An interesting opportunity came to my attention a few weeks ago. It was an internal position within my company that had been forwarded over to me by a coworker.
At first glance, the position looked fairly unappealing – it was located on the other side of the globe, in a far flung country with a less than stellar reputation, and the job description was not something that sounded super appealing to me.
As I got to the bottom of the email though, I uncovered a little more about the position which made me reconsider: it was the opportunity for a double promotion.
Factoring in the salary bump for the position level and other monetary benefits that come with taking this kind of position overseas at my company, my already solid pay rate would be nearly doubled.
Oh and did I mention that my company would cover my housing costs? And that I’d be living within walking distance from work? And two free trips home per year as well!?
The only expenses I would have would be groceries and any other discretionary spending I would choose to spend. How about that for frugal living!?
With all these perks, what adventure loving person wouldn’t try to go for this position??
Supercharged Path To FI
With my base expenses at an extremely low level, it seems like it would be a cinch to reach a savings rate level of 80-90% or higher.
With that kind of savings rate I could put away a massive amount of money into savings and investments. I did not do the math, but I don’t think it would be surprising if I could save over $100K in one year alone!
The cumulative effect this would have on my timeline to FI would be drastic, and greatly shift my FI date to a time that’s honestly not quite so far away.
With all these monetary benefits, as well as ease of International travel for vacations, I have to admit that it sounds very appealing.
There’s a few things holding me back though…
It’s Not Always A Numbers Game
Prior to discovering FI, or even thinking about it, my line of thinking would’ve been something like, “what’s two years in the grand scheme of things?”
I’m planning to be around for a long time, so giving up two years to make a boatload of money in a far flung country seems like a no brainer.
But now that I’m in the FI mindset, I’ve been thinking a lot more about how I spend my time. That’s what this pursuit is all about after all, right? Buying back my time to spend it however I would like.
This position would certainly buy be back some time, in that my FI date would drastically move up. However, what it would not help with, is my time during that two years away.
Despite my prior self’s thinking, two years is a long time to be away. Away from family, friends, significant others. Think of all the things that can happen in two years.
Weddings, Family vacations, holiday time, spending time with friends… the list goes on. I could make some of these, but there would be a lot I miss.
These are just the big events too, not to mention all the small, daily things. The country I’d be going to has much less freedom than we appreciate here. A lot of things I enjoy would be restricted or limited.
For instance, I would not be able to bring my significant other with me (if she would have wanted to go). Long distance relationships are hard. Make that double when you’re on the other side of the world, on opposite time schedules, and go several months without seeing each other.
Our relationship is something that’s very important to me, and it’s not something I want to jeopardize chasing money, or a supercharged path to FI.
Ultimately, when it comes down to it, on the journey to FI, what do prioritize more… getting there as fast as you can? Or making the most of your journey and enjoying as much of it as you can?
It’s Not A Race To The Finish Line
I’m not sure about you, but to me the journey to FI is not a race to the finish line.
If it was, I would aggressively pursue this position. Or even likely start job hopping in search of higher salaries in my field to speed up my timeline, at the sacrifice of work/life balance.
Instead, I want to try and enjoy as much of this journey as possible.
I don’t want to miss the big family and friend events. I don’t want to miss precious moments and time with my significant other. And I really don’t want to give up doing the things I love, because you can’t do them somewhere else.
Keeping these thoughts in mind is extremely important.
Sometimes you get so caught up in the destination, that you forget to stop and look around. “Stop and smell the roses as they say”
It’s in these moments, the ones where you would like to freeze frame time, where you can find life’s true pleasures.
Whichever path you ultimately choose, I hope you can prioritize the important things and find happiness and contentment along the way!
Where do you stand on this matter? Get to FI as quickly as possible? Or ease off the gas pedal to try and get as much happiness as possible? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!