Hope everyone in my little readership had a great Thanksgiving. I went to a friend of a friend’s house here in San Juan and had a great evening. I forgot how quickly you can connect with strangers and have a good time if you’re open-minded to the moment. I’ve done a few Thanksgivings and one Christmas with families I’d never met, and every experience exceeded expectations.
This week is an exciting one with me needing to pull myself out of my recent cave-like lifestyle (I don’t know how I’ve gotten this pale living in a tropical paradise) and get ready for a half-week in St Barths. Jeff and Ashleigh are coming to San Juan Tuesday, and then we leave for St Barths the following day. I have this hazy vision of myself building an impeccable island wardrobe in the future… but I’m not there yet. Jeff and Ashleigh are always stylish, so it’s a wakeup call for me to cut this slop of hair on my head, and buy a pair of pants or two. I’ve been to St Barths once, and you can technically get away with wearing shorts and flip flops to restaurants, but you really don’t want to. It’s a hope of mine to visit the rest of the Carribean over the next few years, but I’m pretty sure St Barths is the fanciest place. I’m looking forward to some awesome French food and seafood, and even more so spending time with my friends.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving I wanted to talk about a few things I’m thankful for. Off the top of my head I’m thankful for my family and friends. I’ve made an effort to be more communicative with both groups (texting or calling), and I’m very thankful I have regular contact with the people I love. Too many people to reference, but I’ll make an exception for my girlfriend Johanna who’s been in my life almost daily for over 7 years now.
Over the years, especially since I’ve changed careers and the city I live in so many times, I have met many great people that I’ve lost touch with. I appreciate the time I spent with them though, and am thankful for how they’ve educated and inspired me.
I’m very thankful that I’ve come full-circle with my work and am back into trading. I’ve had many mental hangups over the years about pursuing work that is essentially a large multi-player game with money as the score, but I’ve learned to appreciate the artistry and inventiveness within the game. I also am appreciative that it allows my rag-tag collection of skills that I’ve built over my adult years to shine. Even in the months when I feel like I didn’t get anything new done, I usually realize that I tested several new strategies and made improvements to my current ones. I read something a while ago about having an aptitude for something is just being able to do the work that other people find too boring/won’t do, and I guess in trading I’m able to slog through a fair amount of work without it being too bad.
I’m thankful for setting up my home-base in Puerto Rico. It still feels surreal that with Act 22 I’m able to legally pay $0 in taxes on my trading gains (although I have to give $5,000 a year to charity here, which I’d be happy to do anyway). My trading accounting can get complicated, so it’s a relief to not have to worry about it. Besides the enormous tax advantage, without which I wouldn’t have thought of settling down in PR, I really enjoy living and working here. It’s December 2nd, and it’s 85 degrees Fahrenheit. When Jeff and Ashleigh come here tomorrow we can swim in a warm ocean, and I never have to worry about needing warm clothes (except inside the office or movie theater). I’m also able to live comfortably without a car, and only need to Uber a few times a month. Living walking distance to all of my regular life things (gym, office, groceries, movie theater, beach, restaurants, coffee) frees up a ton of time, and I enjoy walking while listening to an audiobook.
Finally, I’m thankful for the minimum viable lifestyle that I have, and still improving upon. I don’t need lots of excitement and constant change (although I do still get a fair amount, especially dealing with trading), and I’m getting better at simplifying my days. I’m not on a hedonistic treadmill, and I’m not stuck in a rough lifestyle patch that I hope someday improves. I still have material things I want and goals to go after, but my normal daily existence gives me everything I want and need. Have a great week!