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"You're so lucky....."

Updated: Apr 2


"No, I'm not lucky. I've made decisions and sacrifices for years. My priorities are different than yours and I have made consistent decisions over my entire adult life to get to this point. Please don't diminish those decisions by suggesting it happened by chance. Honestly, it's insulting." That's what I want to say. I'm getting snarkier as I get older but I'm not there. Yet.

About a million years ago, when I was still at university, I started a travel savings account. I knew I wanted to travel more but I wasn't prepared to go (further) into debt. At the time, all I could afford was about $20 per month on a regular basis but it was a start. I have continued that ever since, increasing/decreasing the monthly amount according to my expenses and earnings but I never zeroed it out, nor did I raid it for other purposes, although I was sorely tempted on several occasions. My travel account collected any "extra" money -- birthday money, income tax refunds, 50-50 winnings, postcard sales, etc.

For a very long time, the balance didn't allow for much but I got a weekend away once a year, usually to a fairly local destination. If I wanted to do more travel, I obviously needed to do more.


For me, travel is a priority, so financial decisions are made by reflecting upon where I get the best or most long-lasting pleasure or by assigning a level of necessity. Coffee is necessary but coffee-shop coffee isn't. It's easy to pour my own coffee in a portable cup. A vehicle is important but I don't need luxury, high performance, or speed. I don't need data on my phone -- I can wait until I'm home or use free WIFI.


I don't do many of the rituals my peers enjoy. I don't get massages, manicures, pedicures, or even regular hair cuts. I learned to be a great cook and vegetable gardener, so restaurant meals can be a rare treat. Friends are invited for dinner and drinks at home over meeting at a bar. Vehicles are used and driven until they need to be retired. I buy clothes only as needed, never at full price, and must coordinate with other things already in my wardrobe.


I use the library more often than I buy books. I use the community centre gym over a club membership. I never buy consumables on credit and pay off the full balance on credit cards monthly. My credit card was chosen because it includes travel insurance and cash back. Gifts may include home made knitting, jams/preserves, or photography. I do admit to splurging on expensive theatre tickets and camera equipment... as I said, we all have priorities! What financial decisions do you make that support your priorities? I suspect that the people who have said this to me had lovely intentions, wanting me to be complemented and to express their own travel desire. I try to tamp down the snarky response that immediately pops to mind, and as I process my reaction ... ... I recognize the immense privilege that allows me to prioritize travel when there are so many others making equally sensible decisions just to pay for basic needs. As a well-educated, middle-class, professional, cis-gendered, white Canadian woman who has investments and an indexed pension while living mortgage-free in a trendy neighbourhood, I really need to stop and appreciate that I get to go through life on the "easy" level... and that I am indeed lucky that I just happened to be born into privilege that smoothed out my path.


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10 Comments


Hi what cc do you use that offer points and insurance? Ty

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Lyn (aka Jazz)
Lyn (aka Jazz)
Jun 03, 2022
Replying to

Hi, welcome to the blog!

my VISA cc is from my Canadian credit union. It wouldn’t be available in the USA but check what your financial institution offers.

I recently changed my card and I pay an annual fee but get decent travel and vehicle rental insurance and cash-backs on all purchases made on the card. I pay for an annual travel-medical insurance separately. I use the credit card cash-back to pay my airfares. I found the points thing didn’t work as well as the cash-back does.


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I love this post. I love that you have made travel such a priority in your life and have stuck to your goals and dreams, you have made a lot of sacrifices. I would much prefer a home made gift or a quiet dinner at home with friends, you have figured this all out. I love to read about your adventures! You are fierce and independence and I am so proud of you. I look forward to the day you can wander down here for a visit or down to AZ. You go girl!

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Lyn (aka Jazz)
Lyn (aka Jazz)
Oct 21, 2021
Replying to

<3 Thanks for joining in and supporting my vanity project. ;) Now the border is opening, my plan is to head to Arizona after Christmas to spend some time exploring the parks, hiking, and meeting up with my gorgeous kickass cousins. I hope to catch up with you several times on the journey.

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Barb Madill Kilburn
Barb Madill Kilburn
Oct 20, 2021

I wouldn't ever want to diminish your hard work by calling you lucky, but I've always considered you lucky in other ways. Hello? Celebrities knocking on your doors? That's kinda lucky, for sure! But seriously. I am proud of you for making your dreams a reality, and I am the lucky one, as I get to live vicariously through you, as well as having been the recipient a few times, of your culinary magic and finesse! LOVE that you are doing this!

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Lyn (aka Jazz)
Lyn (aka Jazz)
Oct 20, 2021
Replying to

Thanks for joining in and encouraging me! Now the world is opening up, I'm hoping we can do the Finale thing again! :)

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nedloh3
nedloh3
Oct 20, 2021

I don't recall it being that hard to do this but I guess it was/is or more people would do it. I'll follow your wanderlust since I'm perfectly happy doing absolutely nothing after putting 43 years in the ratrace,

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Lyn (aka Jazz)
Lyn (aka Jazz)
Oct 20, 2021
Replying to

Welcome! Thanks for the follow, ned <3 I'm totally verklempt.

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KayRock
KayRock
Oct 20, 2021

I love this. Yes, there is privilege in the things we have, but there is also a lot of hard work and sacrifice that went into the lives we can lead, and being told I'm lucky often leaves me feeling dejected and guilty, as if I should somehow turn it over to someone more deserving (usually the person extolling my luck). I'd rather think of myself as "blessed" by whatever deities may be handing those things out.

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Lyn (aka Jazz)
Lyn (aka Jazz)
Oct 20, 2021
Replying to

Thanks for joining in! Woohoo, another person that I am not related to! I'm less comfortable with the word "blessed", although I appreciate the unspecified deity. ;) Privilege is complicated and it seems like we almost have to diminish our efforts and sacrifices when recognizing the privilege we coast upon. I hope that by openly recognizing and owning our unintended privilege, we will become better able to lift those who do not carry the same benefit.

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