This past summer, my husband and I kept running into people who had been to Europe on bike trips. Every conversation fed our intrigue and we started looking into a self-guided bike trip through Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia.

The Stage of Planning

Let’s go next spring! Mark spent hours researching, looking at tours, routes, and plane flights. We watched videos and checked out biking books from the library. It was exciting to plan it out.

As a side note, research is showing that planning a trip actually releases more endorphins and “feel good” chemistry in our brain than the actual trip does!

We were getting closer to signing on the dotted line, booking flights, and charging up the credit card, when I came back to one of our guiding personal financial questions: Just because we can – should we?

We started talking about what was really important about the travel we wanted to do now that Mark is “rewiring” and I have flexibility in my schedule.

Was this trip on either one of our “bucket lists,” or reflective of our values? It wasn’t on the bucket list, but it included things we enjoy doing together (biking, eating, meeting new people, and seeing cultural places). It was a tough decision. We kept discussing and clarifying.

How to Make the Decision

Everyone has different bucket lists, values, life circumstances, and financial standing, but the question remains: “Just because you can – should you?”

This is more than a travel question, though, as it applies to all financial decisions – especially as you enter your fall season.

Mark and I have worked hard over our lives. We have been blessed and have acquired financial resources. We have created space in our days, and we want to steward both, knowing that our decisions have repercussions on more than our finances and our Facebook or Instagram accounts.

How can we balance what we want to do today with what we will need for tomorrow? Would this financial choice be a soul need or an ego desire?

There is a carbon footprint that needs to be considered. There is the opportunity cost. If you do one thing, you can’t do something else. Or what about “the laws of unintended consequences”?

We want to be mindful and intentional about how we use our time and financial resources. We are all about doing our dollars differently in retirement!

Doing It Differently

Mark tossed the Europe bike trip file, and we are now gearing up to prioritize the travel that reflects our values and fulfills our bucket list.

Our future travel is focused on family (immediate and extended) adventures, creating indelible memories or service-oriented opportunities. We also want to share the experience of our personal bucket lists.

Mark wants to walk through Central American indigenous antiquities. I look forward to feeling the whisper of thousands of fluttering wings as we sit in a field of milkweed, and I long to gaze at the iridescent glow of the northern nighttime sky.

How about you?


You can download a copy of my financial affirmations – one for yourself and one for your spouse or a friend! Check out our e-course where you can learn more about how to look at your responsibilities differently. Call us if a Journey of Financial Health™ fits your needs.


Which side of travel is important to you? What travel opportunities are on your “bucket list”? How do you intentionally put your financial pieces in place to make sure it will happen? Please share your experiences with our community!

Let's Have a Conversation!