decisions

The great thing about recreational travel is that you get to make all the decisions – not just where to go, but when and for how long. It can be as easy as a three-day road trip or as involved as a three-week vacation abroad. If you’re in the mood for something easier on the planning and the pocketbook, maybe a road trip is the way to go.

Summer Season Is Hard to Beat

In my opinion, the upcoming summer season here in the upper Midwest is hard to beat. We’re surrounded by unbelievable lakes, rivers, and forests to explore and enjoy. To add to that, we have some beautiful little towns and islands to visit. Here are some fun summer road trips from clients over the last few years:

  • Sturgeon Bay and Washington Island in Door County. (July is the time to pick those famous cherries!)
  • Starved Rock State Park near Utica, Illinois. (Those waterfalls are amazing! Close enough to be a day trip or stay in their lodge.)
  • Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Bayfield, WI (A true wonder of the natural world! Have you ever seen the Wisconsin shore from a kayak? Or relax on a cruise around the islands at sunset - beautiful!)
  • The Mississippi River area and bluffs of Western Wisconsin and Minnesota state line. (I’ve heard that the Pepin, WI area is a little gem)
  • Across the lake, have you seen the beach towns of southwestern Michigan? (The St. Joseph area north to the Silver Lake Sand Dunes is incredible.)
  • Mackinac Island in northern Michigan is one everyone should try to see. (The Lilac Festival in June or Fudge Festival in August are a must visit)

That said, sometimes there’s a definite urge to try something new – a new place, a new country, a different language, a true adventure abroad!

Bucket-List Travel Ideas

You’ve heard us talk about ‘bucket-list travel.’ It’s listed in many individual financial plans with clients planning trips to Italy, Israel, Australia, Iceland, and many points in between. Below, please see a small sample of some of the trips clients have taken over the last years that’ve been raved about:

  • Let’s start with the Hawaiian Islands (The Big Island, Oahu, Maui, Kauai, it doesn’t matter ... they are all a treasure!)
  • Italy (Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany, and the Amalfi Coast - an adventure full of culinary and historical magic!)
  • Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland - take your pick, they are all beautiful!)
  • Chile (From soaring peaks and epic trout fishing, to wine country and outdoor adventure!)
  • Alaska (The great north and land of the Midnight Sun. Denali National Park and the coastal towns of Seward and Homer ... all awesome sights!)
  • Australia/New Zealand (So much to see, from snow-capped mountains to the Great Barrier Reef. True wonders of the world!)
  • Ireland (One word ... green! So much beauty and history, and the people are wonderful!)
  • Southern Africa (From the awe of Victoria Falls and the Okavango Delta, to Kruger National Park, may be one of the greatest wildlife shows on earth!)

This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list of all the many, wonderful things to do or places to go. Often it isn’t the destination that matters, but rather, the act of the travel itself that’s most important. No matter where you’d like to go, we’re here to help start these discussions, to start the planning, and be a part of the process.

Well-Deserved R&R

You may remember a piece in this newsletter I wrote years ago about the three levels of advice. Briefly, the first level is about being an expert technician in our chosen field; the second is about being a coach to help clients get and stay on track toward their goals; and the third is about being an advocate. While I love the nerdy, technical ins and outs of financial planning as well as the coaching of helping clients achieve and sustain goals, it’s the advocate role that I most treasure. This is where we believe we build the most value. We truly appreciate our role in serving you and helping you celebrate your life and those you care about most. I believe travel and adventure is one of those things.

You’ve worked hard, built a life, raised a family and now it’s time for you. Your time to get in the car on a Tuesday and not come back until you’re ready to come home. A time for you to plan a great adventure or a little well-deserved R&R. A trip with the kids and grandkids to celebrate a special anniversary or just be a family. While we recommend and/or put into action financial strategies to set aside these travel dollars in advance of your plan, these goals aren’t about a return on investment or tax savings, but rather about memories.

These are the events and the points to which we wish to measure the success of not only our clients, but of the work we do with our team here at FORM, as well. This is the impact of an advocate: to be sure you’re collecting experiences and not dollars, that your legacy is measured in time with family and friends, and that we’re helping you solve for net fulfillment, not just net worth. To empower you to live a better life with no regrets.

So, what adventure is on your list? Is it down the road or across the ocean? If we have not yet explored it together, let’s make sure we do. We can help figure out not only the financial aspects but also the most important part – turning those thoughts or wishes into a reality.