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Dream vacation: What’s the rush?

Recently, I came across an article about “Fly-in, Fly-out” fishing trips in Canada. These are mainly to go after pike, walleye, and grayling, and all the pictures show people holding big, toothy, 40” long fish. A trip like that seems like it would be a blast, so I began to investigate the options. I invited a couple of friends along thinking it could be a good “guy trip”, you know, travel, fishing, some camping or relaxing in a lodge each night, and general shenanigans that end up with some great stories. The guys and I have done other charter fishing trips in the past, so I figured they’d be on board. However, the price can get a little ridiculous, Heck, it can be a LOT ridiculous, so I sold it to them as, “Hey, I think we should take this trip to Canada and get some monster pike! Fly-in, fly-out style in a bush plane! Doesn’t that sound awesome?!” Little do they know that my main motivator for doing this trip sooner rather than later is that in a few years, I’ll be retired and money will be a little tighter. So, how do I tell them that?

I suggested to my friends that we plan for 2016. I need to save up for it, because this trip will require some hustling, both financially and getting Mrs. SSC’s mother to visit to help with the kids. I found fishing outfits that had 5 day fishing trips from $800/person up to some ridiculously expensive all-inclusive trips that are way more than I could afford. The big catch here is figuring out what I get for my money. The all-inclusive package is all your meals are cooked for you, all amenities of home, fishing tackle and lures are provided, and a guide every day in your boat. The guide alone accounts for ~$900 of the cost. The $800 trip is more my style though. We get our own outpost cabin that we get flown to, and then the boat is sitting there waiting for us. We have to provide our own tackle, lures, fish finding, cooking, and groceries. While it is more my style, do I want to trek from the Gulf of Mexico to Upper Saskatchewan with enough fishing gear, clothes, and food for a week all the while just hoping the airlines actually keep it all with me? Short answer, No sirree Bob! It would be fun, but not the first time out.

Hopefully I'll catch fish bigger than this!!!

Hopefully I’ll catch fish bigger than this!!!

Plus, it’s still a lot of money, and I’d feel better saving up and spending it now, rather than in a few more years when I will be retired. I’m still not sure how to impress upon them why I want to go on this trip now rather than “in a few years.” I suppose my main urgency in trying to schedule a long-lead-time trip like this is knowing that I may not have the extra cash sitting around in 5 years. However, in my friend’s cases they will have more time and money in a few years… I mean, these guys aren’t planning on retiring for another 20-25 years, so what’s another 3-5 more years? They’ll have earned another week of vacation, and more money from promotions and raises, so they don’t have the same drivers as me. I almost feel deceptive, like I am trying to ‘trick’ them into taking this trip before 2018.

Then, my buddy Ted proposed another trip idea*. His uncle takes groups of guys fishing in the Wind River wilderness, 1 day in, 3-5 days fishing, 1 day out. We’d take horses instead of hiking to be more efficient, and increase the cool factor, and since it’s his uncle the cost is, umm, well, practically free. I guessed at $200-$500/person and Ted replied, “Well, we essentially have to get there and pay for food.” And his uncle doesn’t even fish! That sounded like a slam dunk, but then I’m back in the “I want to do the Canada trip before retiring, which could be as soon as 2018. The Wind River trip would push my dream Canadian fishing adventure back to at least 2017.” Gah!!!

Maybe I’ll tell them we expect money to be tight in a few years, but that sounds even odder, as Mrs SSC works with both of these guys. That alone would raise a red flag that might take some explaining. Maybe I’ll have to “Goonie it up” with a speech like, “Come on guys, this is our time. It’s our time to go fishing now. We may not get this chance again.” While I feel it’s a bit deceptive to not come out with it and tell them, “Look man, we’re planning on quitting the oil industry and moving to Virginia in a few years, and things may be a little tighter with funds. If I don’t do this now, it might be a lot more years before I get the chance to do this again.” In reality, this probably wouldn’t be a big deal, but I’m not comfortable enough with co-workers and even ex-co-workers knowing about and starting to gossip about my 5 year plan. Ultimately, if things don’t go as expected, I’d like to keep working where I am and not have my boss think I have one foot out the door. I’m not sure how I’m going to approach it, but I’ll be sure to let you know how it plays out.

* – Names have been changed to protect the innocent

Have you run into this in any situation with co-workers?

Have you told anyone about your FIRE date, and plans to abandon work?

Anyone have any better ideas for some good Pike and Walleye fishing trips?

7 thoughts on “Dream vacation: What’s the rush?

  1. Steve Adcock

    I am definitely no fishermen, but the excuse that I would use to go on this trip sooner rather than later is actually quite simple – we have our health, we have the time, and there will always be a reason not to go. We all want to take this trip, so let’s stop delaying a trip that we all want to take and just, well, take it!

    I haven’t run into this situation, but I do routinely mention our FIRE plans when it is appropriate in a conversation. Personally, I am proud of the fact that my lifestyle is gearing me up to enjoy jobless bliss sooner rather than later. It’s not an “I’m gonna retire before you” kind of thing. It’s a “I hate working for a living, so I’m gonna stop in a couple years” thing. Nothing more, nothing less. :)

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Those are great reasons to do anything. I have told them that our situation will be changing in a few more years and money may be tighter. Whether we are at FIRE or not, we’ll be making a major lifestyle change to be able to spend more time with family, so that fits in with that.
      Thanks for the advice!

  2. Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom

    If you hustle now to get the money together, it won’t matter when you go. If in 2020 it’s finally best for your friends to go, you’ll have the money together in your special Saskatchewan fund.

    (I’ve been trying to get out to Alberta for the last couple years actually, so this story speaks to me)

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Funny, I was thinking that same thing just the other day. I used to have a “squirrel fund.” Not for buying squirrels, but rather a side account where I’d “squirrel away” money from myself. Yep, this was back when spending discipline was very lacking. Now I don’t spend it just because I have it and the squirrel fund has disappeared.

      I see a return of the Squirrel fund! Then like you pointed out, it won’t matter when because I’ll be set already. Great idea!

  3. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer

    I hear you about not sharing your plans. We don’t either, mostly b/c no one in our real life cares about having debt or the ability to retire early. I think you should just take both trips, save Canada for 2017, and simply enjoy yourself along the way. They’ll figure out the real story when you guys give your notice and they’re helping you pack up for the move. 😉

    1. Mr. SSC

      That’s a great point. I’m setting up a separate fund for the expensive trip, and hope to ultimately do both! If the Canada trip isn’t until after we move, then I should have even more time to plan it, right? Hahaha

  4. Mrs. Frugalwoods

    We don’t share our FIRE plans (or our blog) with anyone either of us works with. Like you said, we don’t want to send the wrong message to our employers that we’re already half-way out the door. It has felt simpler not to mix the two since it’s a tough concept and, it would highlight the fact that we don’t want to be doing our current jobs for much longer. We do share the news with friends and family and, eventually our co-workers will know (when we’re ready to actually move on). Good luck to you in getting this trip planned–sounds like fun!

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