Category Archives: Reading

2016 Goals: Year End Review

It’s January, and you know what that means.

Goals for 2016

This past year I decided to try something new. I had read that I could be more focused if I just chose one goal and really bore down on it for a whole month. It sounded interesting and logical. It sounded like I would get more, deeper work done.

It was also a way to avoid my natural tendency to overload myself with goals. The year before I had jot down 24. Instead this year I could only choose 12 goals for the year.  Continue reading 2016 Goals: Year End Review

2014 Goals Reviewed

How did I do with my 2014 goals?

Traveling wallet goals
Goals Before 2014 Started
Traveling wallet
paper reminder barely surviving a year of annotations

I am going to break them down. But the 3 major ones I am going to post on individually. Which ones are the 3 major ones? Well the ones that pertain to this site more specifically.

Relationships (Parenthood and family time), Travel, and Finances. I want to go into more detail for these 3 areas so I will post on them individually. My Finances will reveal our net worth for the first time(WHAT?) So stay tuned.  Now lets cover all my other goals.



FAIL! yes I did not really make an effort to get these done. That is why you see them up again on my 2015 goals. But lets break it down anyways. First off 2 out of 3 are not smart goals. They are too vague. Next 2 of them are really just one the first 2 are really one goal check out 4 different religions. Well how did I do? We went to a Buddhist temple but only made it 3 times.  4 churches 4 times equals 16 we only went 3 times, So that means it was 18% complete. Meh.

The journal writing is vague and therefore harder to “Quantify”.  Was I talking nightly? Unless writing these blog posts count as journal entries then I didn’t do so hot. However, when I put my son to sleep I do like to ask him what he is thankful for and a lot of times he will turn around and ask me right back. Do I get any partial credit?

All in all this could use some more attention.



I think I did pretty good in this area.

Mr. and I ran 1 mud run this year which was over 5K. However we did not just wake up and run it the day of, we did train regularly which really was the whole point, to exercise regularly. BUT.. we didn’t keep it up. So only 50% complete.

Dancing does burn calories plus it makes me happy, as in relieves stress, so I wanted to be more active in doing it.  I only did 6 months so 50% for this goal as well. But this one was more concentrated in the last 6 months. Hey maybe I was just switching up my exercises. Running first half and dancing the second. Am I trying to make myself feel better? Maybe?

I also wanted to take 1 class with Mr. Roamer. We ended up taking 2 yoga classes and also 2 cooking classes which focused on healthy cooking. ( They were all about the no gluten stuff). So I say we did 100%+ on this one.

If you average it all out that means Health got a 66% completion rate. Okay.



I have 2 motivators for having language as a goal.

  • First I want to make sure that my children keep their heritage alive and language is a big component of that
  • Second I have a life time goal of becoming fluent in 5 languages( I’m starting off easy but I hope that number will be bigger)

I’m super happy to report that I was 100% successful in completing these  Goals. Though I’ll admit I did go easy on myself.  The Spanish goal has been easier to accomplish because now that my son is enrolled in a dual immersion school I get to read his homework instructions in Spanish almost daily. Still the goal was to read some books which we also did this year. Kids books count Right?!

Quick history: I took Mandarin Chinese in University but I haven’t been actively practicing since 2010 so I’ve forgotten quite a bit. So I’m not starting from scratch but I’m not just counting items I already had memorized either. I know that what I really want is to speak Chinese, you know pronunciation and stuff, but I also want to be able to read it.  I have a CD that I use to practice listening so the focus this year was writing. I was able to reach my goal of learning how to write 24 character (properly). Total I know how to write 35 characters (actually words). YEAH!

I tried to write phrases up top then gave up and just jotted down the characters.
I tried to write phrases up top then gave up and just jotted down the characters.


This section has a mix of SMART goals and oh so broad goals. Since this section is one of the big 3 I am working on an individual post where I can go into more detail. ( you wouldn’t want this post to get ridiculously long would you?)


We killed it on the financial front and I am working on a post that will talk about all these goals as well as reveal our net worth! Some exciting stuff if I do say so myself.


Work and Financial goals were so on top of each other I couldn’t separate sections


My work goal would also classify as a non SMART goal.  Did I invest in certification. No I did not. However my company did allow me to participate in a LEAN Summit which allowed me to make some contacts and even gave me the opportunity to go work with a different company temporarily. This goal was really about getting out of my work funk and start growing again. Though I did not get a certification. I did get out of my funk and I was able to learn through the experiences I mentioned. I’m going to go a head and give myself credit for improving my work situation.  What do you think since it was a bit vague anyways can I give myself 100% credit?

What didn’t you see here?


It’s not even in my goals but  don’t worry I am working on a post for that too.

So how did you do in 2014. Did you set goals? what was your success rate?

Weekend Wanderings #2: The Easy Life

Welcome to my weekend wanderings. I’m the Roamer here at Traveling Wallet. I hope you enjoy these videos. I know when you make big goals you often need inspiration and motivation and that’s what I hope you’ll get here in these segments.

Do you feel like life is hard? Are you running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to climb some corporate ladder? So much to do so little time.

I often like to ponder such questions. Sometimes I don’t have all the words, or know all the right things to say. In these times I’m happy to defer to the experts.

In my head I made it a goal to include at least 3 videos for all my weekend wanderings but today’s video is so powerful and insightful it needs no other.

When I watched this video all I could think was yes.

I can relate with this speaker. I often think of and can’t understand why life is so complicated. Having what some would call silly wishes to live in the past. With an ideal that life was simpler, slower, and fuller all at once.

To me it seems the focus of this talk was having wisdom. Not just intelligence but wisdom. The wisdom to filter out all the noise in our current society. And my goodness are we living in a time of noise.

He admits it will be hard. People will call you poor they will think you’re crazy. I can see that. That is why I wish I was born in a different era because then I wouldn’t have to go against the grain. It would be normal.

But I see now with this video and this community that I can have that easy life. Today in this time, This ERA!

Passing it on to the next Generation

Part of living the easy life is breaking out of the endless cycle so I also wondered how can I teach my kids this. That the carrot we are told to chase is nothing but an illusion.  I wish I could sit my son down and have this talks wisdom wash over him. But though this talk is powerful it would not engage my son enough to have him listen.

Children’s books are a great way to introduce ideas. I remembered of a book which hints at a similar philosophy. Unos Garden.

Do you have kids? I recommend you this book. It has wonderful art

Shows the simple life, balance between people and nature
Shows the simple life, balance between people and nature

Uno's Garden

In this book children journey through and can see the effects of over production.  The effects it has on the people and on nature but it then also guides to a life of balance between people and nature. Essentially showing them living a much fuller simpler life.

Talk about counter culture.

Okay Okay so I guess I remembered I saw another video which touches on the same topic. So I will also include it here.

Another great example of simplifying life.

So to answer the question posed by the video, What are my basic human needs?

Freedom, Love, Learning and Growth….. Stripped down that is what I want to focus on here at the Traveling Wallet, but also what I want to strive for in my day to day life.

Freedom = Financial Independence (aka Early retirement)

Love = Parenthood( aka being with my family and raising my children)

Learning and Growth = Travel (new experiences, new people,new ideas and new perspectives)

Per the video food is a given basic human need, which is also applicable to me.  🙂 Another area that could fall under learning and growth.

So I guess equally applicable could be the tagline: Freedom, Love, Learning and Growth

I’m excited to take and share this journey with you. Most of us will take it a bit different. Both these people took a different approach then us FIers. They didn’t wait to have enough money to be free from societal constraints  indefinitely. They jumped right in.

I hope these videos inspired you to keep on your journey and seek other who share your dream.

Are you ready and willing to live an easy life.  To be call strange maybe…. even crazy?

Leave a comment tell me what you visualize as an easy life?

A love for Reading: Introducing the reading list

When I was young I loved the library, we went often. We would kill hrs there weekly. I got to know the layout really well.  I knew where all the math books were and the music books. I knew the kids section, teen. I knew exactly where to find  Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen king and Mary Higgins Clark. I searched for time travel books and read entire series ( Animorphs and A Wrinkle in Time). It was amazing, I loved it.

Somewhere along the way I was given a sheet to track all the books I was reading. I liked that too, it was great to go back to it. I still have it.

A year or 2 ago it made me sad to think I hadn’t read in so long( not counting curious George or other children’s books) but I realized I had been reading. It was just in smaller snippets, I had been reading posts online. So in that spirit I thought my blog is a great place to build my new list. It will taunt me and encourage me to pick up a book and carve at least a few hrs a month to read for myself. It might also inspire you and give you some good books ( or blogs)to check out.

Knowledge  really is power


  BiggerPockets (real estate blog)
  MrMoneyMustache (blog)


    Janet Lansbury (blog, check out my review)


 Steal like an artist (book) 7/14

* I will try my best to keep it useful
** excited to be bringing reading higher up on my to do list

Do you have any recommendation? What was your favorite book?