Happy New Year 🍾from our home to yours!
I don't even know how or where to start.
We're so excited. We're so conflicted.
Prior to, oh, two months ago, we were nothing but excited. As you see plastered all over the site, this NVR lifestyle of ours is 10 years old in 2017. We've been thinking about and planning for this new phase for 3-ish years. Our life is good – super good – as we embark on an entirely new chapter thats been revving up for these few years.
Then the election happened.
Post election day, we immediately went into a haze (thankfully propelled by a travel writing assignment at sea) and decided to have a cooling off period before evaluating 1) just how pissed off we are and 2) what we're going to do about it.
Well, we can't delay those decisions any longer, as Inauguration Day is right around the corner. While we've made progress regarding those above two points, we don't have things entirely figured out. But, we are well on our way, so we'll touch on some of those details but focus predominantly on what we have cooking outside of the profound ick (yeah, that word works) in terms of the state of our country and the world.
Let's start with Work.
We love work. A little too much. Why? Because we have a consulting business that's thriving beyond what we ever imagined AND one that gives us each great fulfillment. Also, we're roll-up-our-sleeves-and-get-shit-done guys who love that satisfaction that comes from a gratifying day's work that actually makes a positive difference in others' lives.
So what's the problem?
We love work. A little too much.
Several years ago – about the same time we started to prepare for this new phase of our NVR life – we hit a saturation point. We were working at about 150% of reasonable capacity and we started to turn away less-than-ideal projects in order to keep that to 100-110(ish)%.
I know what you are thinking, and you're right. That's still a lot of work.
That's why we started the 10-year-anniversary conversation at about year 7. We wanted to honor all of the great opportunities entrusted to us but not live out the rest of our lives in a constant blur of BUSY – no matter how wonderful.
So, starting this year, we are slowing down and enjoying the fruits of our labor – honoring our hard work before we look back with regrets. Plus, the timing is perfect, we're still young / vibrant and we have some incredible milestones that coincide with this period of time.
Bottom line: Watch for even more champagne and whiskey photos coming from us.
Let's move on to Altruism. Giving back – making the world a better place – is at the core of what we do. It's why we created our NVR lifestyle in the first place. In our privileged world in which we have so much choice and opportunity, we owe it to others (who didn't win the birth lottery) to live the best life we can.
With more time on our hands (see above!), we'll be leaning even further into our altruistic endeavors. For starters, check out our current NVR Project focus.
Walk, hike, run with us. Or, throw in a few bucks to support the good cause.
Here in the Altruism category is where our aforementioned election heartache comes into play. We can't stand the thought of our great country taking steps backwards – backwards! – in terms of women's rights, LGBT rights, healthcare, immigration, the environment, etc.
We're well into planning how we'll do our part to advocate for what we believe in and know is right. We stand on the shoulders of other marginalized people who came before us and left things better. And we've fought way. too. hard. for marriage equality to see it pushed aside.
We'll share more as we determine more. We'd also like to take this opportunity to urge you to get involved as well. The next four (possibly eight *ack*) years will be pivotal. Don't stand on the sidelines.
Not long into this NVR life, we started to get paid to do our hobby: Travel. While we've always loved it (travel writing, etc.) – and will continue to – we're going to do even more of our own travel (outside of any ties to a travel writing campaign/assignment) in 2017 and beyond.
This picture was taken in November 2016 from our room at the Park Hyatt in Milan, Italy. After spending time with friends in nearby Piedmont, we decided to splash out for a bit in Milan.
It was such a great experience. They didn't know we are travel writers, we did our own thing completely, and we didn't feel pressure to market a single thing.
For many, many years now, we've been able to make travel writing assignments fit around our preferences. If we were planning to go to destination X, for example, we'd swing things so that we could get some content out of the journey and turn it into a semi-travel-writing gig. Why not, right?
We've never gone somewhere we didn't want to, and neither one of us can remember journeying to an unpleasant destination simply for pay or perks. Not too shabby.
However, travel for the sake of travel – the exploration, the unknown, the discovery – always wins out for us. We have a passion for the adventure of travel. We dislike being fussed over, and sometimes we struggle to to put a consumer facing angle on our travels because its gotten so expensive, and we know that we're asking readers/viewers to spend a lot of hard earned money for experiences that might not live up.
So, we're going to do even more of what we did at the Park Hyatt Milan where we worried about our experience and not even an ounce about the marketing of it.
Sheesh, that's a lot for now. Watch for more posts in the year ahead about how we're doing what we do best (and get asked about most) – maximizing life, work, and travel. Here in NVR 2.0 "maximizing" takes on an entirely new meaning; so let's see what happens.
We hope that you, too, have a year lined up that revolves more around what makes you feel most alive!